Nara Pilgrim Wood Framing Materials and Methods

Framing Methods and  Materials

I was taught and have noticed that "presentation" is important to consider in all things, whether it be a gift, or a meal, or a flower arrangement. The consideration and attention to the presentation of anything has a significant influence on the enjoyment of the moment.

This is certainly true in the presentation of any artwork, especially watercolors. It is always my intention to frame my paintings so that they are enhanced and complemented by the materials and techniques that are used.

The watercolors which are painted on paper are framed in one of two ways, either with the edge of the painting under a mat, or with the painting mounted above the frame back with the edge of the painting exposed. Exposed edges have been embossed and deckled (see example below). In either case fine decorative and hand-made papers are used to set off the painting.

Watercolors on silk are loosely stretched between two "valances", top and bottom. The silk is very sheer and cannot be stretched in the fashion that a canvas is stretched. So, the painting is "suspended" over the back of the frame so that light can pass through the fabric and be reflected off the back paper. This gives the painting a luminosity that is lost if the silk is mounted to a surface. Fine papers are also used with silk paintings to finish the frame and accentuate the image.

In order to make an elegant presentation I use materials and techniques that frame shops don’t offer. I encourage you to consider my framing services in order to optimally complement and enhance your painting or giclee.

  • Sumi ink painting of face of Buddha semi-obscured by brightly colored foliage in watercolors.

Watercolor on paper under a beveled mat which is covered in a textured, handmade paper. The frame is fitted with a sheet of UV filtering acrylic.

Watercolor on paper with embossed and deckled edge. Painting is "floated" in the frame, mounted on 1/4" acid-free, conservation-quality foam core. Multiple layers of fine papers laminate the surface of the frame behind the painting. The frame is fitted with a sheet of UV filtering acrylic.

Watercolor painted on silk, floated in thin shadowbox-style frame with "valences" of hard wood at top and bottom of painting. Hardware and decoration is in sterling silver. A Chinese turquoise is set in the tsuba-style ornament at the top of the frame.

Decorative Paper over Beveled Mat

Detail of a speckled paper over a beveled mat. Many different types and styles of paper are used in the framing. I'm always looking for interesting and unique materials.

Floral Pattern Embossed Paper Under Silk Painting

This image shows a heavily textured embossed paper which is covering the back of a frame containing a watercolor on silk.

Decorative Paper with Paper Joint Under Silk Painting

This detail shows a Japanese-style paper joint used to cover the back of a large frame. The paper is of a Tibetan cloud pattern, and was used to accentuate the feeling of emerging from the bush onto an island beach at sunset in the South Pacific, from darkness to light.