Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

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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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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

Never trust a dog with orange eyebrows.

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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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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by vintage frames » Fri 18 Jun, 2021 11:33 am

IMG_3240.JPG
IMG_3243.JPG


Finally finished.

All the slips have now been painted with my hand-mixed Toning Glaze and given a final top coat of diluted RSG.

The second photo shows the tone match when inserted into an old antique profile.

The purpose of the glaze is not to stain or alter the gold, but to provide a toning filter for the light reflecting off the polished gold leaf.

A fun job. 'Hope I haven't bored you too much.
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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 18 Jun, 2021 7:38 pm

Hi Dermot,

You have not bored me! I really love this sort of thing. Although I don't do water gilding, I'm still very interested in seeing how things are done! Thanks for the demo, it was great!

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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 fusionframer » Sun 20 Jun, 2021 7:21 am

Stunning finish.

Thanks for taking time to post this.

Nick
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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by vintage frames » Sun 20 Jun, 2021 10:59 am

Thankyou NYAF and fusionframer.

Compliments appreciated from two men with years of learning and a critical eye.
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Re: Making up a quantity of Gilded Slips

Post by Not your average framer » Sun 20 Jun, 2021 12:51 pm

Hi Dermot,

Thank you so much for sharing this! It may surprise you, but although I don't do water gilding myself, I find all the things that you share very intructive. I used to on trips out and pop in to various places which were sort of on the way, just to stay in tune with the look of so many nice things. Sure I know what nice quality things look like, but I function a lot on where inspiration takes me and there's a lot of inspiration in what you do. I must confess that I cheat a bit at times and make many things out bits cut sliced off from other mouldings. I am very much in to things which have much of the antique and vintage look and feel about them. I am often slicing up bits of moulding from the scrap bin to make very basic and not very detailed bits and pieces, as I find that I need them and I often find that there are interesting looking nicely detailed bits left over. A lot of it was never planned, it just happens that way and something special just gets noticed. It may sometimes be something which there's no enough of to get used for anything of amy real use, but the inspiration has just come out of the blue.

I even spend time drawing on moulding illustrations from old catalogues working out how many nice bits I can slice up from particular mouldings. Many of these mouldings have plain parts that get sliced up for spacers and slips, while allowing me to create nice looking bits which can be used for useful decorative bits of trim, or vintage looking slips and shaped spacers. A lot of the time, I'm just indulging myself and hand finishing little bit just to go in my box of interesting bits and pieces. This box is not there to show customers, but customers often come in to my shop and just do their own thing, picking up things and being a bit nosey. Lots of the young professional couples will say that they want something more minimalist, but it's often the vintage looking, not very minimalist bits and pieces which get chosen. I am genuinely not doing anything at all to influence them whatsoever, it's just something which looks right and they go for it! I know this sounds dangerous, but I'll often do a quick bit of hand finishing a very small sample to be able to work from for their frame order.

I like to do quite a lot of non verbal communiation and I'm pretty big on using eye contact to get customers reactions as I do things. It's not something that I ever used to do, but I suppose it's just developed over the years. I probably got quite a lot of this from some of my regular lady customers, who are often visually quite good communicators. Customers are actually quite surprised that I will do stuff like this for them and it's very intuitive for them a me as well. I don't especially consider myself as a good salesman, but I'm quite relaxed and go with the flow. There's nothing very scientific about any of this, it's certainly good fun for me and I think that it's good fun for them too! At the end of the day,for me it's all about the fat that nice things sell them selves and I don't need to make an effort to sell them. I honestly feel that there's a lot that's very nice about some of the older styles, which we have thrown out window which we should not have. I quite often do a bit of a mix between the vintage and more modern, which is a very sucessful formula and has a nice modern look and some added visual interest added with a little bit of subtile shape and shaddow lines as well.

The point is that for me a lot of this comes from inspiration of what makes somethng look and feel right. I get bits of that inspiration, from many different sources and some of what you have been sharing from time to time is part of that inspiration, so thanks very much!

Mark.
Mark Lacey

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

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