What are Welded Frames?

Welded frames are four pieces of metal profile attached together – just like any other frame. The first welded frame was devised by Robert Kulicke in 1956, commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art for use in traveling exhibitions. Welded frames today are still used as a more robust and sophisticated means of presenting and protecting artwork than their wood counterparts. The difference is that metal frames have a number of key benefits: they can be larger, stronger, and can have narrower faced profiles, making them ultra contemporary in the journey towards ever greater design. They are particularly useful with acrylic glazing because they allow greater movement for thermal expansion; also the absence of wood lignin makes them a good conservation choice – particularly for photography, as this is alcali sensitive. Welded frames – when completed with skill, look fabulous and minimal – emanating strength and sophisticated simplicity through the raw material.

Ian Rayer-Smith welded aluminium frame
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How are Welded Frames Achieved?

As a company, we have spent a lot of time testing how far we can push the boundaries in our strive to get the best version of this product possible. The joining methods are migwelding, tigwelding, and brasing. We mitre and tig-weld the frames in-house, which involves joining the mitred pieces using a softer filler metal that melts at a lower temperature. Once a good join is achieved, the surface is refined, and the chosen surface finish is applied to the final piece. Metals that we currently work with include aluminium, brass, copper and steel. We have also undertaken a number of circular frames – these are always better executed in metal rather than wood. Check our post for circular metal frames

 
aluminium surface preparation
Brushed Aluminium welded frame
stack of aluminium frames
welded frames
Corner detail of welded frame
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Glazed, welded, boxframe
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Surface Finishes for Welded Frames

A welded frame typically has either a brushed, polished, or spray painted finish, depending on what is desired. A brushed result, or ‘dull polished’, is a unidirectional satin finish produced with a grit-belt or polishing wheel and sealed with a proprietory sealer to protect from fingerprinting etc. Brush finishes are popular in architecture, where the honesty of the metallic lustre is desired. A polished finish requires further fine sanding and polishing to get the bright metallic glow, and then sealing to protect. Both brushed & polished finishes give an authentic, true to the material appearance.

Welded frames can also be spray painted to any colour desired to suit the artwork they are presenting & protecting.

Additionally – the metal frame can have a patination effect applied – please ask for details.