Monday, March 21, 2011

Latest Shop Work -- Remember Whistler's Mother?

I had a project on the back burner, one I've been experimenting with for quite a while.  You probably recall the painting by James Whistler of his mother.  He also made many of his own frames and an article in a picture framing magazine I subscribe did a story about them.  It inspired me to attempt to replicate that style of frame.  Whistler broke the rules of gilding in that he gilded directly onto the wood. Traditionally, gilding is done by applying multiple coats of gesso followed by multiple coats of bole (clay).  The wood he used was Oak because of it's porous nature.  Well, I followed suit and here's the result:

Square Foot of Art:  Diane Eugster
I won't go into the steps needed to achieve this but basically the first process was to spray umber tinted shellac onto the wood to compliment the color palette of this series.  It was then gilded with Dutch gold and rubbed back through a series of steps to achieve and almost iridescent quality.  If you remember the shark skin suits of the 60's you'll have an idea of how the gold appears and disappears depending on where you're viewing the frames.
Next project coming up is another frame but this one is for an heirloom piece of stained glass.  It'll be done in the Craftsman style, the client wants to hang it in a window.  I plan to use quarter sawn White Oak with ebony pegged joinery.

No comments:

Post a Comment