Little Gilding Job on a Huge Frame

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Project by Patricelejeune posted 12-20-2013 09:54 PM 1959 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been fortunate to get another great gilding job.

The client who sponsored me years ago to learn gilding had a huge painting, one of those with the gold background with a huge dark walnut frame.

He asked us to add some gold to it to tie it more to the painting. We proposed different versions using photoshop.

The third one was selected with water gilding on the inside carving “entrelac” with burnishing on the highlights and oil on the outside rail and bead ornement.

We were able to take of the inside elements without problem, because water gilding means you really wet the place when gilding and no finish really likes it. We had to do numerous repairs especially on those delicate rails and beads decoration. Those are so hard to turn when you are not a turner.

Applying gold leaf on the clay

Then the pieces are burnished on the highlights

Then the rail and bead were oil gilded with gold leaf also. wear and tare and dirt were added, and I kinda like the result from that

to that

-- Patrice lejeune

9 comments so far

View NickyP's profile


184 posts in 2963 days

#1 posted 12-20-2013 10:03 PM

You do excellent work Pat. Very nice.

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4038 days

#2 posted 12-21-2013 12:37 AM

Nice Patrice, a lot of fine work but the result speaks for itself.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View tinnman65's profile


1416 posts in 4654 days

#3 posted 12-21-2013 02:25 AM

Beautiful work Patrice, Its always a pleasure to see what you guys are doing!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 4962 days

#4 posted 12-21-2013 02:56 AM

I would not have suspected that the ornamentation was made of clay. I thought the frames were carved wood. This must make the piece quite heavy and fragile. Excellent work and documentation.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3721 days

#5 posted 12-21-2013 05:17 AM

Wow, sure a lot of work went into this project. Turned out fantastic, the gold gilding sure adds another dimension to the entire piece. I was surprised to learn the pieces were clay, not wood as well.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3660 posts in 4952 days

#6 posted 12-21-2013 05:19 AM


It is always so informative and interesting to see what you are doing. Isn’t Photoshop great for giving your client a preview? That photograph with the frame leaning against the wall helped me to understand just how large it is! What a huge undertaking!

You work on so many interesting projects. Can you tell us anything about the picture, i.e. circa, country of origin? Thanks for sharing.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4265 days

#7 posted 12-21-2013 06:25 AM

Sure makes a difference to that painting

-- Dreaming patterns

View Patricelejeune's profile


386 posts in 3160 days

#8 posted 12-23-2013 06:20 PM

Thank you guys for your comments.

mmh an CalgaryGeoff, the ornementation itself is not made of clay but carved in wood. The water gilding process require to cover the wood with multiple layer of gesso, then a mix of clay and rabbit skin glue. the myx clay and glue is what makes the gold sticks and the clay in the mix is what is burnished and make the gold shinier. If you are interested I had describe more in depth the process in those posts

Yes it is hard to show proportion with no one standing next to it. I could have sworn we took a picture of when I was water gilding to show the proportion but it is lost in digital limbo I guess.

The picture is italian for sure, but the period is hard to say. This could be 15th century if it is an original, giotto period, where the gilded background where classic. But, if it is an original, that, I do not know.

-- Patrice lejeune

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3660 posts in 4952 days

#9 posted 12-24-2013 03:19 AM


Thanks for the additional information. I enjoy learning, although I never liked school. It is so much nicer to learn here and you are an excellent teacher.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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