Okay, I taught skiing in California for about 5 years or so, I teach painting now. Anytime that someone in the past asked me about wanting to start to ski or paint my first recommendation is... "Take a lesson! It will save you years, possibly, in your progression."
So why is it that I can't learn that lesson myself? (Notice how this is turning into my "excuse" concerning this frame?)
Oh what the h***! I'm going to share a little of the progress of how 'I' make a frame. I know of a master gilder who will probably call me up and ask me if I've been in the Turpentine bath too long again. He should. I should go take a lesson from him actually....hmmmmm?
I haven't done this very much but twice I framed my OPA paintings, that were accepted into the national exhibit, with 'Frames by Marc'. I still have the first one and it does not have cracked corners (almost every single one of the 'ready mades' I've purchased from the 'you know who' companies, have at least one split corner mitre). But it requires a lot of time and frankly, it's worth it.
I know that there are a number of painters out there who make their own frames, complete using traditional watergilding methods and all. My apologies and appreciation to them... I'm not. This is going to be basic metal leaf. I won't even be using a gesso or clay base. I use shellac and painting primers (sandable) for a smooth base to accept the leaf. Once it's primed, I paint on a layer of oxide red base coat, usually acrylic based, Wunda (acrylic) size and then the leaf. The finishing of the frame is a hodgepodge of 'stuff' applied to achieve the look that I want. Once that's accomplished, I seal the frame with... something... and it's done. In between is a lot of sweat, a few tears and some blood.
Here are the pics. First the raw materials showing them as they came and as the profile. Following that the assembled frame being sanded. I routed out the rabbet and the slope on the lip's upper surface by hand, with router. There is a lot of sanding to come...
Unless I want my house full of sawdust, I wait till the weather is above freezing and do this on the handiest workbench I have... the tailgate of my truck.
This is the one that I was referring to above. My 1999 OPA entry with the frame that I made for it. The panel has a slightly magenta smokey wash in it that picks up on the magenta in the painting, not all that visible here.