Natural Timber Frames
Natural Edge Framing & Photography specialise in creating live edge frames handcrafted from the iconic timbers of the South West of Western Australia. The timbers we predominantly use are – Jarrah, Karri, Marri, Sheoak and Tuart. The virtue of these species is that they cover a wide spectrum of shades that suit almost any artwork you may need framed. They are natural and moreover, they are on trend.
When we look at trends, current designs in framing are moving more and more toward a natural look. Both natural timber and pre manufactured faux timber mouldings are popular choices in today’s modern homes. Whether your choice is the more minimalistic straight edge or the more organic bark edge frame we are well placed to meet your desire for in-style decor. In short, this page is devoted to explaining all about our bark edge frames and providing examples to assist you with your choices.
How are our natural timber frames constructed?
The construction process begins with sourcing timber in the form of log face cuts from local mills. This includes any discarded ‘waste’ or rough sawn off cuts that are still usable.
At times this process can be time consuming and physically demanding, but the reward is in finding that special piece which holds inner secrets. These secrets are all revealed of course when we begin to sand back the timber’s weathered surface to find stunning natural grain, still sound in structure and form underneath.
Natural beauty revealed…
Firstly, timber must be ‘aged’ and dry enough so that it won’t warp after a frame has been made. In woodworking terms, it is vital to position and rotate each prospective length to establish how straight it is. This is because any warp will make it almost impossibly to construct a sound frame. In sum, if its not straight – forget it.
Once our piece of bark edge timber is selected the opposite side is sawn straight to a suitable width that will allow for a rebate. Following this, the timber length is fed through a planer, or thicknesser, to make it smooth and flat.
At this point, a rebate is routed on the under side making it ready to hold the mat and glass. Importantly, this rebate is also taped to ensure that acidic tannins, present in all natural timber, can not bleed into the matting or art work over time. Tannin remains within timber no matter what it’s age and can discolour mats and artwork if they come in contact. As a result, our frames are made to an archival grade and therefore suitable to protect your artwork for many years to come.
Lastly, we saw the timber length into four connecting pieces creating corners, or mitres, at each end. Additionally, we aim to match the texture running through the mitres to create a seamless pattern through the corners, for the eye to follow. Upon success with this, we then apply woodwork glue to the inner edges and then join together using a V-Nailer. V nails are uniquely shaped wedges of differing length used to securely join the mitre joint. They are used at multiple points depending on the weight of the frame.
The timber’s natural beauty lives on…
At last we have our raw frame ready with many options available with which to finish the frame. The next step is deciding on the right look and finish for your bark edge frame. The frame face is the most important element in the final piece and can be finished as raw or refined as you like. As such, some decor calls for an untouched rustic finish, for example, that trendy bar room; while a highly refined frame finish would better suit a formal dining room.
What’s the best finish for a natural frame?
Firstly, if you prefer a high finish on the frame, sustained sanding will increase the level of smoothness and the addition of a liquid varnish can intensify, to a high degree, the natural timber grain. This results in a highly polished look that is the most refined finish we can achieve.
Likewise, varnishes come in different consistencies, therefore, we can arrive distinct reflective results with each grade. In short, varnish is a top coat that protects but allows for the natural grain to show through.
Secondly, wax is another option to use to finish your frame. This substance results in a less reflective surface than varnish but leaves a lovely feel to the touch. To some it may appeal more due to its contemporary appearance. In truth, it is the most popular choice due to its silky veneer.
Lastly, we also use oils to finish frames. Oil is not a film finish as varnish and wax essentially are. It seeps deep into the timber and offers the highest degree of protection as it repels moisture. Moreover, oil preserves any roughness left from partial sanding to maintain a rustic effect. It is important to note, however, that oil results in a change of shade as it filters through the timber fibres. To the enthusiast, oil will produce lovely darker hues, but will best preserve the frame’s natural grain.
A uniquely natural frame.
Beyond completion of the frame we can expertly advise and assist you in choosing current matting and colour design that will compliment your artwork. While we work from experience we are always open to personal requests for any design ideas – its the way we learn too.
In conclusion, all our frames are truly unique creations. Each one is individual and exclusive, therefore, you can be assured of a very special piece for your home, work area, business counter, table or favourite space which can be admired for years to come.
Natural Edge Framing & Photography specialise in creating live edge frames handcrafted from the iconic timbers of the South West of Western Australia.
The process begins with sourcing timber in the form of face and off cuts from local mills, or any discarded ‘waste’ or rough sawn lengths that are still usable.
At times it can be a messy and time consuming job to sand back years of weathering but the reward is in finding that inner beauty that is sound in structure and form.
Once the best lengths are prepared a rebate is routed and taped to ensure an archival finish which separates artwork from acidic tannins that remain within timber no matter its age.
Further polishing often exposes a stunning natural grain and texture that adds value to any frame that can be admired for years to come.
The next step is designing the right look and finish for your artwork. Through experience we can expertly advise and assist you in choosing current matting design and colour trends that will compliment your artwork.
We are also always open to personal requests for any design ideas – its the way we learn too.
All our frames are truly unique creations. Each one is individual and exclusive, therefore, you can be assured of a very special piece for your wall, desk, counter, table or favourite space.