Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Lengths to Which I Will Go

With four new paintings done I went looking at my favorite online frame shop for my usual frames. Prices have gone up. So far up that I became curious as to what I had once paid and since I had receipts out preparing my accounts for taxes I could easily check. I once paid only $13.95 for a 12x12 deep Canvas floater frame. Same frame is now $34 plus shipping.

So off to the hardware store I went. They love me there.

No, you cannot get picture frame moldings at a small town hardware store. You cannot even get them at your average Lowe's or Home Depot. But you can get door trim and corner trim and half rounds and slats, etc. And with clamps and some basic puzzle solving ability you can create compound moldings with a few simple ones. So after staring at the cross-section board at the counter for an agonizing 30 minutes while the clerks (business being down these days) waited patiently for me to make a decision I came home with two eight foot lengths each of five different standard trims. Total cost $52.00 including black spray paint, and glue. I had clamps from maskmaking days.

I laid the strips of wood on the table and began making combinations and trying them on an edge of a canvas. I now work almost exclusively in the 1 3/8 deep artist canvas and like to finish them off with what is called a canvas floater frame. I already have a Dewalt Compound Mitre Saw complete with lazer sight from doing the trim-out on my studio. And some experience with angles.

After an afternoon of gluing and clamping I now have two eight foot lengths of one type of floater trim and two seven foot lenths of another for the smaller paintings. I figure with no miscuts I can make three 12x12 frames and two 20x18 frames.

Next step is to sand the four complex trims I have made and then measure and cut and glue. Then I can spray paint them.

I am rather excited about this. My costs are just over one of the small frames with shipping. And way under just one larger frame without shipping. Yes, my labor added in would probably bring it all closer to even but what is time to a hog? At this point, like many other artists, I have more time than money.


  1. Wow.. I'm well impressed... I'm sure they will be more beautful than the shop bought ones anyway.. and you never know.. if you got really good and into it, you could start a home framing business. (ps.. don't fit kitchens do you...lol)

  2. I also am impressed, not only with your can-do-ness. Coincidentally, I was mulling (& possibly dreaming) over WHAT to do with my newly re-discovered 22X30 Fabriano stack I came across during the organizational process. Could I actually begin again to establish a body of work, lol? I also think you could turn this into a lucrative sideline just among your artist buddies, if you enjoy doing it. How satisfying to get around those high prices, & your every frame would be custom-made!

  3. I am not sure that these re-discoveries are accidental but rather opportunities put again before us. Like the poems I discovered in my old journals.

    As I made these frames I remembered the many hours helping my father in his wood workshop and how careful he was with spreading the glue and mitering corners. Definitely not wasted hours.

    Run a couple of those Fabrianos by blogland and see what they say.


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.