As a naturally found material, wood lends itself effortlessly to a huge variety of uses. It is extremely popular for decorative purposes and many favor it as a material for making picture frames.
Along with being extremely durable and versatile, wood has a classic and timeless appeal which gives any picture, poster or piece of art a classy and elegant finish. According to master Framers, Lord Price a picture frame “… performs both aesthetic and practical roles. It is the boundary of the composition; defining, complementing and separating the artwork from its more mundane surroundings. Framing a picture also protects the art from damage and allows it to be more easily hung on the wall.”
What they fail to add is that the timeless appeal of wooden picture frames makes them ideal whatever the personal or monetary value of the picture, portrait or piece of art.
The History of Wooden Picture Frames
Wooden picture frames have been used in various guises and in various ways throughout history with the earliest example of a wooden frame being rescued from an Egyptian tomb dating back to the 2nd Century AD. The earliest examples of wooden picture frames which resemble those which we are used to seeing now can be dated back to 12 and 13th Century Europe when they became popular for use in religious and royal buildings.
The earliest uses of wooden picture frames was intended to protect and prevent damage to pictures which had particular significance or were financially precious and therefore they did not begin to appear in the households of the common citizens until much later.
Getting the Most from Wooden Picture Frames
In the past, the technical skills and knowledge of carpenters meant that it was often they or master craftsmen who designed and made picture frames. With their ability to get the best from their material, they were able to make the correct cuts and joins which enabled the natural grain and flow of the wood as well as any natural embellishments such as knots to decorate the picture frames.
As time has progressed however, many of these methods are not only passed on through direct and indirect education but are freely available for amateur information on the internet. Additional tools which have made sanding, plaining and joining easier for those without specialist training have also contributed to the number of people who might not be classed as master carpenters but are still capable of producing high quality wooden picture frames.
A skill which is less likely to be taken on and perfected by a person without the necessary skill, talent or training though is the decoration of wooden picture frames. As more modern and dynamic designs are sought out by buyers, techniques such as sculpting, carving or engraving as well as staining to reveal the natural contours become increasingly popular.
Prices of Wooden Picture Frames
As is the case with natural materials, the prices of wooden picture frames are subject to wild differences depending on the availability and popularity of a particular wood and the ease with which it can be used to create the ideal picture frames.