Photo by Laurie Schreiber

Photo by Laurie Schreiber


Our process

Our work is done in a style similar to medieval panel painting. Each piece is custom designed as a collaboration between both artists. 

First, the frame is constructed out of wood and painted with up to six layers of gesso, a traditional mixture of animal skin glue and calcium carbonate. The gessoed surface is sanded and polished to create a smooth working surface.

The design, developed on paper, is then transferred with a stylus into the gesso. Two or three coats of bole, a type of fine liquid clay, are painted onto areas of the surface to prepare for gilding. 

When dry, the clay is sanded and polished before being brushed with gilding fluid. 22-karat gold leaf is then applied with a gilder’s tip, a special flat brush used to handle the delicate gold leaf. As the gilding fluid dries, the gold leaf bonds to the clayed and gessoed surface. The gold is burnished with an agate stone, creating a luminous effect.

Egg tempera is painted onto the gesso and some of the gold. Many layers of delicate brushstrokes create detailed designs varying from geometric and botanical patterns to lyrical landscapes.

Read more about our work and process at https://maineboats.com/print/issue-143/inside-frame