So I’ve begun frame #10 for the ENCULTURATED WHITE MAN: If the Indians Had Won body of work. There have been lots of interruption but I’ve welcomed them as this frame has not been going so very smoothly. What I show here is probably the sixth version.
Piece of art I’m framing is 18″X14″. All the work began with a found B&W early 20th century photo (probably purchased for 25 cents at a garage sale). I altered the photos with color pencil. The matting includes needlework in DMC embroidery thread which I’ve over-dyed in vegetal dye baths — using mostly mullein plant material. I’ve also used beading and porcupine quills. I produced the quill colors using vegetal dyes: Navajo tea for the yellow and Brazilwood for the pink. I embroidered the female portrait using single thread silk on silk material.
I begin the frame with a cardboard cut to the size of the piece of art with 1 1/2 inches added all around. This is the opening for my frame. I begin with the bottom piece and add the sides using 1/2″ poplar square dowels with channels cut on two sides using my router. The channels hold the poplar sides and the glass.
This is Frame #10. Frames one through nine have begun with a full image in my mind and I begin and finish construction according to that image. I don’t have a full mechanical drawing. I barely have a sketch. This “mind image” process has worked just fine — until now. All the frames to this point have been straight edged but I wanted a curved roof for this one. The curve of the roof necessarily had to begin with a mechanical drawing.
My crude mechanical drawing drawn to size. I free-handed the curve, broke it down into sections then used a protractor to determine the angles.
To make the slats, I ripped a 2X4 into slats then cut the long edges of the slats according to my drawing.
The curve of these slats is a photo distortion.
Simple, I thought. Just follow the drawing and slap the carefully measured and angled slats together. Not so easy. Below is the result of some half a dozen efforts. I need to buy more wood putty!
The foot design is yet to be determined. Should I repeat the curve of the roof at the foot? I think I have to. Hopefully, it won't take as many do-overs as the roof!
Next is the construction on the top and lid
Each frame has decorative elements added. I’ve used shell, stone, mineral, cast wood elements and foil. For this frame, I’ve chosen to add a self-portrait cameo. I sculpted the piece in a plastiscene clay then made a mold using clear silicone (left). The cameo (right) was cast using water putty. My mold had some flaws so I have to do some major cleaning up of the cast piece.
Planned placement of the cameo -- one on each side.
My woodshop is the back porch — I haul all my tools and equipment outside. Each frame takes about a month. Cold weather is coming so if I want to finish this frame, I best get on with it.
copyright Tamara Ann Burgh, all rights reserved