Sunday, August 17, 2014

Style Section: Artful Framing in Takoma Park

Pictured above is a piece of art I've had for almost 10 years that I, finally, got around to framing. It's a, possibly, 18th Century erotic painting in the Mogul style. I don't remember where or how I got it. One possibility is that I found it in the trash room in the apartment building I used to live in near Washington Cathedral. I used to find a lot of cool stuff  there. The neighborhood was full of students from Georgetown, George Washington and American Universities and lots of foreign service workers from the various embassies, all fairly transient people. They move in to neighboring apartments and start acquiring stuff then they move on leaving behind the things they have no room for in the moving van, the trunk of the rental car, the suitcases, their new lives. Well, as has been said many times, one man's trash is another man's treasure.
I had this framed at Artful Framing in Takoma Park because they are one of the best, locally, at what they do. This was an easy job for them because I had already done a good deal of the work. I made the mat from 8-ply acid-free matboard that I covered with the remnants of an old painting on silk. Originally, years earlier when I was a framer, it was a painting that someone had brought to the shop where I worked to be repaired. It was a large piece, maybe 40x60 inches, that had started to deteriorate and shred. That's pretty common with these types of souvenir paintings that people buy on the streets in India. They're painted on a very thin fabric that the oil-based paints used eventually erodes. So, basically, one way to save it was to remove it from the wooden stretcher and mount it to a piece of acid-free foam board and, then, frame it but, first, I had to cut off a section about 16 inches wide from the badly damaged side. The piece I cut from it was what I used to cover the mat (waste not, want not). The frame is, I believe, a Roma moulding of distressed gold with bevelled black sides and has Tru-Vue Museum glass.

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