Sunday, May 7, 2017

Odd Bits

It has been a while since I posted anything about the work that I do which I actually get paid for. This has been mostly because I have not been working on any significant project which is "blog-agenic", In other words, there is nothing that I took enough pictures of to compose a story about, or that would look good in pictures, had I taken them. A lot of what I have done recently does not even photograph well, such as this marbling job that I just finished.

This is my best section

This project is impossible to photograph as a whole. It is quite wide, spanning almost the entire room (3.6 metres) and is painted on both sides. If the camera were far enough away to capture the entire arch, it would simply look like a thin frame around the breakfast room; something that I had nothing to do with. In addition, there are a couple of TV's, a computer router, some other electronic gadget of  large size, and a telephone which all distract from the view.

I first applied the carved moulding but did not take any pictures of that process. The best I can do is this picture after I made plinth blocks, but before attaching the carved sections of moulding.

Before the moulding and marbling process began

Another post I suppose I could have done, had I thought of it, was a picture frame I made. No, I did not carve it, this is made the same way frames have been made for centuries, using something called "compo" which is a mixture of hide glue, whiting, and natural (usually pine) resin.The stuff is super-heated with live steam until it melts, poured into a mould, and pressed under great pressure to remove air bubbles. it is then turned out of the mould and let to cool and cure for several days before it can be used. To use it, it is again heated with steam, which renders it flexible, and activates the glue in it so that it may adhere to the frame. It is a fun process, but this was the first time I had made a frame, and so was not to keen on taking pictures as I went along, I was just hoping like heck that it would actually turn out ok. I also gilded it after it was finished. Since my business is not making picture frames, I did not see the purpose of doing a post on the process. It was only made out of sheer necessity.

Finished frame; it will actually be hung horizontally

My friend Steffen made the wooden stock which is the basis of the frame.
To the left is a piece of the compo as it comes from the mould.

I did carve the scalloped edges and pierced the openings in the centres

Another thing I did with this same compo was this ceiling medallion. What with the delicacy of the design, the fact that it is attached to the ceiling, and that steaming this stuff makes it flexible, this was quite a challenge to get right. Fortunately it comes in 13 pieces, which helped a bit. I painted and gilded the parts before installing them. The end result is much nicer than your typical out-of-the-box plastic ceiling medallion.

A large (1.3 metre) ceiling medallion made of compo

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