Frame #168: Final Work

If you’ve been following the consruction of this Tabernacle style frame you’ll remember that the last BLOG dealt with how the roof was constructed.  That was an interesting challenge that I can now say I’ve conquered; at least for this frame!  I’ve mentioned before how personally, nothing is more satisfying than to conjure up an idea in your mind, then transfer it to paper, and finally execute it to a three dimensional piece.  That’s something I always tried to impress onto my woodshop students during my teaching career.  Here’s the beginning and ending of this frame:

The artist told me she’d take some pictures of her painting installed into the frame.  This particular piece is done on a 1/4″ copper panel.  What you see on the left in the conceptual drawing is a copy made at Office Depot from a cell phone photo — not too bad eh?

Gilding in Progress

After a base coat of red burnisher/sealer from LA Gold Leaf  the frame was oil gilded with 12 karat genuine gold leaf.  Overall the frame measured about 21″ x 25″ and there are several different levels that needed to be gilded.  To avoid having pieces of leaf fall on the area around the sight edge, the process was broken into 2 stages. The first day gilding was done to the outside edges, columns, pilasters, and roof top.  The next day the remaining frame was gilded.  This picture shows how I ended up positioning it to reach all of the crooks and crannies!  This is at the end of the first day.  After allowing the oil size to cure fully the leaf was very lightly rubbed back and the entire frame is protected with two coats of platinum blonde shellac applied with an air brush.  The final step is to apply some Liberon wax with a white scrubby, this evens out and takes that shiny shellac finish down to a nice matte finish.

When my client picked up this frame we began talking about gilding, I mentioned how water gilding would have allowed us to really make the gold shine.  After showing her some samples she really liked that look!  Even after explaining that the water gilding process is much more time consuming she seemed intrigued to see how it would look on her work — maybe a floater frame would be a good place to start.


About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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