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

The Re-Framings of Percy Gray

Posted on September 8th, 2020

One of my favorite early twentieth century California painters is Percy Gray (1869–1952). We were very lucky recently to have three works by the great watercolorist come in to the shop in quick succession. The first, which is 16″ x 20″, arrived like this. ... continue reading.

“Love Made Visible”: Kahlil Gibran’s Frame for Labor

Posted on September 7th, 2020

Do you know the painter and poet Kahlil Gibran? Labor Day is a good time to ponder this passage from his famous work, The Prophet, a passage that includes the words, “Work is love made visible.” Then a ploughman said, Speak to us of Work. And he answered, sa... continue reading.

Framing Thomas Stream

Posted on August 25th, 2020

This is a contemporary print titled “Puppy Gray” by Aleutian artist Thomas Stream. The large subject and strong contrasting colors and bold, graphic design on white paper made a white mat the best choice. The fun part was giving it a suitably bold, graphic f... continue reading.

Decorative Dovetails: Framing Hiroshi Yoshida’s “Grand Canyon”

Posted on August 23rd, 2020

My eyes lit up when this piece came in—one of the most prized prints by the great shin-hanga printmaker Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) whose work I love and love to frame (and even named a frame design for). Yoshida was a mountaineer, so it’s no surprise that some ... continue reading.

Works: New and Recent Landscapes

Posted on August 13th, 2020

We are happy to announce that we have reopened The Holton Studio Gallery—by appointment. Please come in to see the current exhibition, Works: New and Recent Landscapes. It’s up through September 12. This is a beautiful show of paintings by our outstanding roster... continue reading.

The Long View: Framing a Renaissance Map of the Roman Empire

Posted on August 10th, 2020

In tumultuous times as these, you’ve got to take the long view. And that’s what we’ve been doing—in more ways than one. We’ve had the honor and privilege to frame this extraordinary and very long 16th century map with a story that’s also ... continue reading.

“Another Work Is Possible”

Posted on August 7th, 2020

I like to say that picture frames are architecture at its most refined. Mortise-and-tenon picture frames are a refined form of mortise-and-tenon architecture, also called timber-framing. From Mortise & Tenon Magazine comes what looks to be a wonderful book and film ... continue reading.

Framing Lindsay Kustusch

Posted on August 6th, 2020

I don’t typically show two such similar frames in a row on the blog, but it might be interesting to compare two similar frames on two very different paintings—two beautiful paintings in any case. This one, an oil on canvas called “Two Old Birds,” was... continue reading.

Framing Karl Yens

Posted on August 3rd, 2020

Here’s a painting we just framed by notable Laguna Beach painter Karl Julius Yens (originally Jens) (1868-1945). “Hounding Hour in the Desert,” n.d., is an oil on canvas, 26″ x 22″. The 4″ wide frame, in quartersawn white oak (Saturat... continue reading.