A New Design

A new design, very 3 dimensional carving, showing the design and manufacture process. This particular frame is leafed in aluminum leaf, gesso texture on the ogee, with a yellow green sealant and tone.

For the carved corner, I usually start with a rough sketch, done to size. At this point, I'm working in a traditional, draftsman's approach, tracing when I need to start over, freehand drawing within a set size.

Below is the final drawing, a simple, organic S and C scroll design, with a deep 3D effect.

Now I get modern, and scan the drawing into the computer, where it's duplicated, flipped and combined to produce a carving pattern. During this process I can alter the size of the pattern, for different size moldings and frames. I also design the moldings to be used for the frame.

Molding design, top of drawing shows the outer frame, and the blind frame. Bottom, upside down is the inner frame design. This is a working drawing to size, for setting up the machines to do the milling. I find them aesthetically interesting, beyond the work aspect, though they are not done with ANY aesthetic intent.

The pattern is printed, then cut out and glued to the frame corners with hide glue. When dry, I carve through the pattern. Hide glue gesso is brushed on for the first coat; subsequent coats are sprayed. For this frame, a heavy, gesso texture was stippled onto the inner frames ogee. Sanding, then a pigmented shellac is brushed on, in this case a soft, Indian Red, clear shellac sprayed, then the sizing, leafing, sealing and toning. Prior to sealing, on occasion, the leaf is "rubbed through" to the ground color. The "rubbing through" may also be done at the end of the finishing. When rubbing through prior to sealing, solvent on a rag, acetone, alcohol, or mineral spirits, will both smooth the leaf and rub through. My sealant of choice is shellac, either clear or amber, and sometimes with additional colorants added. Toning is with Japan colors, thinned with V,M, & P Naphtha, mineral spirits, or turpentine, depending on drying time needed and the ultimate finish. When the tone is dry, other effects may be applied, such as flyspecking, dust, and general physical abuse, or "antiquing".