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

“This Is the Place for Art”: How William Keith Framed the Legacy of Painting in the Bay Area

Posted on June 14th, 2018

Another painting we framed and which is now on display at the North Point Gallery (along with the pieces that were subject of my last two posts) as part of its show “Historical Artists of the East Bay” is by William Keith (1838-1911), an artist considered no... continue reading.

Framing (Another) Henry Gremke

Posted on June 9th, 2018

Today, North Point Gallery’s show “Historic Artists of the East Bay” is opening, and as I said in my last post, we framed a number of paintings included in it, like the Edwin Deakin I wrote about. Another painting we framed for that exhibit is by Oakla... continue reading.

Framing Edwin Deakin, and the East Bay’s Great Painting Heritage

Posted on June 5th, 2018

This Saturday, June 9th, our neighbors and good friends at North Point Gallery are opening a show that celebrates the extraordinarily rich painting tradition of our city and region. Entitled “Historic Artists of the East Bay,” the show runs through June 30, ... continue reading.

Re-framing Great American Impressionist Hayley Lever

Posted on June 1st, 2018

I need to write up the story of how reproduction French baroque gilt frames came to be regarded as suitable for impressionist paintings, but the absurdity of it is plain enough to see. Here’s a good example of a landscape, “Woodstock,” by one member of... continue reading.

Framing George Applegarth, and Big Alma’s Dream for a Place of Art

Posted on May 24th, 2018

San Francisco architect George Applegarth (1875-1972) was a big dreamer living in a time and place marked by big dreamers—like the colorful “Big Alma” Spreckels who dreamed of building a great art museum for her city of San Francisco. Of humble roots, Alma... continue reading.

Framing Scotland: Another Way to Frame Maps

Posted on May 16th, 2018

My last two posts were about two jobs we recently did framing antique maps, both featuring carved frames. (The posts are here and here.) Today’s post features two wonderful old maps of Scotland, both in frames that are not carved, but with which I’m no less ... continue reading.

Another Carved Frame for a Map

Posted on May 10th, 2018

Last week I put up a post about a carved frame we made for a wonderful 17th Century map of the Americas. Here’s another map in a carved frame—a very special early map of the State of Illinois I framed recently for a resident of that important state. In 1822, whe... continue reading.

Baroque in Oak: Framing a 17th Century Map

Posted on May 5th, 2018

It’s not often that we do anything in a baroque style, but since one of our founding principles is adaptation, when a customer sent me a 17th century map of the Americas to frame, I welcomed the challenge. The map’s wonderful illustrations included numerous ... continue reading.

Framing Thomas Hill’s Yosemite Valley

Posted on March 28th, 2018

A lucky customer turned up an unsigned painting of Yosemite by Thomas Hill (1829-1908)—a very special painting by a very special painter needing a very special frame. One of my all time favorite frame jobs is this grand Thomas Hill winter scene of the White Mountains ... continue reading.