The cost of having pictures properly mounted and framed can be a big issue. I have often heard the subject raised amongst artist friends. So it is natural that as an amateur artist myself and also a woodworker, awhile back I began building all the frames for my own paintings. As I gained experience in this, I have developed some techniques that might be of use to others, or at least of interest. I am illustrating my points on ‘Flickr’ in a new set entitled “In the Frame”.
Let me immediately reassure you that I have no intention of boring everybody by reiterating all the usual methods of frame-building that can be found in any of dozens of “How to…” books. Not at all. What I will set out is a narrow view of a few techniques which I have worked on over the past few years. This blog will be in three parts: firstly, a somewhat archaic and labour intensive way whereby I make my own picture frame mouldings; secondly, I’ll set out a really easy way to produce a fine metallic finish on those mouldings. Thirdly, a short section setting out some easy ways of enhancing picture frames with decorative touches.
Now I’ve told you what this is about, half of you may wish to tune out ~ that’s you artists who are actually selling your work. You are excused. If your work is good enough to find a consistent market, then maybe you shouldn’t be making picture frames. You may do better financially, and get more pleasure out of using the time to paint another picture. No, the people I’m talking to here are those like myself, who paint for their own satisfaction and find it hard to justify the expense of framing their work. I understand this even better now, since I recently went in to talk to my friend, the owner of a framing shop in the nearby city of St. Catharines. He told me that one of the frames I had just brought in to be glazed would cost roughly $400, framed and matted in the way I had done it. My total costs were roughly $50, thanks partly to him for furnishing me with matting, glass and foam core at reasonable prices.