Bespoke Frame Finishes - A New Look

Product v Technique

At the Christmas Bazaar, we demonstrated some new ideas and techniques for adding a more creative look to picture frames. In fact this was an insight into the thinking behind a re-launch of our Frame Finishes course. All of the courses we run tend to be project based, specifically designed to develop skills and techniques involved in a particular area. Up until now the Frame Finishes course was much more about products and how they can be used to develop particular finishes. Whilst that has worked quite well, it does mean that the ideas about techniques and skills used to create different looks have not really been explored.

The new look course will end that. There are 4 elements in the day which will be worked on through the day. There are 3 mini-projects, running concurrently, that look at ways of working with colour on natural wood:

  1. Applying a gesso base to provide a lighter look and more varied "patina" to a frame;
  2. Priming mouldings to create a base that can allow a whole range of paint effects to be applied;
  3. Working with natural mouldings directly, where the grain has an important part to play in the final finish

Decorative Frame finishes CourseThose projects allow you to try a good number of basic techniques as well as working directly with a wide and varied range of products:

  • PVA size
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic paints
  • Wood stains / dyes
  • Waxes (coloured / clear)
  • Varnish
  • Primer
  • Gilt creams / gilt varnish

The Complete Picture

The fourth project is a completed frame. If you have a piece of work ready mounted to the dimensions we provide in advance, you can tailor the colour palette to suit. As with our other courses, we will be getting you to follow the trainer's model. You will end up producing your own frame with specific finishes and highlights featured. This means we can take you through a series of practical skills and techniques, giving you a really strong foundation to get going on your own pieces.

Skills & techniques used in decorative finishesThe core skills are:

  • Priming the frame for paint finishes
  • Choosing a colour palette
  • Ragged paint effects
  • Sponged effects
  • Masking off areas
  • Picking out highlights (gilt cream / gilt varnish)
  • Adding a suitable "finish" to protect the frame

It will make for a busy yet incredibly informative day. It also means that instead of watching the trainer have all the fun, you have a chance to get your hands dirty too. By the end of the day you will have some test pieces to take away with you, as well as a beautifully finished complete frame.

The first of these new style courses will run at Beaconsfield in May 2009. Judging by the interest generated at the Christmas Bazaar, places are likely to be at a premium, so it is worth booking a place early on.

For more information click: Frame Finishes

Posted on: 29 Dec 2008@11:05:01, updated on: 29 Dec 2008@11:05:01.