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

True Grit: See us on the big screen!

Posted on January 10th, 2011

Early last year I got to brag here that we’d gotten a call from the set designers for the Coen Brothers remake of the classic western, True Grit. Well, as you’re probably aware, the film is out and doing gangbusters at the box office. If you look closely, yo... continue reading.

Framing Kevin Courter’s “Cradled Moon”

Posted on August 13th, 2010

Enjoyed framing this 12″ x 14″ oil for Kevin Courter, now at New Masters Gallery in Carmel. Chose walnut for its color (used a light stain to get the harmony just right) and because it’s good for carving. Chose a flat profile, since it’s a flat c... continue reading.

Framing Kevin Courter’s “Soaring Skies”

Posted on August 12th, 2010

Just finished framing this wonderful Kevin Courter oil on linen, 20″ x 16″, titled “Soaring Skies.” I wanted the frame to extend the perspective with the right form and amount of line work, but keeping it simple and rustic in spirit. The color ca... continue reading.

From Gold to Oak—II: 19th Century British Still Life

Posted on August 7th, 2010

This is another re-framing job that we did maybe a year ago. It’s a still life, oil on canvas, by 19th century British painter Edward Ladell. Here’s how it was framed when it came in: And how it looked after we re-framed it in stained quartersawn white oak t... continue reading.

From Gold to Oak—I: Re-Framing Rosa Bonheur Stags

Posted on June 28th, 2010

The theme of this post, replacing gilt frames with dark wood frames, has since been greatly expanded upon on a page created a couple years later, “Fixing ‘A Very Prevalent Error: The Cabinetmaker’s Answer to the Gold Frame Convention,” here. Have... continue reading.

Framing Photographs—I: Contemporary Landscapes by Geoffrey Agrons

Posted on June 25th, 2010

Geoffrey Agrons is a good customer and a superb photographer. We just framed this set of his photos printed on handmade Japanese paper, and they present a good opportunity to demonstrate two important lessons of framing design: framing contemporary photographs close, an... continue reading.

Framing Arts and Crafts Tiles

Posted on June 23rd, 2010

Suitable frames for tiles are hard to come by—especially as the old tiles in particular become more highly treasured: folks want to do them proud, but production frames on small works of real handcraft only accentuate their makeshift nature. Yes, tile frames are easy ... continue reading.

Framing Paintings—I: Kevin Courter’s “Colusa Sunset”

Posted on June 21st, 2010

“All true art is praise,” as John Ruskin said, getting right at the heart of picture-making (and blowing the top off a lot of pretentious blather about art, too). Last fall Kevin Courter brought in this work of praise, a 16″ x 20″ oil on linen, l... continue reading.

An Embarrassment of Riches: New Showroom Display Full of Great Paintings

Posted on June 19th, 2010

We just rehung the Gallery to show off all eight of our painters. It’s a true delight to walk in and see such a lavish display of this tremendous group of artists. I hope you’ll come by and experience it!... continue reading.