Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

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vintage frames
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Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by vintage frames » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 9:31 am

Today's job is to make a quantity of gilded slips for a customer who wants them in 6 foot lengths.
This is to be a 20mm wide double scoop slip of the sort usually seen inside Victorian oak frames and the traditional bird's eye maple profiles.
Even more comtempory mouldings can benefit from an inserted slip but the factory finished 'gilt' slips can look pretty cheap and horrible.

To make these I use the F6 flat fillet from R&H.

First thing is to cut two 6mm radius shallow scoops on the front face as shown.
IMG_3223-001.JPG
Then follow this with a deeper 7mm radius scoop for the sight edge.
IMG_3226.JPG
IMG_3228.JPG
Finally run the fillet through the bench saw to divide into two 20mm sections.

Now it all goes for gilding.
Exciting!
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Not your average framer
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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 11:09 am

Hi Dermot,

I shall be watching this as it continues with great interest. I am a particular fan of the use of slips. In recent years, slips seem to be a lot less popular and far less used. Factory finished slips lack so much as a way of creating the look of something special and distinctive. I'm really into making slips that are not "run of the mill". I have an out building full of mainly older mouldings which often get sliced up for slips, spacers and liners. They can be a very affordable way of producing bits and pieces. I try to identify the interesting sections that will make interesting proflies for decorative elements for particular uses, so that I don't cut in to an area which spoils the potential to make use of interesting features at a later date. I have from time to time cleaned older artworks in older frames and as a result have at tmes noticed that some of these frames are fitted with slips of more interesting proportions. I take particular notice of theses, not all of them are necessarily ones that have a deeper profile, but to me, a deeper profile often adds something distinctive.

I have tended to make use of a few interesting smaller mouldings a times and as I managed to add the necessary tools and equipment, I even started cutting up moulding to do a little more. For a long time this was only an occasional thing, but eventually this became something I wanted to do more of. Often customers are not much interested in adding a nice slip and they need to see cases were a nice slip can make a really interesting difference. I now sell more of my interesting slips and my instinct is that this is potentially set to grow a little, maybe more that a little. To many frame muldings lack sufficient rebate depth for using with slips and especially slips with a bit of extra depth and to me this definitely limits my options. Adding extra build outs to the rear face of an existing frame moulding can be a little bit fiddly and time consuming and as a result, customers are far less interested in paying the extra and this easily stops interest in the slip as well. As time goes by, I am gradually finding better ways of building out the rear of frames in neater and more affordable ways.

The additioon of a surface planner to my equipment, now makes it possible to quickly flush plane the side of the frame moulding and the added piece of wood to create a dead flush finish,which s a big improvement. Overall this is still a limited part of my market, but it's something I want to push a little and see what happens. I am aiming to create a bit of a fashion with my customers for nice slips!
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by vintage frames » Thu 10 Jun, 2021 10:20 am

IMG_3230.JPG

The slips have now been covered with gesso, smoothed back and then given two coats of clay or bole; a yellow undercoat and a grey top coat.
This finish was then washed and polished to remove all trace of any brush marks.

The slips will now be water gilded. That is where the surface is flooded with water and sections of gold leaf are placed on top, so as to float on the water. The water then soaks into the gesso/bole and draws the leaf down onto the surface where the glue, held in the bole, fixes it to the finish.
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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by fusionframer » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 4:31 pm

Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

Also saw your toning glaze which gives a lovely effect. I have gilded a 5ft by 3 ft frame using 23.5 carat gold leaf (Italian superior from gold leaf supplies). The customer likes it, but it does overpower the painting as it is bright. We knew it would but still wanted the gold leaf. It is now a question of whether the tone the gold down so i have been playing with a few water based glazes.

If my experiment don't come up with the finish i am looking for, i will be after some of yours! I can't unfortunately post photos as the eventual owner has yet to see the painting.

Would like to see finished slips. Thanks for posting it.

Nick
www.fusionframing.co.uk

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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 12 Jun, 2021 5:09 pm

Even without gold, they really look like something special. So distinctive! Nice job so far! I bet they will look amazing when finished!
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by baughen » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 6:45 am

What do you use for 'wash and polished'?

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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by vintage frames » Sun 13 Jun, 2021 2:43 pm

That's where the bole is gently washed down with a cotton pad and cold water. Doing this a few times eliminates any brush marks on the surface and then when the bole is almost dry, it can be polished to a very high sheen.

This is a very old technique and is much superior to the modern tendency to dry brush the bole to bring up a shine but in doing so creates even more brush marks.

If you were to look closely at an antique gilded frame you would see no trace of any such markings.

Of course you can see me demonstrate this technique of 'washing the frame' in Video 3 of my gilding course.
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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by vintage frames » Mon 14 Jun, 2021 2:01 pm

IMG_3231.JPG

Well that's them all covered in gold.

I covered the whole width of the slips with leaf as it's more cost effective timewise than going back and cutting small slivers of gold to patch up the missed bits (faultings) where I only needed to gild 3/4 the way over the area.

The gilding now lacks any sort of character, so the next process is to 'distress' the finish and burnish up the inside hollow.
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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by vintage frames » Wed 16 Jun, 2021 11:43 am

IMG_3234.JPG

Here we are again.
The slips have now been 'distressed and burnished.

This shows three effects that can be achieved with water-gilding.

IMG_3235.JPG

The first is distressing where the innermost hollow is gently rubbed with fine abrasives to expose the underlying grey bole. This also shows up the characteristic overlaps or lap lines that are associated with water-gilding.

The second is burnishing the middle hollow with a shaped polished agate stone. This brings the gilding to a high mirror polish and contrasts with the more matt finishes next to it.

And the final outer finish is simply described as matt gilding.

Although the slips are now more 'interesting', they are still too bright and shinny to be used against any art work.
The final finish will be where the slips are painted with a Toning Glaze.
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