One of the most enjoyable part of my gigs is that I learn something new with each project. Sometimes being very informed about the subject, product or service my client offers is very important before I shoot the video. Its not that in such a short time that I will come to know more than the average dilettante, but I will usually know more than the average viewer of my finished video production.
Here’s why: when selling a service like creating custom frames, replicating antique frames or restoring them, not knowing much about the subject can discredit the video production. The sequence of the shots I shoot in, or the assembling of the stills, too much focus on nonessential points or too little on others, signals the savvy buyer that I don’t know what I’m doing and that can cause them to then doubt the validity of the product and the business owner who’s selling it.
The world of antiques and those who frequent it are typically very savvy buyers of both services rendered and products offered. Having said that, as you probably know, fraud is both feared and flaunted by experts who sometimes elude the most sophisticated detection. But that’s the exception to the rule – mostly the world of antique collectors is a beautiful mix of romance and finances.
After only a little exposure to Richard’s vast collection of antique frames, I had to wonder where these frames had been prior to him collecting them. Hundreds of them, and the vast differences between them, and my brief time with those frames has enriched my life. I really mean it. Someone, after viewing a half dozen of my videos, once asked, and I hope it was not just to flatter me, “do you ever NOT fall in love with what you point your camera at?!” and I said “no, never. By the time I’ve pointed my camera’s lens at the subject it is usually to adore it, whether it’s a person or an item, it always seems alive to me. It’s like having a conversation with a new friend.
One such subject and the object of his lifetime passion is in the studio of Atelier, RIchard Boerth and his studio which houses rooms of hundreds of antique frames. Richard is not only gifted at his craft, he’s highly skilled. He comes from a long linage of gilders as well as those craftsmen who make & restore antique frames and antiques.
One of the reasons for these video productions, besides the obvious reason, that being a video sales tool, was to invite the viewer into a world that they are not likely to just bump into by walking down the street.
Antique gold frame are positively alluring. i don’t know what it is about ‘gold’ all I know is that there is a very real attraction to it that is present in most of us. Sometimes just a gold frame around a mirror, hanging in a room that is otherwise displaying modern furniture, pulls the eye. It’s stunning.
All the many years I lived and worked in Europe gave me ample opportunity to experience he difference between the gilded framed paintings and the wooden or metal framed paintings. There are museum rooms in Russia where everything in it is gilded and it feels like your very body is vibrating if you stay in those rooms too long!
I was amazed to watch Richard carve our these beautiful three demential frames…so many carving tools, such detailed art appearing out to me, bit by bit, from the piece of wood he worked with. Have you ever seen those very ornate, three dimensional protrusions of flowers, leaves, acorns, fruit! Well someone carved them! Sometimes cherubs faces with small wings or dragons breathing fire appear out from the gilded frames.
Then, to watch him as he laid down the gold leaf! I was enthralled. I observed him as he skillfully applied the gold leaf, using a small brush made from either the hair of badgers or squirrels. Then burnishing is done with a small tool that is either from a dogs tooth or a agate. This soon produces a stunning high lustre.
It’s wonderful to watch someone who has spent the whole of their life learning to master more and more about the art of frame making and antique restoration. I’ve so enjoyed working with this Master Craftsman and learning from him and it has greatly enhanced my life.
How often does that happen these days? How ofter have you ever seen anyone who could spend their life in one single career mastering its craft? That, in and of itself is a reason to visit his studio when you visit Seattle.
His website is: AntiqueFraming.com