My last post showed how we framed a Robert Daughters painting in a frame design with carved flutes cut across the grain. Here are three corner samples I made a month or so ago, with that same idea. And on all of these the flutes round the corner, which I like.
The outer one, which is 2-1/2″ wide, is simply a wider version of the cap molding on the Daughters. The middle one is an inch wide and is also a cushion form. The inner one is a 3/4″ wide flat. All are walnut finished with linseed oil (I recommend Ottosson’s purified boiled linseed oil) and wax. The oil penetrates deeply (so requires a few coats before the surface builds up enough to stop looking dry in a day or two), not only enriching the color but also darkening the wood—especially, of course, the end grain. That includes the ridges. The result is that the oil accents the carved pattern. These patterns take time (not just carving but sharpening!) and are a little tedious, but can be very effective on a picture.
Flutes cut across the molding profile are a common convention. At right is a 19th century French example. This pattern’s popularity surely has to do with its effectiveness in directing the eye into the picture, as well as emanating the picture and its subject out into the surrounding world—twin effects instrumental to the essential function of the picture frame.
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