Frames by Us That Will Blow Your MIND

Gordy Fine Art & Framing Company to spotlight new frames inspired by historical designs, gilded and hand-decorated by our shop’s craftsmen.

Gordy Fine Art & Framing Company is one of a few picture framing studios in the Midwest that offers handmade, hand-gilded, and hand-decorated frames made from locally milled wood. During the month of September, our gallery will feature new frames made from original and historical designs as well as a restored antique frame from our collection.

Examples on view will demonstrate many traditional techniques used for decorating picture frames.  These include gilding with 24K gold leaf and 12K white gold leaf, carving, sgraffito, granito, and compo ornaments.  Also included will be more modern designs which are less decorative with the focus on form and surface such as wood grain, metal leaf, or other laminate.  “Gordy Framing has a long history of reproducing historical designs, creating original designs, and offering museum quality work restoring antique frames,” said owner Carl Schafer.  “We are carrying on the tradition and adding to the portfolio established by Brian Gordy, the company’s founder.”  On view will be frames inspired by Dutch and Italian renaissance styles, 19th century French and American styles, the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century, and contemporary American styles.

Gordy Fine Art and Framing Company promotes talented artists, provides appraisals, and offers expert design and craftsmanship for framing and displaying treasured family possessions and works of art. Business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5:30 pm, Saturday, 9 am – 3 pm. Gordy Fine Art and Framing Company is located at 224 East Main Street, next door to Muncie Civic Theatre.  For more information, visit or call 765-284-8422.


Aug 2019
AUTHOR Barbara Schafer


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Charles Prendergast Inspired Gilded Keepsake Box

A fine gilded box inspired by early 20th century frame maker Charles Prendergast

A nearby corporate client recently called with a challenge that allowed our imaginations to jump the tracks. A beloved, longtime colleague was retiring, and they asked us to create a keepsake box that would contain handwritten memories and wishes from those she had worked with for many years.

Naturally, we applied techniques used when decorating frames. The design for the keepsake box was inspired by Charles Prendergast, who created highly-prized, original frames at the Carrig-Rohane frame shop that he co-founded in Boston in the early 20th century. Prendergast was a pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement that placed an emphasis on designs highlighting the human touch.

The keepsake box was water-gilded with 12K white gold after layers of red clay were applied underneath. We used a sharp stylus to scratch the design in the gold and through the clay. This process is called granito and is completed by rubbing gently through the gold so the red clay peeks through, especially along the scratch lines. Blue pigment was used to highlight the floral design.

We are grateful to those who entrusted us with this important job — what a great gift that could be used for so many occasions including weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations.

American Impressionist Frame Reproduction

Antique Frame Reproduction

Our shop recently completed an antique frame reproduction project for one of our museum clients. The original frame is an American profile simplified from the American Impressionist style with hand carved arrow fletching motif in the corners. The panel (flat area in the middle of the frame rails) is chip- carved giving it an undulating texture with periodic crescent shapes. Because the new frame is small (for a painting 8” x 10”) the client asked us to make without the crescents.

Am. Impressionist Original

We began by purchasing raw wood moulding with an American Impressionist profile and then we carved off some decorative elements to match the original frame. Once the frame was built, we made the chip-carve using a spoon shaped chisel. We drew the corner decorations by hand and rubbed the drawing onto the frame. This gave us a guide for the actual carving which was completed with chisels of various shapes as well as razor knives.




After applying several layers of gesso and red bole to smooth the surface, we gilded the frame with 22K gold which resulted in a very bright finish that needed to be toned and antiqued to match the original frame. This step was perhaps the most satisfying because the frame took on the illusion of age that is appropriate to the painting it was built for.


A final coat of wax deepens and saturates all the layers that have been applied. The two frames can now be exhibited side-by- side without a hint that one is brand new.


Sep 2016
AUTHOR braydee

Framing, News

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Gilding Demonstration & Shop Tours

Step back into the 17th century with us!

Join us Saturday afternoon, June 25th from 1 – 3 pm for a public gilding demonstration and tours through the back rooms of our shop.

Few people know about what goes on regularly in the back rooms of our shop space, restoring and reproducing antique frames for collectors and museum clients. This summer we have a number of projects in process that illustrate almost every aspect of antique restoration and reproduction that GFAF is capable of, including gold leafing, hand-carving, casting, burnishing, and antiquing. Often, these projects involve historical research, custom millwork, and methods of material application that are centuries old. We use simple materials & simple tools. Rabbit skin glue, chalk, clay, wood, wax, water, and 22 K gold leaf. Knives, gouges, steel wool, fine sandpaper, and a “gilders tip” made of squirrel hair.

The craft of gold leaf gilding goes back over 4,000 years to Northern Africa where gold foil was applied to wood to give the appearance of being made of solid gold. The methods of gilding used today are rooted in ancient Egypt and were later refined during the Renaissance.

Gold leaf is defined as thin sheets of gold, silver or less-precious metals, pounded down into “leaves” nearly 1/250,000 of an inch thick. The variety of genuine gold can differ in values from deep gold (23-24K) to lemon gold (18K), pale gold (16K), and white gold (12K), which are alloyed with small amounts of silver and/or copper.

Gold leafing is a generalized term used to group the three most common methods for applying gold to a prepared surface: water gilding, oil gilding, and what is commonly referred to as metal leafing. Throughout the ages the process of gold leafing has been used to create beautiful works of art, sculpture, and architecture.

Jun 2016
AUTHOR braydee

Framing, News

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Water Gilded Italian Mannerist Frame

Despite being difficult to capture in photos, the finishing touches on our water gilded frames make all the difference. This morning, Brian added centuries of age to this Italian Mannerist frame with rottenstone before pairing it with its new oil painting other half.


italian mannerist frame

Apr 2014
AUTHOR braydee

Framing, News

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Frame Restoration: Junk Shop Find 1760s Louis XVI Frame

A few process photos from one of our most recent restoration projects, a “junk shop” find 1760s Louis XVI frame.

1760s Louis XVI frame 1

A great example of a hand-carved Louis XVI frame. Probably 1760s.

1760s Louis XVI frame 2

After stripping the paint, Brian chipped away thick gesso and multiple layers of previous restoration attempts to find this gorgeous hand-carved lamb’s-tongue ornament.

1760s Louis XVI frame 3

This is the resurrected frame with 8 coats of yellow burnishing clay (bole) applied. We coat the outer rail, lamb’s-tongue and beads with red bole before gilding.

1760s Louis XVI frame 4

Mid-way through the gilding process.

1760s Louis XVI frame 5

Gilded and burnished… ready to be distressed to replicate almost 250 years of use and abuse.

1760s Louis XVI frame 6

Gilded, distressed, antiqued… with the original carve back from the dead.

Jul 2013
AUTHOR braydee

Framing, News

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