The Art of Framing by J-Philippe

By Jean Couteau

28 July 2019

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The Centuries-old European
Joinery Techniques.

Joinery and Carving.

Jean-Philippe Haure, even though trained at the Ecole Boulle in Paris to use French pat­terns, chooses to uses tra­di­tional Balinese pat­terns (pepa­tran) on the frames that orna­ment his painting. His pat­terns are all floral, a reminder of the pres­ence of Nature. One finds the sam­blung pat­tern, derived from the flower of the same name; the sari pat­tern, so called after the pistil of the flower; and sev­eral orig­inal floral pat­terns cre­ated for Jean-Philippe by I Gusti Ketut Dartha from the vil­lage of Lebih in Gianyar. The design, tech­nical setup and joinery of each frame are all painstak­ingly hand-made by the artist him­self, using cen­turies-old European tech­niques that he learned at the Ecole Boulle.The making of a single frame, including drawing on wood, carving, and joinery work, as well as gilding and fin­ishing, requires no less than a month and a half.

Classroom at Sasana Hasta Karya
Gusti’s work­shop


Gilding is used in Eastern and Western tra­di­tions to enhance the beauty of wooden carving. Jean-Philippe Haure’s carved frames are all gilded using the fol­lowing steps:

  • -The wood surface is subjected to a meticulous process of sanding, so as to smooth it as much as possible.
  • -One or more layers of gesso are then applied to the sanded surface so as to totally fill up the pores of wood and thus obtain a perfectly smooth surface.
  • -A liquid synthetic glue is then applied to enable the gold leaf to adhere to the surface.
  • -Before the glue dries, gold leaves are carefully laid, one by one, over the surface of the carving with a brush, until all of it is covered, down to its smallest corner.
  • -After drying for a few days, a varnish is applied to protect the gold surface. In ancient times, one would burnish the gold to obtain a brightly reflective shine.

Jean Couteau

  J-Philippe, Bali The artist The Art of Framing

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