Frame Talk #1

Picture Frames: The Why’s and Wherefore’s

As a custom framer, whenever I go to an art show, museum, or gallery my eye tends to go first to the frame and then to the painting.  This section of my blog will be dedicated to a short narrative of why a frame was chosen for a particular painting.  Too often frames are  purchased from a big box store and slapped on an artist’s work with very little thought as to the overall effect.  I read an article by an artist who compared putting a cheap frame on a painting to going to a fine steak house and getting instant mashed potatoes and frozen peas as a side for your premium steak!

This is what is referred to as a closed corner frame, meaning it is assembled before it’s finished. This way any discrepancies in the corners can be corrected.  Something not possible with a cut and join type of frame.  The addition of the Walnut splines are not only for design but for strength in the miter joint.  A frame this size (16″ x 22″) was $135.00 and although a bit more than the imported, proverbial big box stores this frame truly elevates the over-all presentation.

The painting is by Julian Miranda and is titled “The Sojourner”.  Follow this link to see it  on his Facebook page.  He did an interesting documentation of his work which is on a         1 1/2″ cradled panel made by Alejandro of TruArt Canvas.  When he approached me to make the frame and mentioned wanting to use hardwood I jumped at the chance.  It allowed me to use my furniture making roots and create this unique frame for him.  By the way, if you’re interested in one for your work it’s been called “The Julian Float”.


About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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1 Response to Frame Talk #1

  1. Bob Easton says:

    Nicely done John! It’s one of the few float frames I’ve seen that works well.
    …. and what’s wrong with frozen peas? 🙂


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