We were recently commissioned to create a tabernacle frame for a very beautiful piece of work for a customer. We started by creating a raw wood base which was then sprayed with gesso, left to dry and then sanded.
Casts were then made from a range of our antique Victorian wood moulds. Compo is pressed in to these moulds to create the decoration, the excess is cut off and they are left to dry.
This decoration is warmed to release the glue and applied to the frame.
The frame is then gessoed again to soften the decoration, and later, once the gesso is full dry, the frame is sprayed with a yellow pigment paint as a base coat. An oil size is then brushed on, this will allow the Dutch leaf to adhere.
Dutch leaf can look very bright, and the colour of the frame needs to be toned down.
To do this we apply a dark wax which also gives the frame a little more of an antique look.
This is the finished frame along with the picture brought in by the customer, and a hand cut mount. We thought the finished frame beautifully set of the work and the customer was thrilled.