Tuesday, January 12, 2010


after some success with the finger joints, though not being satisfied with how long they take to make, i decided on another style, this a sort-of modified half-lap, secured with dowels. the removal of a bit of the face on two of the sides provides maximum glue surface area, while also keeping the desirable look(from the front, anyway) of the finger-jointed corners, in a fraction of the time. and frustration. good deal.
here's an in-process shot of an unfinished corner. the dowels are cut to be proud of the side of the frame, and then flush-cut prior to sanding. the dowels also provide extra surface area for gluing, and, i think, make for a subtle detail in the finished corner. .
a piece by Jim Houser, framed for my friend Julie. reclaimed pine, walnut stain, wax. 20x30ish.
detail of the new corner. the grain on this frame really stood out beautifully after finishing, glowing with a rich golden-red. bully!
a print by Maya Hayuk, also for said friend, mahogany, cherry stain, wax. roughly 22x40.
subtle dowels
i like the end-grain contrast against the adjacent straight. .
and, finally a paper-cut on wood panel by swoon, part of her 'fishscale' series. looked a little lost just hanging on the wall alone, so i was given the instruction to make it more 'dramatic'. . reclaimed pine (from shipping pallets. more on that later. . ), sloppily applied walnut dye and ebony stain, wax. full of holes from nails and dents and rot, the wood was picked specifically for it's features and characteristics. the wood the paper is mounted to looks to be old painted floor moulding, so i felt it appropriate. you can see through the holes and spaces between the slats. 7x13ish.

Friday, January 8, 2010


some of the latest woodblock prints i've been working on. all three of these, and the coelacanth previously posted, are part of a larger project of life-size woodblocks of my favorite animals. this will be an ongoing project, with a large show at the end hopefully. . 20 or so two-color prints, of various sizes.

Campephelius principalis, the ivory billed woodpecker. controversially 'extinct', though, for me, personifies the need for hardy optimism in the field of conservation, and especially in the face of the sixth largest extinction this earth has ever seen, this one, man-made. don't stop believing. . (read more about the ivory bill in 'Grail Bird' by Tim Gallagher. an excellent read, and a pretty thorough account of the desecration of bottom-land old growth swamp habitat in the mississippi delta area by human encroachment and poor resource management. for a quick downer, check this out.)

soooo. . onto a bit lighter fare, i present Sula nebouxii, the blue footed booby. one of my all-time favorite birds. this is a female.

. . and her suitor. the only visual difference is the dark ring of pigment on the inner edge of the female's iris, giving the appearance of a larger pupil. the bfb's have a pretty complex series of courtship rituals, with head tosses, calling, wing displaying, and quick leaps in the air, displaying the feet. a recent study found that the males with the bluest feet were most likely to find mates, though they couldn't figure out why. turns out that the blue is deepest when a certain metabolic process works the most efficiently, so that the birds with the bluest feet would be selected most often and therefore, pass on the better genetics. pretty neat. unfortunately, at the moment, this is the only photo of this piece i have, and it was bought at the show. .


here're more frames from the same 'works on paper' show. .

this was for a painting by Alicia Neal (www.alicianeal.net). pine, finger joints, walnut dye, cherry stain, wax finish. .

a lovely piece by Justin Gray (www.burntobuild.blogspot.com), too bad you can't see all the detail. . sorry. the frame is maple, light coat of ebony stain, overextending lap joint corners, dowels to lock the joint. this show solidified my resolve to never do a simple mitered corner again, and also never use nails to join those corners. i've also found that framing friend's artwork provides me a good reason to try almost anything, and so far it seems to have been pretty successful. . thanks, fellas, for freedom granted. . i hope you're all pleased with the results. i am.

and finally, for good measure, my submission to the 'works on paper' show. a life size woodblock of Latimeria Chalumnae, the coelacanth. no frame. . mulberry paper mounted on a plywood panel.


here are some past framing projects, mostly for friends, mostly for the 'works on paper show' at the Snyderman Gallery in old city, philadelphia. .

this one's for a piece by Mike Bukowski (lastchanceillustration.com). red oak with an american walnut stain, with a buffed wax finish

white pine, fingerjoints, colonial maple stain, wax finish for Adriane Dalton.

two for Jeanne D'angelo (wanderinggenie.blogspot.com), both pine with ebony stain, shoe polish finish, both with a suprisingly contrasty result. not undesirable, just. . unexpected. wound up working well with the artwork, if i do say so. .

max! testing. .