22 Karat Gold Leaf Information

Every picture frame is hand-crafted in the United States using only the finest materials.  Our carved and gilded styles begin as raw Basswood purchased primarily from "Green" growers.  Basswood is preferable for its fine grain, its ability to withstand the water gilding process without warpage, and its ability to be easily carved.

When your order is placed, our carpenters cut the profile to size and perform any requested build-ups or modifications.  If your frame has a hand-carved design it's then crafted expertly by one one of our Master Carvers.  After Carving and joining, the frame heads off to our Gesso area where anywhere from 5 to 7 coats of the chalky substance are applied.  Each coat is hand sanded before the next is applied.  Once the appropriate coats of gesso have been sprayed, the frame is brought to the Clay Station where anywhere from 5 to 7 coats of organic red or yellow clays are sprayed and brushed onto the frame.  *Important: While green, blue, black, and purple clays are available, these are inorganic and require a base coat of an organic clay to facilitate consistent gilding and rubbing.*  When the proper clay or clay combination has been achieved, the frame is brought to Gilding.

Once in Gilding, our experienced gilders carefully and purposefully lay each gold leaf (3" square) on the frame using as the design calls for.  The precious metals regularly use include 22k Yellow Gold, 12k White Gold, Sterling Silver, and to a lesser degree, Moon Gold and Lemon Gold (18k paler Yellow Gold).  After a frame has time to cure, the same gilder burnishes the frame by hand using specific agot burnishers.  Upon completion, the gilder directs your frame to the Finishing area.

  Whether antiquing a frame, creating a combination finish, or adding just the right hint of patina, the Finishing area is the real artistic center of the operation.  A Carver can create a beautiful carving but it takes a genuine artist to highlight a carving in the right way.  It is also in this area that we recreate the finishes you've come to expect including our signature distressed woods, our exquisite Sgrafitto etchings, and our expertly antiqued, historical pieces.  It is here that your frame achieves its "true personality."

  At Artworks there is not one project need that cannot be met by our team of designers, artisans, and finishers.  Whether your preference is for Contemporary profiles, a Louis or European-influnced traditional design, or something more specific like the Rustic Elegance or TattSgraf lines, the professionals are here to meet your needs and   those of your most discerning customers.  Browse our new web site and please contact us with any questions, comments, or ideas!


 

 

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