June 2010 Archives

IMG_7930.JPGThe crew at Frames By Edward Wright hosted another all day workshop in March!

Edward, Donna, Brooks Ann and Arin explained the steps taken to make a hand crafted, closed corner frame and coached the students while they made their own unique 8"x10" closed corner frames. They learned to water gild 12k gold, oil gild common leaf, shellac and distress and every step between.

If you missed the last workshop, join Frames By Edward Wright on Monday July 12th for the next frame making workshop! Learn what makes Frames By Edward Wright stand out from other frame makers. Cost is just $300 per person and $150 for each additional participant from the same shop. Call or email for more information.

Frames by Edward Wright recently completed a custom frame which was featured in Carolina Home + Garden magazine. The frame was part of a luxurious condo in Asheville, NC, designed by interior designer Krista Washam LaBlue.

"The homeowner requested that the television set be hidden when not in use -- quite a challenge without introducing an entertainment center. LaBlue's solution was ingenious. A Séura television from CWB Technologies was integrated into a massive mirror over the mantle and surrounded by a custom 6-inch-deep frame by Blackbird Frame and Art."

Such a strong room design demanded a strong frame design. Our client, Blackbird Frame and Art, turned to Frames by Edward Wright. They specified a 5-inch wide moulding, CM-5. We added buildup to make a 6" deep frame that could accommodate the television behind the mirror. A deep cut was added to the top of the frame, for air venting. Tarnished silver leaf provided a subtle, beautiful finish. The result is a versatile technical solution which is simply an elegant mirror frame when the television is not in use.

On the Road

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IMG_8716-1.JPGby Edward Wright

When I first started the business, I would design at least one sample a week. I was constantly experimenting with new finishes and patterns. Some of you may remember how excited I was to show you the newest design and get your input. I was so wrapped up in creating that I did not always document my creations.

This process satisfied my artistic temperament but made it impossible for me or other artisans to duplicate the samples you were showing your customers. At times it seems our present structure stifles our individual creativity, but as we refine our process I find my own creativity supported by the perspective and skills of other artisans.

As many of you know, I go out once a week to deliver frames and update your sample selections. One of the major benefits of these trips is to get your input on the designs we develop in the shop.

We design moulding patterns based on traditional shapes and custom sizes that meet our particular preferences for carving and finishing. We then research the market for current styles, colors and our customers' needs to determine a design for the frame.

Our artisans experiment with various techniques to develop new finishes. When we then determine the finish works, we document up to 20 steps used in building the frame, photograph it and make a shop sample. This work is intensive and time consuming but since it reflects the contribution of everyone in the shop and our customers, the results are very satisfying.
Frames by Edward Wright recently completed this custom picture frame for a client in the Charlotte, NC area.
IMG_9180.JPGThe frame is based on our sample #5406, with extensive customization by the client to suit her specific needs. She changed the moulding to our SS, a 3-inch moulding, and modified the design of the hand carving. As the finishing touch she specified rounded corners. The client worked closely with our artisan Brooks Ann on her requested modifications, and even provided a detailed drawing, making this custom design a pleasure to create:
5355-sketch.jpg The frame is gilded in precious metals, with tarnished silver across most of the surface and 22k gold on the highlights. At 31" wide and almost 48" tall, this oversized frame is a unique creation which complements the artwork which will be placed inside it.

By Donna

This month we are premiering two samples that highlight our new floater mouldings. After many requests from our customers for floaters without a step, we now offer floaters constructed out of two separate moulding pieces so we can offer a variety of floater sizes without the step.

Sample 5443 is built from moulding FL 7&8 and is finished with our traditional brass finish. The size of this floater is 2" deep and the top tail is 3/4" wide.

Sample 5444 features our new FL 5&6 moulding and is completed with a tarnished silver finish. The size of this floater is 2" deep and the top rail is 1 1/4" wide.


Because the new floater mouldings are two pieces, we can interchange the pieces to give you different size options. We are very excited to present these new floaters and we look forward to making you and your customers beautiful custom floater frames.

A Unique Order

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by Brooks Ann

Recently, I got a call from one of our local retailers. She had a customer who needed a very special frame for a very special piece of art. Naturally, her first choice was to work with Frames by Edward Wright to create a completely custom frame.


The piece was a colorful Art Nouveau German Opera Poster from 1898 by Adolph Hohenstien which was approximately 9 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The customer liked our sample 5353 (with a tarnished sliver finish and our latium blue clay undercoat), but wanted a completely custom carve to complement the piece.


I was called in for a consultation to discuss the details of this unique order. When I arrived at our customer's shop, the huge piece took up almost their entire workroom! Due to the height restrictions of the room that the art will ultimately hang, the molding chosen could only be two and a half inches wide and the inside rabbet had to be cut deeper. We discussed the creation of a large asymmetrical Nouveau- inspired corner carve that would drape down the sides of the frame. After taking some photos, I truly became inspired by the beautiful piece and was excited to get started on the order.

IMG_9047.JPGI started researching Art Nouveau decorations, graphics and ornaments that had the same spirit as the piece itself as a starting point for the custom carve. I then cut the raw wood molding to size and began penciling, erasing, drawing, redrawing, and staring at the designs until I was satisfied with how it looked on the frame before carving. I usually carve frames by clamping it into a vice, but because this frame was so big, I clamped it to some tables and began to hand carve the custom design. After hours of hand chiseling, gouging and sanding, I finally had the frame carved enough to join the corners.

I joined the raw wood and added a buildup using the customer's custom dimensions. I created some custom braces to hold the frame in shape until the artwork and glass could be installed at our customer's shop. I carefully rounded each corner using a palm sander and finished the final details of the carve before the first coat of gesso was applied. I then continued our frame making process of gessoing, sanding, undercoating, water gilding the silver leaf, burnishing, tarnishing, antiquing, waxing and dusting this unique oversize frame.

The end result was stunning and a true collaboration between the customers and the artisan. For me, this was a 'dream order' that truly allowed me to create a 'work of art' to complement and house a work of art! The end-customer loved his custom frame and has since become a loyal customer of our retailer, customizing our frames for other works of art in his collection.

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