A good carver will have been in
training for a minumum of five years and this will mostly
be done in an apprenticeship environment. Their only
toos are chisels and our carvers own between five hundred
and one thousand chisels each.
To carve a medium sized rococo frame will take around
three weeks. A further three weeks will be required
to gild and tone the frame. If you are commissioning
a carved frame it is sensible to give your frame maker
two months notice.
An appreciation of the history of frames is important.
For example each country used different woods. An 18th
c English frame would have been carved out of lime or
baltic pine. An 18th c French frame would have been
in Oak. The Italians and Spanish used Poplar and Lime.
Also if a damaged frame has all four corners missing,
the carver must instinctively know how the corners would
A heavily carved frame will need around eleven coats
of gesso. The carver can then re-carve into the gesso
without hitting the carved wood underneath.