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

What Matters: Framing the Value of Labor and an Ethos of Craftsmanship

Posted on July 13th, 2020

I was pleased to see in Doug Stowe’s greatly important blog “The Wisdom of the Hands” that a question I raised in reply to a post a few years back appears to be of help as he begins mapping out his new book, an exciting and ambitious project tentativel... continue reading.

Framing Richard Wagener

Posted on July 5th, 2020

I’ve long admired the prints of Northern California wood engraver Richard Wagener. As a subject for pictorial artists, the Sierra Nevada will surely never be exhausted of its beauty or inspiration. But Wagener, bringing to the Range of Light a less common art form... continue reading.

Holton Studio Frame-Makers—The Movie!

Posted on June 21st, 2020

Thanks to the kindness of our neighbor Rob Reiter of The Lightroom, we now have a nice introductory two-minute video, “About Holton Studio Frame-Makers,” which I’ve just posted to our “About Us” page. As you know, two minutes of film takes ... continue reading.

Parcel Gilding

Posted on June 20th, 2020

Lately we’ve been doing more with parcel gilding, which is gilding just part of a frame. A simple example is this frame for Ellen Howard‘s painting “Just Blooming,” an 8″ x 8″ oil on board that’s part of our show of small works ... continue reading.

Online Show “Little Windows” Starts Today

Posted on June 18th, 2020

Today we’re starting our first online show ever! “Little Windows” features new and recent small paintings (9″ x 12″ and smaller) by our tremendously talented roster of landscape painters. Included is Terry Miura‘s “Eucalyptus in... continue reading.

Carving Beads

Posted on May 31st, 2020

I’m in the midst of a big framing job—a polyptych of four abutted cassetta frames in quartersawn white oak to house a 17th century map in four panels. Helping unify them is a sight edge molding with a running beaded pattern. Beads are part of the basic vocabular... continue reading.

When Lightning Strikes: Framing Karima Cammell

Posted on May 27th, 2020

In 1470, fire from the daytime sky—the sun—allowed the young Leonardo Da Vinci to use parabolic “fire mirrors” to concentrate the solar rays to temperatures hot enough to solder copper plates together to form the ball that surmounts Brunelleschi’s ... continue reading.

Framing Virgil Williams—and How Virgil Williams Framed “Art”

Posted on May 26th, 2020

We recently re-framed this oil painting by Virgil Williams (1830-1886) of his wife Dora feeding chickens on their farm near Mt St Helena, which towers in the background. The 18″ x 14″ painting is undated but was probably painted in the 1880’s. The fram... continue reading.

Framing My Thoughts On Framing Paintings: An Article in “Realism Today”

Posted on May 25th, 2020

Realism Today’s online magazine has published an article of mine, “A Frame-Maker’s Thoughts On Framing Paintings,” which aims to help painters think through the problem of framing their work. It begins, If you’re a pictorial artist, you probabl... continue reading.