As a printmaker, or any artist, who produces work to be framed, finding an original picture frame that doesn’t cost the earth can be tricky. It is why I started making my own frames a few months back from reclaimed wood. It was a pretty steep learning curve, an investment in some tools and specialist equipment and a search for a source of reclaimed wood, but it has been a very worthwhile investment in time and money for me.
We held a party for my husband’s birthday recently and as part of that I invited a talented young artist, Harriet Riddell, to our house. She recreates a narrative of an event, in stitch on canvas, using her sewing machine. She sat under one of our gazebos stitching away, creating a wonderful keepsake of our party for us to frame.
I haven’t framed a canvas before so I thought I’d get our local framing shop to do this one for us, especially as the canvas was fairly large (about 70cms square). I picked a couple of mouldings and asked for a quote. The cheapest was £160 and the most expensive was £330! Perhaps my local framers are particularly expensive, but it was enough to kickstart me into action and after watching some You Tube videos on stretching a canvas, I thought I could probably do it. I was right. £28 of stretcher bars and tray moulding later, it was all sorted.
I wanted a simple floating canvas frame – a bit different from the standard glossy black, so I bought a natural wood frame moulding and painted with graphite chalk paint,
I also had another personal framing project – Ian Rawnsley’s “Wee Ones” . These are small oils on hardboard panels, about 15cms square. I had an idea for the kind of frame I wanted, again a kind of ‘floating’ look but this time in a much wider moulding. I used reclaimed cedar and treated it with a white wash as I was aiming for a bleached driftwood look that would suit the coastal nature of the paintings.