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With the onset of the coronavirus and the international 'lock downs' I have started a daily blog from my solitary confinement here in the wilds of Normandy. 


It is only available for those of you with log in details.  Once you are logged in, you will be taken directly to the Lock Down Diaries page, as well as seeing some extra items in the top menu not available publicly.


The roof article has languished for a long while now - but things are moving.  I HAVE managed to finish a slideshow about the caravan repair - under Renovations and DIY, which is also availabl on YouTube.  The roof renewal is due a similar treatment.


The 'Recipe' section has grown - and is growing.  Much tastiness to be found there!


We have two oil paintings, painted by friend and neighbour Tony Weston (his website is here) that have long languished without frames.  That needed putting right and I had managed to get out before the lockdown to buy some moulding which, together with some wood already here, provided the raw materials.  

Frameless cow





The first is this rather beautiful cow!  The image came from a greetings card and we liked it so much, we asked Tony to create a full sized version.  He is the most extraordinarily gifted man, with an ability to create just about any image you ask for.  Looking at his website should persuade you.

I had seen a technique called 'slip framing' and thought it would ideally suit this painting.  The idea is that the entire picture sits within the frame.  This way 100% remains visible and you are not losing the margin  that becomes hidden under a normal frame.

It's a simple frame that does nothing to detract from the painting but rather serves to focus your attention on the canvas.






Frameless seascape medium




The second is this, much larger, seascape which deserved a different treament.  The frame needed to be bigger, to complement the size of the canvas and it needed something rather more conventional.

I spent many years sailing and can (and do) look at this painting a lot.  The way Tony has rendered the moonlit sea is fantastic - the translucence and sense of movement is wonderful.

Let's start with the smaller of the two: -



1  La Vache

The painting measures 500mm x 500mm and, having decided on the design, I got on wth the construction as follows.

Profile of the slip frame.


Effectively the canvas sits within the frame you create and is secured by screwing through the back into the canvas frame.

Slip creation

To allow for the mitred corners I cut 4 x 550mm lengths of 50mm x 50mm pine.  They were then treated as shown here.  Two cuts provided the rebate for the canvas to sit in.

The upright section was then rounded over using the router.

Once these lengths had been cut and shaped, the corners were mitred to 45°, such that a gap of around 3 to 4 mm was left between the upright of the frame and the canvas.

The frame could then be assembled - in this case I just used glue.  Once dry it was primed and painted.

La vache

The end result is a clean but robust frame that holds the canvas very securely.  It does nothing to detract from the painting, rather focusing attention upon it.  Well - that's the idea!

 2  Seascape

The approach here was rather different.  The painting itself is substantially larger - 1200mm x 850mm - and needs a more substantial frame.  It hangs on the wall next to a large gold framed mirror and I decided to roughly match the width of the mirror frame at 100mm.

The frame would also need to be more decorative, but not over the top.  As the mirror frame was gold, so too the seascape.

Frame profile trimmed

This is a cross section of the final design.  Essentially I took 2 by 1500mm and 2 by 1000mm lengths of 100 x 30.

Frame create

This was then processed as shown here. The edge was profiled first as the timber stayed stable during the pass of the router.  The router bit was then changed and the channel cut into the surface.  The rebate was then cut with two passes on the table saw before the moulding was glued along one edge.

The corner mitres were then cut and the frame assembled.  It was then spray painted gold using an aerosol can.

Frame seascape

Once dry, the canvas could be mounted into the frame.









Picture wall

As seen on the wall, next to the large mirror.


sans cadre

 And as before - without frame.