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The Framer’s Workshop



Another Angel piece.  I feel as if everything done there is collaborative work but no-one else will ever agree with this!  The instruction, guidance and critique we received at Angel was constant, ever pushing us, sometimes quite inexplicably impossible – but we ‘got there’ and learnt how to go beyond ‘there’.  To find things fitting for this Tenebrist work I had to scour the streets of Florence . . . searching for a theme.  There were a number of ideas, but none of them passed muster.  Finally I went to visit the workshop where I was beginning to have pieces framed and Paola, wife and half of the couple who make lovely frames, true to form, delved among a shelf under their large work table.  Everything was covered in sawdust and age but with a smile she opened a jar and tipped out jewels for me to look at.  You can see them spilling onto the stone table top in the painting.  They are glittering flakes of Shellac.  She showed me the bottle of Ultramarine Pigment – dusty on the outside, with pigment attached here and there to the inside.  The hammer !  See the panel pins knocked in any-old-how.  Once it all started to get really exciting the hardest thing was to find the final part.  That tin holding rusty nails.  By the way, you can buy rusty nails in Florence – for renovation which happens everywhere.  But the final piece was eluding me, I wandered around and around the delicatessen opposite Zecchi, by the way again Sandro (Zecchi) gave me some of their labels which you can see on the bottle of pigment.   It was Sunday,  I explained to the assistant what I was looking for.  He came up with some suggestions, exactly the things I had liked but they were no good.  They were all round and I needed a rectangular accent.  If you really want to know what that tin is, you must write and ask me.  The painting is no longer with me having been sold some years ago.  But I still have the rusty nails, the shellac, and the box.

Oil on canvas   2012   66 x 63cm    26 x 25in 


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