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Plogger Photo Feed: Compo frame Plogger RSS Feed en_US Plogger Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Laying leaf - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Laying leaf - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Laying leaf - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Laying leaf - 4.3.2004</p><p>After the shellac is thoroughly dry, the frame is \"sized\" with an acrylic adhesive. Metal leaf is then applied to the slightly tacky surface. This photo shows me applying metal leaf to another frame a few years ago... Metal leaf, or imitation gold leaf made from brass, bronze, copper, and aluminum in various alloys to mimic a variety of colors. This color mimics 22k gold. Metal leaf comes in 5 inch square sheets packed in books of 25 leaves. The leaves are separated by thin pages of rouged tissue paper. It the photo, I\'m holding the leaf with my thumb on a deer-skin covered pad, while pressing the leaf onto the frame with a foam rubber makeup sponge. Metal leaf is much thicker than real gold leaf. If I touched real gold this way, it would stick to my thumb and tear up.</p> Laying leaf - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Finished Frame - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Finished Frame - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Finished Frame - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Finished Frame - 4.3.2004</p><p>Here is the finished frame laying on our living room rug. We have an antique persian in the living room. I\'ve been photographing finished frames on it lately. I think the antique character compliments the frames well, but it might be too busy. What do you think? If you went through the whole series, I hope you enjoyed my little primer on frame making. I\'ll try to put more of these together with the other sorts of frames I make. My great love is hand carved, water-gilded frames using real gold leaf. That is a much more involved process, and hence much more costly. I also make frames with hand-tooled and dyed leather, and fine hard-wood frames (oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, etc) with intricate joinery and finishes.</p> Finished Frame - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Finished Corners - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Finished Corners - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Finished Corners - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Finished Corners - 4.3.2004</p><p>Here is a close up of the finished corner samples. May they generate many sales!</p> Finished Corners - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Finished on the Table - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Finished on the Table - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Finished on the Table - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Finished on the Table - 4.3.2004</p><p>This is the finished frame. After the Sienna wash dried and was sealed, I gave the frame another wash of Van Dyke Brown and another coat of shellac. Multiple washes give the frame character and complexity. After the final sealer coat is dry, I give the frame a coat of paste wax. Wax tones down the high shine of shellac to a soft glow. It also lays more thickly in recesses. Lastly, I dust the frame with a mixture of \"rottenstone\" (fine pulverized limestone) and pummice. This clings to the wax, and adds a cool, flat contrast to the warmer, richer toner coats. It also saves the frame from looking too fresh, like brand new sneakers. Nobody wants that.</p> Finished on the Table - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Sienna Corners - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Sienna Corners - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Sienna Corners - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Sienna Corners - 4.3.2004</p><p>This is a close up of the Sienna washed corners. The final look is coming together, but we\'re not there yet.</p> Sienna Corners - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 First Patina - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="First Patina - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="First Patina - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>First Patina - 4.3.2004</p><p>This photo shows the frame after the second of three layers of toning. The first layer is a wash of Van Dyke Brown casien paint. The whole frame is painted thinly, then wiped back with a damp rag. This allows the paint to lay thickly in the crevices and details (places that would also hold accumulations of dust and grime) while giving a faint, darkening haze to the frame overall. After the paint is dry, I seal it with thin orange shellac. Shellac, incidentally, is pretty interesting stuff. It\'s made from bug poop, you know! The Lac beetle is native to southeast Asia. It eats a particular tree sap, then craps out gobs of \"lac\". These gobs are gathered up and soaked in alcohol until they dissolve. It\'s then allowed to dry into thin brittle sheets. The sheets crumble into flakes, which is how I buy it. Unlike premixed shellac, I get greater control of color and consistency. The flakes are sold in a variety of colors from \"Blond\" which is nearly clear, to \"Ruby Red\". Mostly I use Orange and Amber. I soak it for 24 hours in denatured alcohol, then mix it again to the consistency I need. The second wash, shown by this photo, is Burnt Sienna Casien. It is a thiner wash, but not wiped back so much. It gives a warm depth to the details. Again, it\'s sealed with shellac.</p> First Patina - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Gilded Corners - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Gilded Corners - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Gilded Corners - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Gilded Corners - 4.3.2004</p><p>Here is a close up of three corner samples I made at the same time as the frame itself. I\'ll keep one for my own reference (more accurate than a photo) the others are for two of the retail frameshops who currently sell my frames.</p> Gilded Corners - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Freshly Gilded - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Freshly Gilded - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Freshly Gilded - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Freshly Gilded - 4.3.2004</p><p>This is the frame freshly gilded. It\'s awfully bright and garish by contemporary standards, and needs some toning down. In adition to showing the wealth and status of the owner, in earlier times gold frames helped to correct for poor lighting conditions. The color of light reflected from real gold is the same wavelength as sunlight. A deep, convex frame can reflect a surprising amount of light onto the image it houses. They were initially displayed with very little toning. The way they look to us now, is the result of centuries of use, abuse and neglect. Most of the toning and finishing I do is intended to mimic the look of age.</p> Freshly Gilded - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Red - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Red - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Red - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Red - 4.3.2004</p><p>After the yellow is dried and sealed with a coat of thin shellac, the highlights are painted with red casien. The red and yellow combination is traditional under \"yellow\" gold. It is meant to mimic the two traditional colors of \"bole\" used on a water-gilded \"real\" gold frame. The red is then sealed with shallac as well.</p> Red - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Yellow Ochre - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Yellow Ochre - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Yellow Ochre - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Yellow Ochre - 4.3.2004</p><p>Next, the frame is painted with yellow ochre casien paint. Casien is a milk based paint that is often used to paint sets for the theater. It\'s water based and very densely pigmented. The yellow ochre will serve to mask any crack or \"faults\" in the metal layer. Metal leaf is extremely thin and fragile, and some faults are inevitable.</p> Yellow Ochre - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Compo - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Compo - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Compo - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Compo - 4.3.2004</p><p>This is the frame after the application of composition ornaments. Composition ornaments, or \"Compo\" is a primitive plastic material first developed in the 17th century to enable mass production of carved details for the decorative arts. If you have a victorian house with curlicues around the fireplace or newel post, for example, that\'s most likely compo. Compo is made with animal hide glue, pine rosin and whiting (powdered chalk). It\'s soft and flexible when it\'s fresh, and can be heated on a steam tray to apply to most any surface. Since it\'s made out of glue, when steamed it becomes it\'s own adhesive. Over time (months or years) compo dries and hardens to a brittle hard plastic material.</p> Compo - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Raw Basswood - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Raw Basswood - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Raw Basswood - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Raw Basswood - 4.3.2004</p><p>This is a completely different frame. I realized too late that I hadn\'t taken a picture of the actual frame after joining, but this is a similar frame from a few years ago. Let\'s pretend it\'s the same one. In most cases, I start with raw basswood, which I buy already milled to shape. I sometimes do my own milling, but it\'s not cost/time effective. The folks I buy from have almost any profile I could need, all ready to go. I cut the frame into four mitered legs on my saw, and join the four corners. Sometimes I join my corners with woodglue and nails, sometimes with a specialty high-strength hot melt adhesive.</p> Raw Basswood - 4.3.2004 Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:44:00 -0400 Gesso - 4.3.2004 <p><a href="" title="Gesso - 4.3.2004"> <img src="" alt="Gesso - 4.3.2004" style="border: 2px solid #000;" /> </a></p><p>Gesso - 4.3.2004</p><p>This is the frame after being primed with 6 or 8 coats of gesso, then sanded and scraped with cabinet scrapers. \"Gesso\" is the Italian word for plaster, but usually refers to the ground or primer material used by painters or framemakers. My gesso is a homemade concoction of rabbit skin glue, finely powdered chalk (called \"french rouge whiting\") and a few secret ingredients (I could tell you, but then I\'d have to kill you).</p> Gesso - 4.3.2004