Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Frame-red base coat and leaf.

This is the state that the frame is in now. This is the 'raw' metal leaf. I always like this stage. It makes me feel rich, all that gold. It's nothing but copper, aluminum, brass and other alloys I guess, but it looks good.

Next step is to clean this up with cotton balls, decide how much of it to rub off if any at all, and then to seal it with a coat of shellac. That should happen today.

In case it seems like I'm working on this for weeks, I'm not. ;-) I spent about 1 hour applying the size and applying the leaf. That goes pretty fast. You spend more time waiting for things to dry. And of course that means that I can go paint while that's happening!

In the traditional world of gilding, this should be the bole, a pigmented clay base for laying on the leaf. In my 'altered' case, this is latex paint. For those not familiar, if I were using real gold instead of metal leaf (imitation gold leaf), the bole is there to absorb the gilder's 'glue' that adheres the leaf and is also there as a base to burnish the leaf into. The metal leaf that I'm using doesn't get burnished much. It isn't real gold so it doesn't flatten out like real gold does. All I really want is a surface that is as smooth as I can make it and a color underneath that will sneak through anywhere that the leaf is missing or where I rub through it.

After a sufficient drying period, I'll brush on the Wunda size, the glue that the metal leaf adheres to, then lay the leaf. Following that will be anybody's guess as to what all I do to it. It has to fit my painting... I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, I wish 'red' was the frame color of choice... I always like this stage.


Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi Marc, From seeing this labor-intensive process, it makes sense why good quality frames are so expensive. Of course some people enjoy doing this type of thing. Are you enjoying yourself?

Marc R. Hanson said...

I'm chuckling Janelle... You are so right. It is easy to see why a top shelf frame costs what it does. I am enjoying myself too :), but it would be more cost effective to do a batch of these at a time, no doubt.

There are those of us who like building, and have built everything from easels to french mister and mistresses (folding palettes for French easels), to panel boxes and all of our painting panels. Some of that started when it wasn't easy to find these things.

Remember not too many years back and you couldn't buy an 8x10 pochade box. If you wanted one, before there was a "plein air" equipment market, you made them. I did find one advertised by a gentleman in Maine in the mid - 80's that I bought and attached a T -nut to so that I could put it on top of a tripod. Before that I had made those in several sizes.

So yes, I do enjoy the hand work and being involved in the entire process from beginning to end. Not all of the time...once in awhile.

Kim VanDerhoek said...

Wait, I want to hear more about this airplane building project you have going on. Airplanes are HUGE in our house. In fact, all I hear about these days are F-15s, Frogfoots, C1-30s, Migs, Globemasters etc.

I see why you like the red. When I tome a canvas red it always makes me feel like something exciting is going to happen next.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Kim it's a looooonng story. They've always been a Huge part of my life having been the son of an Air Force aviator. He flew F89 Scorpions, C121's, and EC47's in Vietnam. He was a private pilot as a civilian but due to an eye issue was a navigator in the Air Force.
I'm not working on mine now due to a move and lack of space to build. But it's a 2 place tricycle gear semi-aerobatic aluminum plane that has a cruising speed of around 180kts. It's called an RV and is designed by a gentleman, Richard VanGrusven (RV) in Oregon. It's definitely not one of these duck tape and rubber band sort of projects. It's nearly all flush riveted and the parts come die cut almost ready to rivet together. Some are even pre-drilled now. I'm not up to date on how many have flown but I know it's around 6000 so far. Here's the link if your airplane fanatics are interested-

Jennifer Bellinger said...

I was visiting a local framer here yesterday. He's been trying to get me to take my paintings to him for framing. Said he'd design a moulding just for Whistler had his own. Nice idea. I was trained as a framer in college and do most of my own and actually considered guilding my own moulding. Now, I see you making your own, with all the teaching you do, shows, etc. where do you fit it all in? I think I will live vicariously through watching your frame progress! I've tagged you..please visit my blog for details.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Jennifer... well one thing that suffers is keeping up with the internet connections. Thanks for he tag, I'll get there as I'm able.
I'll say this again... without a shop, this isn't worth the effort. This is the largest one that I've done and it's just too inconvenient to use the kitchen table like this. ;-) Mass production and the time off to do them would be the only way in my opinion to continue this. Other than the occasional one for something special.