Second Saturday Studio: Frametastic

Naomi Vanderleest, Education Assistant

At an art museum you typically visit to see the works on display, but today I am looking around the work, at the frame! What do you think of when you picture a frame? Some frames are matte and black, while others are shimmering and gold. These differences make me wonder what guides an artist or curator to choose a frame. At the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, in the exhibition Indiana Waterways: The Art of Conservation, the artists were responsible for framing their works. Look at the varying frames.

L to R: Dan Woodson, American b. 1945. Sugar Creek at Turkey Run (Parke County). Oil on canvas, 2020-2022. Loan from the Artist. Image courtesy of FWMoA. Avon Waters, American b. 1954. Stagnant Summer, East Fork White River (Bartholomew County). Pastel on paper, 2020-2022. Loan from the Artist. Image courtesy of FWMoA. Tom Woodson, American, b. 1961. Flatrock River (Shelby County). Oil on canvas, 2020-2022. Loan from the artist. Courtesy of FWMoA. Curt Stanfield, American b. 1962. The Settlement, White River (Davies County). Oil on canvas, 2020-2022. Loan from the Artist. Image courtesy of FWMoA.

Why do you think the artists chose these frames? 

John Kelty, American b. 1964. Confluence, St.Joseph, St.Mary’s, Maumee (Allen County). Watercolor on paper, 2020-2022. Loan from the Artist. Image courtesy of FWMoA. 

I think each one complements their style and color palette, such as how John Kelty’s use of a black frame (above) contrasts his strategic use of white.

I don’t have the tools to create my own wood frame, but I can recreate a frame out of paper! Find an old project that deserves a frame and use the supplies below to create one. I chose a project from a previous Saturday Studio post!

You’ll need: 

  • Artwork
  • Ruler
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors or X-acto knife
  • Pencil
  • Tape

Selecting the color of your frame is important, so find a piece of construction paper that complements your artwork. Look at the different frames above for ideas. TIP: The construction paper needs to be larger than your artwork. Next, decide how large your frame will be. I decided on a 1 ½ inch border. Trace around your artwork and, from those lines, measure the border size on each side.

 Draw the frame to match your measurements on each side.

Some frames have designs: leaves, flowers, or even geometric lines. Decide if a design suits your work. I added a smaller border and diagonal lines to help my frame appear three dimensional.

Once you have finished drawing, cut it out! First, cut along the outside edge. Next, cut out the inside. Slightly fold the frame to create a hole the scissors can cut around.

Lastly, tape your artwork to the back of the frame. Now your work is ready to hang on the wall!

I chose a yellow frame to complement the sun peaking through my artwork. Share your frame with a friend, and tell them why you chose it; inspire them to create their own frame! Together you can find a spot to hang your works. Sit down and look at your work on the wall. What changed when you hung the work? I notice how my eyes move, following all the different lines I see.

Want to see more artworks? Join FWMoA Education staff every Second Saturday for a Family Tour at 10:30am, free with admission.

One Reply to “Second Saturday Studio: Frametastic”

  1. Thanks for featuring the Waterways artists. I too have made paper frames. Adding paper mache over old scared up frames is a great way to recycle them. Thanks

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