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 a small Edward Curtis—Another Carved Corner Design

Posted on January 26th, 2012

Recently framed this small original Edward Curtis photogravure of Apache Indians for a couple in Texas. The print had wide margins, but we wanted the effect of framing it close so used a lap-joined flat — kind of a wooden mat, although on top of the glass. We’ve... continue reading.

“Wisdom of the Hands”—Doug Stowe Advocates for Handcraft in Education

Posted on January 20th, 2012

For those of you who appreciate the aspect of handcraft in our work, I thought I’d draw your attention to the blog “Wisdom of the Hands” by Arkansan woodworker and teacher Doug Stowe. I learned about it while reading Matthew B. Crawford’s Shop Cl... continue reading.

Framing Charles Partridge Adams—Simple Corner Carving

Posted on January 19th, 2012

We recently got to frame this early twentieth century landscape by Charles Partridge Adams (1858-1942). At just 10″ x 14″, it’s humble in size as well as subject matter, and loosely painted—all aspects suggesting a fairly simple frame with a bit of c... continue reading.

Framing Contemporary Paintings—Andrij Korchynsky

Posted on January 18th, 2012

This recent job, a 23″ x 32″ contemporary oil painting on canvas by Ukrainian-American artist Andrij Korchynsky, offers a simple lesson in two key elements in frame design: line and form. Despite the loose style, the sweeping lines and angularity of the roof... continue reading.

Framing Kevin Courter in Compound Polyptych

Posted on January 17th, 2012

A customer recently commissioned Kevin Courter to paint three cottages on his rural northern California property, then had us frame the three 8 x 10’s. Here it is: The idea was to create a frame alive to the soft edges as well as architectural subject matter. Give... continue reading.

Framing Ed Bearden—and Playing with Chamfers

Posted on January 16th, 2012

I really enjoy chamfering and playing with chamfers as a design element. Here’s an acrylic on paper, recently framed, by mid-century Texan Edward Carpenter Bearden (1919-1980). We had fun coming up with this adaptation of our Aurora frame with flat mortise-and-ten... continue reading.

Provide: The motto of business in the new economy

Posted on December 23rd, 2011

As the year winds up, I thought I’d write about another aspect of what we’re trying to do at Holton Studio—about our greater mission and purpose as a business. Because with the economy in a shambles, I believe it’s time businesses think in a fundamen... continue reading.

Re-framing Thaddeus Welch

Posted on November 16th, 2011

Thaddeus Welch (1844-1919) was one of the great historic California landscape painters. This classic bucolic hillside scene by Welch came in recently, the customer looking to free it from a typical period compo frame which he rightly judged to be pretentious and unsuita... continue reading.

Re-framing a Sydney Yard Watercolor

Posted on November 2nd, 2011

A follow-up to the last entry, here’s a wonderful example of a watercolor by one of California’s premiere early watercolorists, Sydney Janis Yard (1855-1909). This is a frame we’ve used before, for other, similar California watercolors — by Percy Gre... continue reading.