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Posts Tagged ‘framing’

Once the frame was all rebuilt, repaired and refinished, silmirrphoto 2 all that was left was deciding on the mirror. While we considered going with an antiqued glass, it was decided that the ornateness of the frame didn’t need any more going on so we went with a plain, flat mirror. The large amount of variance in the widths of the inner frame lip, as well as trying to avoid any possibility of future strain on the frame, were why we didn’t go with a bevelled mirror. The lip widths were as wide as over an inch in some areas but the typical ¼ inch in others so even a deep bevel would be mostly covered in spots. All together, with it’s new finish, the mirror is now hanging in it’s new home. The darker tones tie to the slate front of the Victorian marble fireplace it sits over and the silver leaf co-ordinates with the rooms chandelier. I also love how the Persian carpet in the room features similarly shaped birds. A fitting space and a new life for an beautiful old frame! The photo of it in it’s new home is the work of Dave Kimmel. You can see more of his work on his website.
The rest of my posts about this project: part 1, part 2, part 3

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After the physical reconstruction was done, img_5499 it was prepared for the gilding. It had been gilded, when first made, but had been hit with some gold paint, at least once, so there wasn’t enough left to salvage. (and the client wanted a different finish) There had also been quite a bit of damage to the compo base that covered the wood of the frame and so that needed to be evened out. Once the surface was smoothed and stabilized, it was sealed with a base coat in a dark brown/grey. Then the frame was gilded with silver metal. That is a multi-step process in that, after the base is prepared and sealed size is put on, as a glue, then the metal leaf is applied. Next it is cleaned and polished down. (and any missed spots are filled in) After that, there is an application of a an antiquing wash and then the whole thing is sealed. The antiquing wash is necessary since it brings out the details and gives depth to the flat, bright silver of the plain leaf. (you can see how bright the plain leaf is in the photo) Since we wanted it to be closer to the pewter tones, the antiquing wash was altered to more of a blue/black than the usual brown.

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We get a wide range of art coming in. Some are easy enough to judge,
painting in terms of what they are and relative value while others are more of a challenge. This watercolour has turned out to be one of the most frustrating. Mother found it, terribly badly framed, with no information on it at all. I took it out of it’s acidic mats and ugly frame, hoping to find out more. Taking the mat off revealed a signature, and also showed that it had been glued down to it’s backing board. (*shudders* terrible thing, done in the style of about 100 years ago) I had hoped that knowing the signature would help me find out about the artist, since I find it hard to believe that someone who was working at this level isn’t “known”. Even with the signature, I have yet to be able to find out anything about the artist. Part of it might be the spelling. “O. Schertling” seems the sig most likely but while I’ve tried it and a range of related options, none have come back. Part of it is that it’s hard to tell what exactly the middle, longer letters are. Nothing comes up with the obvious options and I’ve even gone and looked up older styles of both German and Dutch writing to see if that would help, (both were guesses based on the style of the art and the signature) and that has also been a dead-end. It’s become a bit frustrating and I’m pretty much at the point of giving up on finding anything out about them. In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter much since it is likely one of the pieces we’re going to keep for ourselves, but if anyone has any knowledge about the artist or suggestions on where to look, I’d welcome the help.

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This was one of my long term projects from the past winter. damaged Quite a while ago I was lucky enough to find this beautiful Roccoco revival mirror. Our best guess as to it’s age is some time from the 1880’s to the early 1920’s. As you can see, it was in four major pieces and there was also a bag of smaller bits. While it was in bits and pieces, at least almost all of them were together. A couple of smaller parts had been lost, but they were ones that I was able to rebuild. (an assortment of sculpting compounds and tools let me do it in a reasonable time frame) A few frames like this are still being made, but they are either very high end reproductions, typically starting in four figures or they’re plastic, so it was wonderful to find a wood one that could be rebuilt like this. While we don’t have a space that it would fit in, I did have a client who I thought it would suit and sent them some pictures of it. Having them confirm they did want it made some of the choices about how to handle the reconstruction easier since we were able to figure out the issues about what sort of mirror it would get and what the final finish would be. With both of those decided, I could move forward with them in mind. The finish was going to be changed and that meant that I could focus on stabilizing and evening the surface, rather than trying to salvage the existing one, a much easier job!

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There is such an interesting range of artworks that Mother finds in her hunts.

framed papercut cat

framed papercut cat

Paper-cuts are one of those mediums that are rare to see, at least here, at the fine art level. This charming cat had been framed, when she found it. (unsurprising, since it required the protection) While it was good that it had been kept safe, it’s framing wasn’t exactly what could be described as exciting, or really suited to it. It was also mounted on a piece of pink mat-board! Luckily, it was very lightly attached with archival ATG, so was removable. It was transferred to a larger piece of off-white mat and then I put it in one of the beautiful Fotiou frames, from their yearly clearance sale. I thought it had a great exotic look that was rich, but not too formal. Now the only question is if Mother will let me sell it, or if she’ll just keep it for herself!

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There are some books that speak to the heart, they stick with you.

framed Velveteen Rabbit

framed Velveteen Rabbit

Some of the best ones for that are children’s books. One of the classics is the Velveteen Rabbit. There are many different versions of it but one of the best illustrations of it, in my opinion, is by Donna Green, done in the early 90’s. The paintings, that go with the story, are beautiful and so well done that when I found a copy a while ago that had a damaged cover, I decided to frame some of the pages. I selected a number that I thought were both beautiful and could stand alone as art. Two were of a facing pair of pages and they were carefully spliced together, to recreate the single image they would have started as. Only one, in the group, has writing, but it is the scene where the fairy comes to make Rabbit real and not only is the image one of the prettiest, but the words are a distillation of the whole book. There is quite a range of colours in the images and I wanted to keep options open for the group, so mixed the frames as well. All of them are from a discontinued line of rustic burlwood veneers in a flat, square modern shape. It came in two widths and I loved that line of moldings. I think that there is enough of a cohesive look to the finished set that they could all be hung together but any can be hung on their own, as single works of art.

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One of the great things about the digital age and on-line commerce

sea turtle in frame

sea turtle in frame

is that it is possible to get direct access to an amazing range of independent artists. Jewel Rene is one that I first met through the Regretsy group. She does an adorable series about a one-eared blue elephant called Hellephant, (and she recently published a children’s book about him, “Hellephant Has A Day”) as well as a group of Grumpy cat portraits as famous authors. (I have Edgar Allen No on a t-shirt) Most of the art that I end up framing for the store is antique or vintage but now and then I like to mix in some new ones and couldn’t resist her sea turtle. The frame he’s in is a Fotiou molding that looks like tortoise-shell, so it was a perfect match! The image may be fairly small, since it’s a 5×7, but he has enough presence to still work well, even with such a dramatic frame. (there is also a good article about her here)

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