A Frame-Maker’s Journal

TimHolton writingUpdates and ruminations 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

Framing Lindsay Kustusch

Posted on August 6th, 2020

I don’t typically show two such similar frames in a row on the blog, but it might be interesting to compare two similar frames on two very different paintings—two beautiful paintings in any case. This one, an oil on canvas called “Two Old Birds,” was... continue reading.

Framing Karl Yens

Posted on August 3rd, 2020

Here’s a painting we just framed by notable Laguna Beach painter Karl Julius Yens (originally Jens) (1868-1945). “Hounding Hour in the Desert,” n.d., is an oil on canvas, 26″ x 22″. The 4″ wide frame, in quartersawn white oak (Saturat... continue reading.

Finishing a Polyptych Cassetta

Posted on July 25th, 2020

A few weeks ago I posted about carving the beads for a big polyptych cassetta frame we’re making. Here’s an update on the frame. It’s now in the finishing room, where yesterday Sam Edie stained it (below) and gilded the slips, and today applied the fir... continue reading.

Re-Framing Ellen and Edward Ladell

Posted on July 20th, 2020

This is a still life by Ellen Ladell (1853-1928) we just re-framed. The frame is a compound No. 348 + Cap 408 at 3″ wide, in quartersawn white oak (Saturated Medieval Oak stain) with a gilt slip. Little is known about Ellen Ladell other than that she was a student... continue reading.

A Flaired Yoshida for a Hiroshige Triptych

Posted on July 17th, 2020

This is a lovely nineteenth century ukiyo-e triptych by Hiroshige which we framed in a modified version of our Yoshida frame. We’re calling it the Flaired Yoshida, but it’s just one example of what can be done with flairs on mortise-and-tenon frames. It̵... continue reading.

What Matters: Framing the Value of Labor and an Ethos of Craftsmanship

Posted on July 13th, 2020

I was pleased to see in Doug Stowe’s greatly important blog “The Wisdom of the Hands” that a question I raised in reply to a post a few years back appears to be of help as he begins mapping out his new book, an exciting and ambitious project tentativel... continue reading.

Framing Richard Wagener

Posted on July 5th, 2020

I’ve long admired the prints of Northern California wood engraver Richard Wagener. As a subject for pictorial artists, the Sierra Nevada will surely never be exhausted of its beauty or inspiration. But Wagener, bringing to the Range of Light a less common art form... continue reading.

Holton Studio Frame-Makers—The Movie!

Posted on June 21st, 2020

Thanks to the kindness of our neighbor Rob Reiter of The Lightroom, we now have a nice introductory two-minute video, “About Holton Studio Frame-Makers,” which I’ve just posted to our “About Us” page. As you know, two minutes of film takes ... continue reading.

Parcel Gilding

Posted on June 20th, 2020

Lately we’ve been doing more with parcel gilding, which is gilding just part of a frame. A simple example is this frame for Ellen Howard‘s painting “Just Blooming,” an 8″ x 8″ oil on board that’s part of our show of small works ... continue reading.