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

Framing Alfred Farnsworth

Posted on December 14th, 2016

We just framed this exquisite 1906 watercolor, “Mt Tamalpais from Richardson Bay” (10-1/2” x 21”), by notable California painter Alfred Farnsworth (1858-1908). The 2-1/2” frame is stained walnut in a very shallow slope that coves up near the outside to a soft ... continue reading.

Beloved California: Sixteen Painters With a Passion for Place

Posted on November 27th, 2016

I’ve just put up the web page for our current show, “Beloved California: Sixteen Painters With a Passion for Place.” Shots of the opening are at the bottom of the page. As you can see, the event was a great success, with a big, enthusiastic turnout, an... continue reading.

A California Frame-Maker’s Dream: Framing Arthur Mathews

Posted on April 14th, 2016

For a frame-maker living and working in California, nothing beats getting to frame a painting by Arthur Frank Mathews (1860–1945). Mathews was not only one of the state’s preeminent painters, but he and his wife Lucia were unsurpassed in their concern for the ot... continue reading.

Framing Dana Bartlett

Posted on March 19th, 2016

Just re-framed this very lovely historic California landscape painting by Dana Bartlett (1882-1957). Using a hand-carved Compound Mitered frame, No. 104 CV + Cap 400 CV, we chose to play off the compositional contrast between the flat ground and vertical trees with a fl... continue reading.

Happy Birthday, Dad

Posted on March 17th, 2016

Today my dad would’ve turned 90. Here’s a picture we took in 2005, upon finishing the sign that hung over the old gallery at 5510 Doyle St. I’m proud he got to see his name carried on this way—although, sadly, he died before we got it hung. See my tr... continue reading.

Lessons in Framing Close, from Filippo Lippi and Hans Memling

Posted on December 10th, 2015

Last Saturday’s post on framing a couple of HW Hansen watercolors, which we framed close, ended with the observation that, “Framing close means that the frame is close to the picture; no mat separates them. But there’s a second meaning, at least as importa... continue reading.

Makers and Destroyers

Posted on December 9th, 2015

Today I’m sharing a video made in 2011 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art about a Muslim family, the Najis, and their company of master craftsmen who came there to build a Moroccan court inside the Museum as part of the Met’s Islamic arts galleries. They were, th... continue reading.

The Hillside Club and the Framing of True Civilization

Posted on December 8th, 2015

On Thursday, December 17 the Hillside Club in Berkeley will feature a lecture on “The Hillside Club and the True Meaning of Civilization”, by British cultural historian Nicholas Friend. Several years ago I started the Hillside Club Round Table to meet once a... continue reading.

Yoshiko Yamamoto Featured on PBS Series “Craft In America”

Posted on December 7th, 2015

If you’ve been following PBS’s excellent “Craft In America” you may be aware of their latest installment, called “Celebration,” and airing this Friday, December 11. I was very happy to learn this morning that Yoshiko Yamamoto will be ... continue reading.