A Frame-Maker’s Journal

TimHolton writingUpdates and reflections on our work and mission to revive the art and craft of framing pictures. Here I'll show you new jobs we're especially proud of and keep you up on what's going on at the Gallery, as well as discuss topics germane to our work, including handcraft and work generally, the place of art, and ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement (especially its greatest leaders, John Ruskin and William Morris).

I hope you’ll subscribe (see the form in the left column) or at least check back often. And I welcome your comments!

—Tim Holton

Carving Beads

Posted on May 31st, 2020

I’m in the midst of a big framing job—a polyptych of four abutted cassetta frames in quartersawn white oak to house a 17th century map in four panels. Helping unify them is a sight edge molding with a running beaded pattern. Beads are part of the basic vocabular... continue reading.

When Lightning Strikes: Framing Karima Cammell

Posted on May 27th, 2020

In 1470, fire from the daytime sky—the sun—allowed the young Leonardo Da Vinci to use parabolic “fire mirrors” to concentrate the solar rays to temperatures hot enough to solder copper plates together to form the ball that surmounts Brunelleschi’s ... continue reading.

Framing Virgil Williams—and How Virgil Williams Framed “Art”

Posted on May 26th, 2020

We recently re-framed this oil painting by Virgil Williams (1830-1886) of his wife Dora feeding chickens on their farm near Mt St Helena, which towers in the background. The 18″ x 14″ painting is undated but was probably painted in the 1880’s. The fram... continue reading.

Framing My Thoughts On Framing Paintings: An Article in “Realism Today”

Posted on May 25th, 2020

Realism Today’s online magazine has published an article of mine, “A Frame-Maker’s Thoughts On Framing Paintings,” which aims to help painters think through the problem of framing their work. It begins, If you’re a pictorial artist, you probabl... continue reading.

Tools of the Trade

Posted on May 11th, 2020

“Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.”—Thomas Carlyle On a visit to the shop in early March, Tia Kratter spied my workbench. Her eyes lighting up, she said, “There’s a painting!” The other day, she posted... continue reading.

Welcome Ellen Howard!

Posted on May 10th, 2020

We’re proud to announce that Peninsula artist Ellen Howard has joined our gallery roster. We’ve had an eye on Ellen’s work for a while, and knew her a bit as the co-chair of the San Francisco Region chapter of the California Art Club, but really got to... continue reading.

Framing an Alexander Phimister Proctor Bronze

Posted on May 5th, 2020

This is a small (the base is 8″ x 8″) bronze of a kodiac bear by one of this country’s foremost animal artists (or “animaliers”), Alexander Phimister Proctor (1860-1950). “I am eternally obsessed,” Proctor said, “with two deep... continue reading.

Framing an Early 20th Century Woodblock

Posted on May 3rd, 2020

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 sens... continue reading.

Framing Sam Hyde Harris

Posted on May 1st, 2020

We just framed these three landscape oils by the gregarious and much loved southern California painter Sam Hyde Harris (1889-1977). On all three I played with outset corners, although on “Enclave,” the third one below, the outset corners are on the narrower ... continue reading.