Every P.H. Miller frame starts with bare wood. The molding is created with hand planes or by machine, depending on the profile. After creating the molding, we cut and join the frame. We then hand carve any ornament, patterns, and other fine detail with carving gouges and a mallet.
After the woodwork is complete, each frame is water gilded. To begin this process, at least eight coats of gesso, or a thin plaster, are applied to the surface. The gesso is scraped, sanded, and polished to a beautiful smooth surface. Several layers of bole, or gilder's clay, are then applied on top of the gesso. After polishing the bole, gold leaf is applied to the surface.
The last step of the process is to tone the frame which creates a protective layer over the gold leaf and its water-soluble finish. We use pigments, dyes, shellacs and other solutions to create a wide variety of effects and finishes. With toning, we can give a new frame the patina of fine aging.
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Every piece is finished with the P.H. Miller signature, assuring its quality and authenticity.