A decoration made by the scraping away of a layer of paint that has been applied onto a gilded surface thereby revealing the gold layer beneath. This type of decoration was often seen in a continuous pattern on all sides of a frame during the Renaissance period or in the centre and corner car-touches of a Baroque frame. In this example you can see how our Sgraffito artist has taken inspiration from the image. Taking the motifs of the wings, antlers and ballet slippers she has created a design that not only gives a timely elegance to the overall framing but also a truly inspired design.
There are many different gummed adhesive tapes on the market that framers use but the only method that is acceptable for full museum grade conservation is Japanese hinging. Although the hinges can be different in execution the basics are the same. The hinge is made using Japanese mulberry paper and the adhesive is a pure wheat starch paste that is made by hand. The wheat starch is the perfect ph and does not change over time. It is also 100% reversible and can easily be removed from the work. This method is used for all mounting of paper. The same process can be used for repairing works and relining paper works that are fragile or torn.
Hand carved and embellished matting
Although many framers have computerised matboard cutters that have pre programmed designs our framing artisans can create an inspired design and carve it by hand. This creates endless opportunities to truly customise your framing design.
Fabric wrapped mattings and liners
There is an elegance and depth of colour that is brought to a framed work when you choose a fabric matting over a paper mat.. Paper mats always look washed out and lack lustre in comparison to a fabric. There are pre manufactured fabric mats where the fabric layer is adhered to a paper mat and these come in many different fabrics and colours (Suedes, silks, linens). These give an instant richness to the design and are easily accessible. One other technique that is not often seen today is the hand wrapping of fabric over 4 and 8ply rag mattings. By wrapping the fabric over thicker mount boards not only do you have the fabric continue over the beveled edge you can also make the fabric mat thicker and give a more luxurious feel and expand your design possibilities.
As well as being able to wrap mattings in fabrics there is also the option to have liner frames (slips) wrapped in fabric. In the past it was common to see white and ivory coloured silk and linen slips. In the 1960’s to 1970’s green and red velvet slips were all the rage. Fabric wrapped liners had seemed to go out of fashion in the naughties but with the influence of quality traditional framing from America and Europe rubbing off on our shores our clients are appreciating the difference that fabric finishes can make to the custom framing package.
Closed corner ornamentation's
Sometimes a piece calls for a little extra touch to set it off. This can be in the form of a corner ornamentation. One of the reason's we collect antique frames is to take castings of the ornaments so that we can reproduce them for our clients onto modern mouldings. There are also times when a patterned ornate moulding can not match up at the corners due to the width of the pattern not being in the same proportion as the artwork size. In this case we can use these ornamentation's to finish the corners so there is a continuity to the frame design.
Gilding is the application of gold leaf to a prepared surface. There are two main methods of gilding in the finishing of frames, water gilding and oil gilding. The process of water gilding is long and precise. The outcome is the make the timber frame look as though it were carved from solid gold. To achieve this the gold must be able to be burnished (the technique of rubbing the gold so it shines and turns from matte to shiny) Water gilding is the only method that allows the gold to be burnished.