Picture frames photo - The art of the sculpture, of Maurizio Colasante

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Picture frames photo

Picture frames


While observing antique frames, I have often asked myself if I could be able to faithfully reproduce them.

I was fascinated by so many of their different characteristics: the fact that they were gilded, the visible bole where the gold leaf was consumed, the cracks in the gesso panel underneath, the missing pieces caused by woodworms or simply accidents, the patina on the wood caused by aging or other agents.

So many different things contribute to their actual appearance.

I knew it was not going to be an easy job, but considered my innate attraction for challenges, I decided to give it a go.

After numerous trials and much research, I reached a perfect union of the elements.

It allowed me to obtain an almost perfect craquelure, which I understood to be the hardest thing to imitate.

“Trying to reproduce in a relatively short time what time has created in centuries is not easy at all.

”I also invented and perfected a completely natural aging product that can perfectly darken the excessive brightness of gold, without forming a patina on it.

All frames are tailored to the requirements of the client, reproducing pre-existing designs or creating new ones.

The wood used is carefully selected, only old wood able to maintain its original patina on the back, then cut and assembled scrupulously using the most appropriate type of joint.

After that, the wood is shaped and rigorously hand carved.

At this stage the frame is ready to be gilded.

I apply six to eight layers of gesso which I then smooth with a finer and finer abrasive paper and I also use scribbers that accentuate the relief in order to obtain a perfectly smooth surface.

The bole is prepared with natural clay following an ancient recipe, and it is applied three different times with a squirrel-hair brush.

When dry, the bole is then polished with agate and ready for water gilding, for which I use only 24ct gold leaves.

At this stage, apart from burnishing the gold with agate tools, I also take care of the antiquing of the frame, executed with a secret recipe.

To complete the work I add a thin layer of bee wax and a hand-made hook: here you have your frame, ready to embellish your antique mirror or your valuable canvas.

So far I have created many varieties of frames, and I’d like to show you some of them.


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