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Framing Case Studies // Piers Williams

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Piers Williams // Mattei Radev Framing

In September 2013, Piers Williams come to us to produce frames for 2 of his oil paintings that were going to China. The style that he wanted us to achieve was that of a famous picture framer called Mattei Radev.

Radev worked in London from the 1940’s through to the early 70’s. He was one of the first picture framers to find the right balance of setting off the picture within its frame by combining oil paint and subtle use of gilding and not dominating it with excessive gold leaf.

Producing a Radev style frame is a something of a challenge! We researched and explored traditional construction and application of finishes, which went much further than our usual straining and waxing of bare woods. We learnt how to make gesso (the proper way) apply gold powers and lay down passages of thinned oil paints to create a frame that was grand, but balanced with the painting.

Here are some workshop pictures showing some of the different stages of finishing. 

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