Monday, July 8, 2013

Making A Cradled Hardboard

 cradle frame in process
I did some gouache paintings on some paper that is not of a standard size.  I yell at myself all the time to be sure to use quality materials in standard sizes as I know that as sure as I don't, that's when a painting will turn out to be a "keeper".

Yep, that's what happened with not just one but two recent paintings.  Not that they're on inferior materials but they aren't of a standard size.  So, instead of taking them to a frame shop for custom framing, I decided to make some cradled boards for them.  Cradled boards don't necessarily have to be framed and since I wanted both of these for a gallery, I didn't want to wait a couple of weeks or longer for a frame shop to frame them.

I'm pretty much using hand tools for this project but it's coming together fairly well.  I wanted to be the one to cut the cradle frame boards because I'm very picky but my husband insisted that he do it.  I had plans with my daughter so I left him to it.  When I returned, he had cut the boards but two of the ends weren't quite even so he had to re-cut them this morning.

I can't help it - I'm something of a perfectionist when it comes to some things and these cradled boards are something I wanted perfect!  I think it upsets my darling other half when I want something done over, but these paintings are representative of me and I want to put my best foot forward!

He finally got them right and you can see that I've started to glue them up.  Next will be gluing the two angles to make the nearly square frame then I'll attach the hardboard itself.  I've already put the primer/sealer on the hardboard to keep any wood acids from migrating into the painting and also to keep it from warping when I glue it.

As soon as the frame dries, I'll attach the board and when it's dry, I'll paint the cradle frame, attach my painting to the board then varnish the painting.  It may sound involved but just takes a little time and concentration.  The hard part is cutting the proper 45 degree miters for the corners using hand tools!

And in the future I'll do my best to follow my own advice and only paint on standard sized substrates!!

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