Contemporary Gilding

We recently framed this beautiful abstract print with a contemporary gilded frame. Firstly, we chose an antique white mat board to compliment the warmth of the art paper. We gave it about 3-4″ with a slight drop at the bottom for gravity. Then we chose a very simple profile, clean and elegant in any finish: ½ Face x 1-1/2″ Depth. And lastly to add the cherry on top, we chose to make the finish a clean sharp moon gold. We decided on moon gold for the warmth of the tone, which fits this piece perfectly, but also to set it off: to make it special. This piece is going to be featured in a prominent place in the client’s home so it had to be a knockout.

White Gold Gilding

Gilding is a process used for centuries. To prepare the frame for gilding, a foundation of gesso, then clay is applied. Gold comes in leafs which are bound together.

Applying the leafs is a delicate process; each leaf is only a micron thick, causing the leaf to dissolve with just a touch of a finger. In this case, a brush is used to apply the gold leaf, called a gilder’s tip. The leaf is adhered with a special glue. The glue dries quickly so one must be cautious. Once the leafs are dry, we finalize with a burnisher and rub, pressing the leafs into the clay causing a shiny effect.

The piece shown is a 22K white gold hand finished frame. We went with a blue clay rub that peaks through the gilding, connecting the art with the frame.

Corner Ornaments and Clay Rubs

Corner ornaments and clay rubs are beautiful ways to add interest to framed artwork.

For this piece, our client wanted a frame that spoke to the time period of the print without being ostentatious. We began by choosing a slim, white gold frame with a periwinkle blue clay rub underneath. We liked the curves of the frame, but wanted a touch of ornamentation.

Adding a floral corner ornament provided the perfect solution and complimented the botanical elements in the print. The blue rub tied the frame to the child’s dress and – combined with the corner ornament – brought to mind simple flowers such as pansies and sweet peas. The effect was somewhat whimsical – quite fitting for such a sweet print.