Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post examples...
Of framing styles or techniques that rocked your boat, and also of those that didn't
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Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 10:53 pm

featurepiece wrote:Mark - if you get time could you please pop up a few pics of your finishes? They all sound great and I'd like to see one or two :)
Here's a few examples I'm experimenting with right now. I do quite a lot of experimenting and trying out new ideas. Some turn out really great, while some others still need working on, but it's not right, until it's "right"!

I always have a good idea of the finish I am trying to create, but getting exactly the result I want takes a lot of thinking about. I'm really into muted colours and tones, you know weather beaten, faded, etc, so colours need careful mixing to get the "right" look.

BTW, the colour of the blue one at the bottom is not as strong as in the picture.
Simons S-838 distressed & aged finishes.jpg
Simons S-838 distressed & aged finishes.jpg (120.96 KiB) Viewed 18041 times
All of the above examples have a greyish brown base coat containing some finely graded mica sand and the top coats from the top of the picture to the bottom are as follows:

1. Titanium buff light.

2. Titanium buff light with just a touch each of olive green and raw umber.

3. Titanium buff light with gold ochre.

4. Warm grey.

5. Titanium buff deep with greyish blue.

The mica sand is colourless and does not affect the paint colours in any way, it's just there for a bit of added texture.

Comments and discussion are welcome.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by David McCormack » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 11:34 pm

Lovely, a great collection. What sort of paint have you used for the top coat? Does the mica sand produce a texture you can feel with your fingers or just a visual texture?
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by IFGL » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 11:52 pm

nice work.

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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 11:56 pm

Hi David & IFGL

Thanks for the kind words. The sand I use is extremely fine indeed and it can be felt, but only just. The sand enables the paint to retain the stippled texture created with a brush, by preventing gravity from flattening the texture. This is due to the sand interferring with the normal flow characteristics of the paint, as a result of the friction between touching particules of sand.

It's an idea I had some time ago! There's nothing particularly clever about it, but simple ideas always seem to be the best. The stippled texture shows through the top coat after it has been distressed.

It needs to be clean mica sand, so not just any sand will do!
Mark Lacey

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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 14 Mar, 2015 12:21 am

Here's a few more I am currently experimenting with. There will probably be quite a few more using this particular moulding as I have quite a lot of different ideas that I want to try with this moulding.
Simons M99B coloured edges.jpg
Simons M99B coloured edges.jpg (213.1 KiB) Viewed 18018 times
The top coat colour on all of these examples is antique white and the base colours from top to bottom in the picture are as follows:

1. Mars red with warm grey.

2. Gold ochre with warm grey.

3. Olive green with neutral grey.

4. Greyish blue.

5. Raw umber.

Comments and discussion are welcome.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 14 Mar, 2015 12:32 am

David McCormack wrote:What sort of paint have you used for the top coat?
Sorry David I failed to answer your question.

The paints are mainly acrylic art paints in 500ml pots. I only ever use paints with maximum colour permanence. The colours are not all from one supplier. I mainly like Vallejo, or Amsterdam acrylics, but I'll use others if I need to to get the right colour.
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by IFGL » Sat 14 Mar, 2015 12:34 am

what wood type are those mouldings mark?

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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 14 Mar, 2015 12:43 am

The examples in the first picture are pine. This particular moulding is an excellent quality of pine, but at a good price. Most lengths are knot free.

The examples in the second picture are in obeche. Again this particular moulding is very good quality.

I've never had a problems with either of these mouldings. Consistently good quality mouldings at good prices are not easy to find, but so far these ones have been O.K.
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 14 Mar, 2015 12:59 am

Here are some examples of my technique for crackle finishes. I have done these without using any crackle glazes, or other crackle mediums. It's not an easy technique to explain over the internet, you really need to see it being done!
Simons PIN-27.jpg
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 14 Mar, 2015 1:23 pm

BTW, here's a tip! Whenever you see a different colour showing through on an older frame, or an item of furniture, such as in an auction sale, or an antique shop, the colours are almost always muted and dulled with age.

This is why I mix something into otherwise brighter colours to give that dull and aged look! It usually works best to mix warm colours with warm colours and cold colours with cold colours, but sometimes what you think will work is not quite what you wanted and that's when you learn something new!
Mark Lacey

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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Uncle Sumo » Sat 14 Mar, 2015 2:17 pm

Terrific. Thanks for sharing these. Do you treat glued&pinned frames? If you treat lengths of moulding, does the mica sand have any effect on the Morso blades?
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 14 Mar, 2015 4:54 pm

One of the advantages and big selling points of handfinished frames is that the mitred corners are concealed by applying the finish after the frame has already been joined. Even some customers who have specifically wanted handfinished frames haven't realised that they are finished after the frame has already been joined, so I can easily understand that very many people are not aware of this.

BTW, I would never consider cutting anything coated with sand using a morso, I'm sure that it would wreck the blades in no time at all.
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by featurepiece » Sun 15 Mar, 2015 10:29 am

Using sand is a great idea. I've added polyfilla & the like in the past but I think the sand looks better :clap:

Do you sell much of the coloured finishes? Our customers don't seem to like colour these days! What do you use for the distressing? Sanding blocks? wire wool? Thanks for taking the time to post, the samples look great :)

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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 12:47 am

I would say that coloured finishes work very well for me. Obviously the frame has to complement the artwork, but also there are fashion trends to consider and these are a very significant key to selling handfinished frames. Many customers for handfinished frame already know what they are looking for, they may not always be good at expressing what they want in words, but they certainly know it when they see it.

Fashions and trents are very often a kind of tribal thing. In any well integrated group of friends, or socially connected people there are always those who are admired for their fashion sense, good taste, or appreciation of classy, or fine things and then those who get tuned into the same tastes by aspiring to the same status.

These are the people who devour the interior design and fashion magazines and have a good sense of what is going on and where it is at. Cheap mass produced plastic looking junk which is produced to ride whatever is the latest wave is immediately recognised by these people for what it is. They want something more authentic, with a look and feel of quality about it and this is our natural market.

A good step in the right direction could be to do some internet searches for phases such as: French country style, french country chic, la belle epoch, french cafe society and stuff like that. The french thing is quite big in contempory interior design thinking at this time and I think that familiarising yourself with this sort of stuff looks like may be quite helpful to you.
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 1:08 am

There is no one authenic distressing method to use. It is always the quality and the character of the finished result which really counts and everyone has their own particular method of getting that result. That is often part of how different people have developed their own unique style.

Experimenting and lots of practice are some of the important ingredients for successful handfinishing. So is getting a good close up look at classy handfinished frames in up market galleries, auctions and trendy places.

Seeing pictures in books, magazines and on the internet will only get you so far! Seeing the real thing will enable you to understand what the real thing is all about. How it catches the light, how it looks different from mass produced replicas, etc.

Some time ago I provided a handfinishing course and the details are still on this forum. I did attempt to repeat this, but I did not get enough response to make it financially possible to do another course. Who knows you may find some of the discussions about this course to be helpful. The forum search facilities may help you to find some of this.
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 1:44 am

featurepiece wrote:I've added polyfilla & the like in the past but I think the sand looks better
That's because of what the polyfiller does to the paint! The polyfiller sucks much of the fluid out of the paint and in doing so changes the paint, by reducing the amount of binder left in the paint and interferring with the normal drying and forming of the polymer bonds within the paint.

Polyfiller is absorbent, mica sand is not and that's quite a big difference! The mica sand needs to be extremely fine, clean and uncontaminated in a way, otherwise it spoils the intended result.

The amount of sand added to the paint is probably a lot less than you may be expecting. The sand is not there to create texture, but to modify the behavior of the paint, so that the surface tension of the paint film and gravity are unable to self level the paint and remove the texture created by stippling the paint as it is applied.

As the paint dries, capiliary action caused by the spaces between the sand particules means that the sand dictates that the thickness of the paint film according to the shape of the sand mass under the surface of the paint. Neat trick, don't you think!

It takes a different mind set to understand quite a lot of the things that I do when handfinishing. I was trained to be an engineer, a designer and to think out of the box and that's how my mind works. Very little of what I do is either text book stuff, or standard practice, but is much more results driven.

Try teaching your self to think out of the box - It really does change everything and lots of difficult things become possible. We can all do this in some measure, but not all of us are willing to believe it of ourselves to the same degree as each other.

Stop thinking about what the paints is like, but how the sand under the wet paint surface will react and behave according to how the paint is applied. That's when things get interesting!

Has anyone noticed that the beaches with the sand dunes are those with the finest sand granule sizes? Makes you think doesn't it and it's all about size! Fine mica sand is very fine indeed!
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by featurepiece » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 11:33 am

Good reply Mark but I'd appreciate it if you would include more detail next time :giggle: :giggle: :giggle: :D

Joking aside - you've taught me few things today :) Thank you.

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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 16 Mar, 2015 4:28 pm

The height and shape of sand dunes are mathematically predictable if you are capable of knowing all the factors which are prevailing in that location. The density of the sand and the size of the particles are two of those significant factors and these factors determine the maximum slope where the dune will still remain stable.

The stable slope angles in structures like this are known factors and these generally conform to some particular order of Bessel factors. Many of the forms and shapes which occur in nature are deterined by interactions which can be modelled with the aid of bessel factors. This is how design engineers know that the density and size of the particules in paint can be controlled to enhance the texture retaining qualities of the paint.

Here are some images of Bessel function curves to look at:

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=bes ... ORM=HDRSC2

I learned about stuff like this years ago while needing to design damage resistant cardboard boxes
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 18 Mar, 2015 12:53 am

I was going to try quite a few more finishes using this same moulding, but I've done three more and that's as far as I'm going to go with this moulding. These samples are for a set of new display boards that I've got planned. Here's a picture of the other three.
Simons S-838 distressed & aged finishes 2.jpg
Simons S-838 distressed & aged finishes 2.jpg (110.53 KiB) Viewed 17704 times
It's worth using the zoom to see the full sized image as the colours are easier to see. Colours from top to bottom are: Distressed black wash over mars red, distressed black wash over olive green and distressed black wash over manganese blue. I don't think that I like the green one as much as the other two colours.
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Re: Pictures requested by Featurepiece

Post by vintage frames » Wed 18 Mar, 2015 3:07 pm

Great work on those finishes. It's always interesting to read in debth discussions on hand-finishing.
The mica sand you've been using. Is it a mix of silica sand with mica flakes added?
And using it as an "inert pigment", is it mixed into your paints, or used as a base, and then painted over?

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