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 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.

Framing Historic California Watercolors

Posted on October 12th, 2011

We’ve recently had the pleasure of framing several watercolors by notable California artists working in the early twentieth century. Maynard Dixon (1875-1946): Chris Jorgensen (1838-1876): William S. Rice (1873-1963): Marjorie Stevens (1902-1992; available through... continue reading.

Sharon Calahan Medals in OPA Western Regional!

Posted on October 11th, 2011

Sharon Calahan came home from the Oil Painters of America Western Regional Exhibition this weekend with a Bronze Medal! Her painting is “June Pasture,” 20″ x 40″. We had framed it in a quartersawn white oak compound flat with carved sight edge. C... continue reading.

A Chamfered Mirror

Posted on September 7th, 2011

John Ruskin wrote, “to those who love Architecture, the life and accent of the hand are everything.” One age-old kind of handwork is chamfering, and its application to frames is one of the greatest joys in my work. This is a quartersawn white oak mirror I ju... continue reading.