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Workshop

The Creation of a Hand-made frame:

After an open day at our workshop we discovered that when our customers were able to see what was entailed in making a frame and applying all the finishes by hand, they had a better understanding of the process. Following is a sequence of photographs illustrating the procedures involved in producing a hand-gilded frame. Although there is no substitution for the real thing, this short "e-tour" will hopefully give you some insight into the method. Naturally, this is only one of many finishes that we create.
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Stage 1:

Here we see the frame in its "raw" state having had its corners filled and being given its final sanding down prior to being sealed with a lacquer. The lacquer provides a non-porous surface onto which the (synthetic) gold leaf will be applied.
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Stage 2:

At this stage the frame has been lacquered and the gold leaf is being applied (notice the dark base colour). You will see that the leaf is very crumpled; this is because the final finish has a moderate amount of visual texture, and a fair amount of the gold is rubbed off to expose the base colour.
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Stage 3:

Now we see the frame getting the finishing touches. The gold leaf has been applied to the frame and rubbed down to remove any loose pieces, any areas that weren't fully covered are touched up with more leaf. Sanding pads are then used to scratch through the leaf and expose the colour beneath. Once complete the frame will be sent for its final coat of clear lacquer.
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Stage 4:

This is the frame with the picture, its mounts, glass and backing installed. A simple profile was chosen for this photograph, as there is a fair amount of movement and the idea is not to compete with the composition. Observe how the colour of the frame compliments the tonal qualities of the photograph.