Framing an Early 20th Century Woodblock

I have a soft spot for anonymous work people bring me to frame. Maybe that’s because most frame-makers are anonymous. But there are plenty of other reasons to love this woodblock. If I have to guess, I’ll say it’s from the 1920’s. (How do we sense such things? What is that distinctive mark and look of a time?) The print’s 10″ x 10″. The frame is 3/4″ wide, made in walnut with a clear oil finish. The corners take advantage of the frame’s form; it’s natural instinct to articulate the corners as radiance and growth, especially when they carry out and express (literally, press out) the spirit of the picture. And block prints, before they become ink on paper, are wood carvings. So they invite the frame-maker to carve. It’s all about harmony, joinery—the affinity of two anonymous artisans from two different times, joined by their love of the life of the Earth.

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