Finding the right frames to offer our clients was a struggle. We wanted a frame that could be passed down generations, was made in the USA, had a timeless yet traditional look, and was reasonably affordable for our clients. We found some frames that complimented our style, but our cost for them was so high that we wouldn't be able to mark them up, let alone we didn't feel comfortable charging our clients the price we had to pay for them. On top of that they used V-nails. Frustrated with the situation, I told Elise I could make them. She didn't believe me. I don't own any frame making specific tools, but woodworking is one of my favorite hobbies. I knew I could make a better quality picture frame in my own garage. So one week, I did, just to show her that I could. She was floored, and from that day forward we have been offering our photography clients frames that I make myself.
Why Our Frames Are Better
Most custom frames are made from fabricated moldings that are made outside the USA from cheap materials to save on the costs of production. A frame shop will take that molding, cut 4 pieces out of it, and staple the corners together with a V-nail. As the frame ages, it breaks down. Dings and scuffs on the surface go right through the veneer and expose the polystyrene, or particle board behind it. Even worse, the frame starts coming apart at the corners leaving wider and wider gaps every year as the wood contracts and expands with the seasons against the metal V-nails. If given the chance to remain an eyesore long enough, the frame will fall apart right on the wall.
The frames I make are out of solid wood. If I make a walnut frame, I don’t stain a cheap piece of wood to a walnut color or use a piece of walnut veneer to cover up polystyrene. I make the frame out of solid walnut lumber. I use wood joinery, opposed to metal V-nails, at each corner to hold the frame together. By taking advantage of the natural strength in the wood grain, a thin wooden spline is fitted in each corner of the frame, and glued in place. This way the entire frame will contract and expand together rather than pull against itself, making these frames last longer and better than any frame with a nail in it.
Each frame gets a hand rubbed pure tung oil finish, not only to bring out the natural beauty of the color and grain in the wood, but also to strengthen and protect the wood. This eco-friendly finish can be reapplied and waxed over.
Tips for ordering:
- Choose a light wood dark wood combination to have great contrasting splines
- You can really make your framed art pop, when you match the color of your mat board to the color of the wood splines in the frame.