I always have mixed feelings at the completion of a project. Seeing what I imagined in my mind progress from pencil and paper to 3D completion is always great but sad in its own way. Maybe you’ve heard of those postpartum blues, heck; I used to experience those myself after months of preparing for an ultra-race. Finishing always gave me mixed emotions; glad to have completed the challenge but sad that the training and preparation is phase is over.
The last blog detailed the main construction details and forming of the parts. All that remained was fitting the molding for the frieze. Seemed straight forward enough but it was important that the vine matched as it returned around the corner. After making the miter cut it was refined and trimmed using a block plane and miter shooting board. It took a bit of finagling to get the vine to match as it returned, one side needed to be cut from the remaining piece.
The purpose of the arrow on the backside is to indicate which side goes up. These pieces will be oil gilded and glued in place after all of the finish work is complete. After some final planing it was ready for the red burnisher/sealer undercoat. The frieze area was taped off, wanted to make sure no paint got in that space, the molding will be applied with glue and a few pins. The final finish is Japan Drop Black by Ronan. Other than glue-up, the finishing step is the one that causes me the most stress. Using paints is temperamental, so many variables such as the temperature in the shop, reaction to the undercoat, and thickness of the application. I’ve developed a way to burnish the Japan Black to give it a low luster which includes wiping back to expose some of the base coat. The goal here is to replicate normal wear and tear the frame would normally go through. You’ll notice that Julian’s painting has a bit of red in it and my goal was for the frame to also accent that in an understated way. Here are some images so you can decide for yourself if I succeeded!
The oil gilded frieze was sealed with shellac and then toned with a casein wash. The final layer on the entire frame is Liberon Black Bison wax. My mind set during this process is to add unexpected nuances to the frame finish that are discovered over time.