Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Picture Framing Adventure

In the vast field of interior decorating, one of my favorite subjects is art!  To me, the art displayed in a room adds the final dash of character to the whole endeavour.  I find nothing more boring than a beautiful room with no personal artistic touches, whether they take the form of a beautiful religious relic, an odd pottery bowl or a great painting on the wall.  Sometimes a room's architecture is enough, but even a boring box room comes alive with a special piece of art prominently displayed, whether its a collection of beloved postcards on the fridge, a stack of well-loved books, or an odd accessory or weird piece of furniture.  Picture perfect rooms with sterile furnishings and no art (or pre-fab art) are painfully dull to me.
And what intrigues me most about art is that no two people seem to have the same taste in it!  I swear that taste for art is as individual as our DNA.

I am especially fond of works of art on paper, including paintings, drawings, and etchings.  I also love photography.  The funny thing is that I'm almost equally enamoured with the framing of art.  Oftentimes I notice the frames almost as much as the art.  I am fond of old-fashioned frames, whether ornate and gilded or simple wooden ones.  I just like them to have an old-world feel.
Since I have a house full of prints and even some original art, I've decided to take a picture framing course in an effort to organize my collection without breaking the bank.  Professional picture framing is a costly endeavour and sometimes a cheap frame job just doesn't fit the bill, especially for odd sized pieces.

My class starts in 3 weeks at a local art school.  We will learn how to cut mats and glass, how to mount the art, and how to chop and assemble our own frames.  The class runs for 8 weeks and besides manual skills, we'll learn the theory of archival framing and all the rules for making a work of art shine!
I hope to re-frame some antique etchings I bought in 2008 at the Paris flea market (St-Ouen).  I framed the above etching rather cheaply but would like a frame that is a little larger and older.

Below is an etching I had professionally framed for $160.  The etching itself is old but was a total score at $15.  I dug it from a dusty bin at an old antique shop and still regret that I didn't buy the whole box (there were at least 10 more but some were stained and I wasn't attentive enough to have a better look): 
The frame job is nicely done but I wish I could have done it myself and saved some money. Or better yet, I would love to re-purpose a lonely old frame with a new piece of art!

My class starts in February and runs 'til the end of March.  I can hardly wait to start and promise to share my projects with you...

 Photos:  1. Source N/A  2. Traditional Home 3. Charlotte Moss's Study in House & Garden photographed by Simon Upton 4&5. Windlost's house.


  1. I can't wait to hear about your projects and I so wish I could take the class with you! I love art and frames as well and I couldn't agree with you more on all of what you just said! And I've been on a mad search looking for etchings and drawings and haven't had any luck! Where do you look...any online resources? xoTrina PS Love your beautiful etching.

  2. Trina, I have struggled to find affordable etchings online. Although I have found some when searching for book plates. I usually look at antique stores and the Paris flea markets are rife with this stuff. I bought these antique ones for about 50 Euros each but also bought some others that look old for just a few dollars! I have no secret source but wish I could find one. So far it is luck. : )

  3. What a great thing to know how to do. If I discovered such a class in my area, I'd sign up in a heartbeat! Have fun!

  4. You will have people lined up at your door once you do this course! A good framer is someone to hold onto. maybe you could some framing on the side.
    Love your etchings. I am thinking of doing a big one for one of our walls.
    Ness xx

  5. Are you really going to have walls full of art as depicted?

    How wonderful to take a practical class that is surely going to save you a small fortune! Have great fun with it!

  6. That sounds like a great class to take! You've got me wondering if we have something like that around here. Love the images you chose to illustrate your points.

  7. Terri,
    Funny how you are doing (framing class) what I have wanted to do forever it seems... but time is always the issue. I hope you write so how posts to torment me.

    I'm glad you like the french pieces, and I too love the marble toppped ones. I have a pair of gold gilt side tables that'll take your breathe away! thay make me feel like I'm Cairo in 1910.....hahahaha.

  8. Oh can't wait to see what you do!! You'll have to teach us everything you learn!! (hahah what a cheapie I sound like! ;)

    That first pic you have is one I've saved for so long. I just never really get over it. Such an old man room. love it.

    And the secnod one down I've never seen before but just love the frames. beautiful.

    big hug, miss you,
    cousin L

  9. I have followed your blog often, via Lauren :) This is a wonderful post and what a valuable class to take...wish I had one under my belt. You also have some very nice works, so I'll be checking back often to see how it unfolds!

  10. Hi!

    How are you? Wow, I love the rooms with all the pictures! And the little flowered chair is so cute! Sounds fun with the course, I'm sure that you will love it!

    Hope that all is well with you and that 2010 has started off well :)

    Hugs, Susanne

  11. My first job out of college was in a frame shop where I helped customers pick out mouldings, mats, etc. and then spent hours in the back room cutting. They didn't let me near the chopper that cut the wood, though, and that was fine with me. You will have a ball. I learned so much.

  12. Sounds like fun, can't wait to hear more about it and see the projects you will do too! I hope you thoroughly enjoy it!! :0)

  13. Sounds like so much fun, I would love to take a class like that. I cant wait to hear about it and make sure to take lots of pics to post :)

  14. Hi Trina- I think i can help...the first photo is one of my favorites. It's from House Beautiful May 2007 and it's artist Craig Schumacher's Dallas bedroom. Love it! Robin

  15. I need a class like that! I collect old frames to use for my own artwork, and framing them myself would be so much cheaper.
    That etching was a great find!

  16. How wonderful that you're taking a framing class. You will save lots of money as it's so hands on and a big chunk of a framing job is the time involved. I used to work in a gallery/frame shop. It was such an interesting job as I got to cut the mats, glass, frames and do all the assembling. And working with all the great art that came in was bonus. Please share some of your framing adventures with us.

  17. I love the designs of the frames very classic and sophisticated.
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  18. Lovely photos picture are meant to be posted on the wall to remind us of the beautiful memories of our life.
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  19. What a great post! I love frames and etchings and would like to have walls filled with them. Wonderful photos!
    Have fun on your class and I hope you will tell us more about it.
    xo Poppins