The Workshops

The Workshops opened in 1969 and quickly became recognised for specialising in exact copies of Dutch, Flemish and Mid-European frames. The Company is renowned for its attention to detail and authentic construction. These cabinet-making skills are labour intensive and even in the 21st Century craftsmen cannot build frames any faster than their predecessors could more than three hundred years ago.

The frames continue to be built from traditional materials such as Ebony, Cocoa-bola, Pear, Lime, Walnut, Oak, Panga-Panga, Palisander/Rosewood Ziracote and African Blackwood.

For the most discerning clients there is still no alternative other than to manufacture in the traditional manner. However, to meet the challenge of today and remain competitive, the Company has invested in the most technically advanced Robot carving machine to further extend capabilities whilst preserving the highest quality of work with a greater ability to deliver on demand.

 

Polished Frames

There is no substitute to the authentic method of French polishing.

The process is a tedious one of filling the wood grain with polish, to bring out its natural beauty. It involves “putting on” and “taking off” until one achieves a high “coach gloss” finish. This in turn requires ageing/distressing to give the surface an antique appearance.

 

Carved Frames

Removing surplus wood is the most tedious part of traditional carving. The skill of the carver is shown in the accuracy and quality of the final carving. The Company’s policy is neither to invent or embellish, but to accurately reproduce original designs.

Gilding follows a 3000 year old tradition of laying virtually pure gold one micron thick onto a specially prepared surface.

Although the manufacture of gold leaf has been revolutionised, mechanisation is incapable of replacing the craft of water gilding. The gold leaf is adhered by water to a smooth coloured surface make of “burnishing clay” called “baulus” or “bole”. The gold is then burnished with an agate stone and it is the baulus that gives the gold its particular lustre.