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 a Famous Utagawa Hiroshige Print

Posted on August 3rd, 2022

The same year that Utagawa Kunisada made the print in my last post, another Utagawa, Utagawa Hiroshige, produced his “Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake.” As part of the artist’s series “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo,” this a... continue reading.

Framing a Kunisada Illustration for The Tale of Genji

Posted on July 30th, 2022

This is an 1857 woodblock print by Ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kunisada (1823-1900) titled “Illusion.” It is described as one of the “Game Cards for the Chapters of Lady Murasaki’s Tale of Genji”—the eleventh century novel depicting the lives ... continue reading.

The Mighty Earth: Framing Kim Lordier’s “Misty Morn” for Our New Exhibit

Posted on July 26th, 2022

The mighty Earth is making her power felt this summer, once again reminding us—or, rather, commanding us—to pay attention to her and to her great creation on which we depend and of which we are a part. Can we picture a civilization that heeds the Earth’s pleas... continue reading.

Painted Chamfers: Framing a Calligraphed Poem

Posted on April 23rd, 2022

This lovely poem by Dawn Gross was expertly calligraphed by Ben Yates. We used a 1-5/8″ wide walnut frame on the 15″ x 11″ paper. By chamfering the outside edge I gave the corners an abstract leaf form. I painted the chamfer with green milk paint, whic... continue reading.

Framing the Great Wall of China

Posted on April 19th, 2022

Just framed this Chinese painting of the Great Wall of China. The painting is 17″ x 20″. The 1-1/2″ wide frame is walnut with dilute black stain. We used a silk covered mat with grey paper filets inside the sight edge. You probably recognize the spiral... continue reading.

Framing Marion Kavanagh Wachtel

Posted on April 18th, 2022

Here’s a beauty from one of the state’s greats. In early California’s popular eucalyptus painting genre, this 24″ x 18″ watercolor by Marion Kavanagh Wachtel (1876 – 1954) is hard to beat. “Sunset,” is not dated, but is believ... continue reading.

“With Four Sticks of Wood”: A Simple Home for Bernard Maybeck

Posted on April 11th, 2022

A couple of months ago, we were asked to frame a portrait of the architect Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957) to hang in the larger frame of Maybeck’s 1902 Faculty Club at UC Berkeley. No portrait cries out for the architecture of a frame like a portrait of an architect. You... continue reading.

“Humanization”: Framing Ukrainian artist Aleksei Bordusov

Posted on February 26th, 2022

I’ve been wanting to post about this job we framed many months ago. Finally pulling it out of the archives I remembered the enigmatic image as well as its intriguing title: “Humanization.” But I’d forgotten who the artist was. Looking it up today... continue reading.

Framing Thomas Jefferson Kitts

Posted on February 24th, 2022

James Rieser at Rieser Fine Art in Carmel recently asked us to frame this beautiful landscape painting by contemporary Oregon artist Thomas Jefferson Kitts. “Tranquility” (2021, oil on canvas, 36″ x 48″) is available from Jim’s gallery. (Vi... continue reading.