First gilt frame. Feedback please.

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GeoSpectrum
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First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by GeoSpectrum » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 10:50 am

Hello all, I’ve just finished my first gilt frame
And am looking for a little feedback. I used RSG gesso and Schlag leaf 2.5 for the gold. Followed
by a good duffing with gravel to get some dents and scratches. A brush full of vandyke crystal stain, dark wax and a Bit of rottenstone. No red bole which may have helped?
ABC3BCFC-E06C-4008-8A91-74D1EA6146E2.jpeg
A7FE2D7C-5A09-447B-96EA-01568DE3DE01.jpeg
A24F5619-BEB1-4C9C-98D6-9D938DEA9782.jpeg
Alan Huntley
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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by fusionframer » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 12:46 pm

I think that looks fantastic. I am around the same stage as you learning to gild, and i would not post my first attempt which was awful!

To me, it looks properly aged, i do agree that adding red bole to the next one may help. However i did use red bole, but i clearly need more practice.

Obvioulsly, my appraisal is from a point of view of someone trying to learn this as well. Vintage Frames advice from someone who can do will be more useful, but like i said, i wish my first attempt had been like yours!

Nick
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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by GeoSpectrum » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 1:18 pm

Thanks, the ageing process hides a multitude of sins.
Alan Huntley
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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by vintage frames » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 3:35 pm

Well, welcome to the grievous world of leaf gilding. I'm not going to attach criticisms to any of what you've done here because I believe you will be the best critic of your work. The principal question to ask is, has the frame turned out the way you wanted it to. I can give some pointers and it's up to you to follow up on anything that you think relevant.
Using a long drying goldsize, either 12hour or 24hour will allow a more effective surface for distressing. Avoid the water based Wunda sizes. I like how you've scrunched gravel onto the frame. The more complex the scratches and dents, the more convincing the results.
Leaf gilding amplifies any rough or un-sanded areas of gesso. If you want a rough rubbly gild then OK, if you want a brighter gild then grind down the gesso flat with 180grit and polish on with 320grit. Use raking light to show up any imperfections.
Red bole can look attractive underneath the gild - one streaky coat is enough under oil gilding.
A 50/50 coat of Transparent Shellac polish over the gild fixes everything down. I usually do that first before distressing.
Metal leaf has already got a "toned" colour and usually looks best if left in it's natural state, ie. don't darken it too much, just try to take the shine off. Thin washes or glazes are the way to go.
Stains and waxes will darken the gild. Earth pigments with a little white added, will reflect back and slightly brighten the gild, but only if used sparingly. Loads to experiment with!
You've used some rottenstone on the gild. I'm not saying anything!
Next you'll be reaching for the genuine gold leaf.

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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by GeoSpectrum » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 4:44 pm

Thanks Dermot, generous as ever. Is rottenstone a no
No? It’s all experiments at the moment. Good job the leaf is cheap.
Alan Huntley
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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by vintage frames » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 5:08 pm

For me - rottenstone is a no-no. I personally regard it as a lazy shortcut that contributes nothing to the colour of a frame. It's a polishing powder, not a pigment. I know what you want is for a "dust of ages" in the corners and crevices, but rottenstone is too obvious, a cliche and subtracts from the colour and brightness of the finish. Need I go on?
Concentrate first on getting a convincing toned finish on the gild, then worry about whether it looks old enough. With dry pigments, try mixing white (talcum powder) into a mix of burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and a little raw sienna. Be careful of all the dust. And, as always, less is more!
As I said earlier, metal leaf is best left to do the work of illuminating the art and not to be smothered in too much finish.

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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by poliopete » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 8:41 pm

Alan, I enjoyed and appreciated the reply from Dermot as much as I enjoyed and appreciated seeing the photo's of your first gilt frame. Thank you both :clap: :clap: :clap:

Peter.

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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by prospero » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 2:08 pm

Nice job. 8)

One thing that old frames exhibit is varying degrees of muck on the sides. These areas were often left painted with a
brown colour, maybe to save gold. But in any case there is usually a heavy coating of gunk from coal fires on the top.
Bit less on the sides and relatively clean at the bottom. The sides are generally accumulate more dirt because the front
got dusted more.

Must admit I have never done a leafed frame in anger. Faffed about a bit. :lol:
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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by GeoSpectrum » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 8:57 pm

Thanks for the tips. Now I’ve ‘discovered’ how easy real gesso is and also discovered transfer Dutch leaf, a whole new area has opened up for me. I tried real gold leaf a
While back but found it frustrating to say the least.
Alan Huntley
Ashcraft Framing
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Re: First gilt frame. Feedback please.

Post by vintage frames » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 10:58 am

That's good to hear you're enjoying using Dutch leaf. You can get a much brighter gild by using loose leaf. The way to handle it is to cut the whole book into 1" or 2" strips with a pair of scissors. Then you have easily manageable pieces of loose leaf. Keep your fingertips well rouged from rubbing with the carrier papers.
Metal leaf is as described, imitation gold. I find it's most effective when used as an embellishment on a frame, along the sight edge or to highlight the outer rail. Using it to cover the whole frame is making a big statement. And that's only saying - "this is a gilded frame, using imitation gold". You can just about get away with it on a mirror frame but can look a bit low-rent on artworks. Better to have the gilding augment a stained finish or on a painted frame.
'Refreshing to know you're going in the right direction.

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