Frame Restoration

I haven't talked much of frame restoration, but there was a question about courses in frame restoration on the Grumble, and I thought I should post my reply here. It has always been a part of what I do. I don't do puzzles but I remember spending several hard days piecing back together hundreds and hundreds of broken frame ornaments from an early 19th. c. mirror frame. It was both challenging and enjoyable. Most restorations don't involve a lot of replacement ornaments, as the example above, though quite a few involve regilding.

 "The hard part is gilding and there are classes and workshops offered here and there. Smooth-On and their distributor, Reynolds AM, offer both the materials and knowledge on how to use various casting and molding supplies. There are a few books on frames available now, including this which covers methods. "The Encyclopedia of Picture Framing Techniques: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Techniques". There have also been reprints of the two classic books on ornament, "The Encyclopedia of Ornament" and "The Grammar of Ornament". Once there is some feel for the language of ornament, it is possible to reconstruct missing ornaments when there are only fragments left. Basic knowledge of woodworking, carving and some modeling skills are all helpful."

The frame above, showing the bole on some replacement ornaments, prior to water gilding. The frame is from the Albert Milch Co., New York, and is a fine example of the "Art of Framing"; beautifully ornamented and water gilt, with extensive burnishing.