This high relief mask that a client brought back from a recent South American holiday was framed in a stained natural timber shadowbox frame.
The carving was 70mm high at its highest point so a non-standard frame had to be crafted to accommodate the depth of the artwork.
A close grained Meranti timber was chosen to frame this item. The timber is light weight and easy to work with and readily accepted the colouration required to match the artwork.
To add another layer of interest the piece was mounted to a fabric wrapped backing board. The spacers that hold the carving back from the Museum Glass are also fabric wrapped to match the backing.
This is a simple looking frame but sometimes the simplest frames are the best when it comes to showcasing the items that are being framed. Many indigenous artworks are overwhelmed by tacky or overbearing frames that are really more suited to photographs and home decor than to aesthetically and sensitively presenting cultural works.
A number of Aboriginal paintings on linen that we’ve been framing lately have been put into floating box frames with a suitable spacing around the canvasses allowing the paintings to breathe. The advantage of framing canvasses this way rather than just stretching the canvas over a frame is that you get the added protection of the solid external frame. One of our favourites is a narrow faced (only 8mm wide) frame floater constructed from Victorian Ash. The frame can be left as a natural finish or various wax finishes can be applied to the frame giving it a lustre that is warm and inviting.
The trend away from canvas stretching and just presenting the stretched canvas without a frame is again strongly established. Art collectors are once again valuing the addition of a tastefully crafted picture frame. When you need a canvas stretched it is wise to consult with a professional picture framer who can advise which size of canvas stretcher frame is required. In a future post I will explain the different types of canvas stretching frames and the importance of selecting the right one so the painting is afforded the protection it deserves.