A Frame-Maker’s Journal

DSCN0831Updates 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

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.

Framing Emmy Lou Packard

Posted on March 23rd, 2018

We recently framed this extraordinary large block print by noted California artist Emmy Lou Packard (1914-1998). Measuring 24″ x 18″, it’s an image of an artichoke harvester. I loved the pattern in the background and decided to carry it out in the fram... continue reading.

“Love Round the Earth”: Framing Ships for the Holidays

Posted on December 8th, 2017

Here’s an exemplary Arts and Crafts tile we just framed. It’s over a century old, made by the outstanding Cincinnati tile maker, Rookwood (founded in 1880 and still active!). If you’re at all familiar with the Arts and Crafts Movement, you’ve pro... continue reading.

Framing Diego Rivera

Posted on November 17th, 2017

This is a very special piece, not only because of the prestigious name of the artist, but because it’s so highly treasured by the customer. The drawing was a gift from the artist, Diego Rivera (1886-1957), to the customer’s grandfather, who had been a friend of ... continue reading.