Small Scale - Flow on porcelain under-sheet
If colour is required, a stain is mixed into the porcelain clay before the beads are made. There is a wide variety of colour available. Sometimes the beads are made with two colours of porcelain to make two tone beads and give a more dramatic effect as the colour changes from one side of the work to the other. (For example, opposite the beads are turquoise and grey, below they are charcoal and white).
The porcelain beads are built directly onto a porcelain sheet, held in place with slip (runny porcelain), the whole sheet is then fired in the kiln to make one single piece of work. The porcelain shrinks, wavers and sometimes tears apart in the kiln.
The porcelain sheet is carefully lifted out of the kiln and mounted onto a linen board and, once this has been stuck, it cannot be removed and the linen cannot be changed.
Shown is our standard natural linen; you may provide your own choice of linen (or other material) and choose the size of mount board to define the linen border size around the porcelain.
These delicate works can be left "naked" on the mount board if for display in a clean and quiet environment but, for protection from knocks, they require framing either in a painted wood frame with museum glass or in a Perspex (Lucite) cover frame.
With either frame choice, it is possible to change frames without affecting the mount board.
Metal fixings are screwed into the mount board for hanging (the frames are just for protection and cannot support the weight of the work).
Flows are best lit by light passing across the surface with down/ up / cross lighting to bring out the texture - the Flow flattens out with direct lighting.
Painted wood frame with museum glass
Museum glass has a special coating which helps to reduce reflection and has UV resistance to stop the linen fading (porcelain colours do not fade). The frame is held in place with special clips and tape, but the mount board can be removed for re-framing without any sign.
It gives clear vision without reflection and creates a seal around the work, but glass needs special care not to break or smear and frame is delicate.
Painted wood frame with museum glass (outer corner)
The frame is usually painted in off-white and waxed with a slight sheen. The usual depth of the frame is 6cms.
Painted wood frame with museum glass (inner corner)
The fillets inside the frame to hold the mount board in place are usually covered in the same linen as the mount board.
Perspex (Lucite) cover Frame
This frame has been designed from a single sheet of perspex especially for Flows: it has no glued joins so allows a freedom of view from any angle. The frame is attached by small screws into the side of the mount board but can be removed without leaving any sign. The corners where the sheet edges meet are slightly open.
It is very strong with an open view, but is easily scratched, very shiny and has openings.
Perspex cover frame (inner corner)
The frame allows visibility from all angles, without blocking view.
Perspex cover frame (outer corner)
The depth of the frame is usually approx. 7cms, but can be made bespoke to any requirement.
Large Scale - Flows on Board
Colour - Porcelain beads are hand-made and fired in the kiln, before building a Flow directly onto board with special cement. If colour is required, stain is mixed into the porcelain before the beads are made and many colours are possible. The colour does not fade in sunlight or over time.
Strength - The beads of porcelain are remarkably strong - they can only be broken by a hard hit from a very hard object; they cannot be broken by snapping or knocking by hand. Damage is more likely to occur by hard levering of a bead out of the cement, in which case it is possible to glue back in.
Protection - Flows on board to not require covering with glass or perspex for general protection: we recommend that they are finished with a frame or border to contain the Flow and make a tidy cover to the edge of the board.
Wooden frames are mostly used painted in an off-white to sit with natural porcelain. They can be painted or stained in any colour and any profile of frame may be suggested.
Wooden frames are delicate - they are for bordering only and do not take the weight of the work and the paint work needs to be handled carefully to avoid chipping or scratching.
Metal frames are less bulky than wood and can be made in brass, stainless steel or aluminium in a variety of finishes matt/polished, patinated/clean. Thickness and depth of frame is bespoke, as well as welding for circular frames or mitred corners for squared frames.
Metal frames are more expensive but stronger and make a clean edge to the work.
Linen borders are made to extend the size of the work without incurring the cost of a large Flow. We have made borders in other materials, including leather. It is also possible to build a frame around the border.
The Flow becomes slightly flatter around the join with the linen to avoid the cement showing.
Painted Wood Frame - Narrow Profile
This is an example of a narrow, open profile frame which allows the Flow to spill over the edge.
Painted Wood Frame - Wide Profile
This is an example of a wider, open profile frame which allows the Flow to spill but provides a bit more containment with lifted edges.
Stained Wood Frame - tight, upright profile.
This style of frame provides a neat edge to contain the Flow.
Distressed Oak Frame - like a wooden border
This distressed oak frame was a special request and was hand built by local Box Maker Paul Swan. The frame has a wide shallow profile giving the work a more open perspective.
Metal Frame - Polished Stainless Steel
A very shiny surface with a welded join; a matt surface is also possible. Stainless steel is the only metal used for yachts and ships.
Metal Frame - patinated "Penny" Brass
Chemicals are applied to the brass surface to give it this aged appearance.
Metal - Penny Brass with Polished Face (outside edge)
This frame is 3mm wide.
Metal - Penny Brass Frame with Polished Face (inside edge)
This frame is 5mm wide.
Metal Frame - Anodized Aluminium
The frame provides a neat finish to the Flow.
Metal Frame - Aluminium Corner
It is difficult to weld the corner of the frame and maintain an even surface finish, so a mitred corner (with butting 45 degree angled edges) is used.
This was a very large work and required extra width linen. The work was left unframed.
We can suggest a leather supplier for selection of a border.
Multiples - Cast Flows
Jesmonite is an acrylic based cement which can be stained and mixed with aggregates and metals to look like stone and metals. The cast Flow is one solid mass with some in-fill between the beads to give the cast strength and allow the moulding to come free. It is less interesting up close but gives a very lively Flow in a room or open space.
The size, shape and design of the Flow depends on the original Flow that the mould has been made from. We have some moulds already in use or a new Flow can be built to your specifications. It is also possible to cut down Jesmonite casts.
We have one design for interlocking panels to provide cover over a wall.
Individual Flow casts can be framed after casting or included in the original Flow and be cast in Jesmonite, as part of the cast Flow panel.
Metal - By mixing metal into the cement and polishing back afterwards, the Flow can be given a metallic appearance. Any metal is possible.
Stone - ground stone aggregates are mixed in to give Jesmonite a stone finish. By etching the cast, it is possible to make the aggregates stand out and give a rougher, more stone appearance.