Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thinking Within The Frame

Graham Reynolds started making frames for artists and collectors when he was an architecture student, “just to make money, to be able to afford to go to university and drive a car and take girls out". Thirty five years later, he has given up architecture but he is still making frames – a master craftsman whose clients include private collectors, and major museums and art galleries across Australia and New Zealand. His hand-built pieces cost anywhere between $600 and $100,000.
I’m lucky enough to have Graham build and prepare the timber boards that I use for my large-scale enamel works and I have grown to love the ritual of ordering them from him. Delivery usually takes about three weeks and there is something almost sensual about the smoothness of the painting surface and the finely contoured edges on which I also paint.
Graham's workshop is a big, old, non-descript warehouse. You press a buzzer and look into a camera to be let in, then you go up to what looks like the inside of a traditional colonial-style house, with frames and artwork stacked or hanging in every room. You walk though these rooms to the workshops where they have massive shaping and pressing machines to work the timber and in different rooms, craftsmen gilding and sculpting
Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, devoted a mini-documentary to his craftmanship.

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