Even little things make a difference.
By nature, framemaking is a craft that produces a lot of waste. It is impossible to eliminate waste entirely, but striving to reduce it as much as possible is of the utmost priority to me, and many of my patrons. This not only reduces environmental impact, but saves money and respects the raw materials that many people have worked so hard to produce.
Environment & COMMUNITY
Where does it come from and where does it go?
Typical frameshops purchase lengths of moulding from suppliers and cut those down to make frames. 'Sticks' of moulding are generally 8 or 10 feet long and there is always waste when this is cut up and made into frames. Leftovers from this moulding are covered in paint, gesso, sealers, waxes, metals, and an array of other chemicals. Because of the variety of materials, this waste is unrecyclable. It goes to a landfill and slowly rots, leeching out whatever chemicals are present.
By starting every frame from raw wood, all waste is just plain wood. Pieces that are too small for frames, especially rare woods, can be used by other woodworkers or artists for small projects. Otherwise the wood can be chipped up for mulch or burned for heat.
There is currently no regulation of materials used in picture frame moulding.
Like many goods, the majority of length moulding sold in the US is manufactured in huge quantities in Southeast Asia, primarily China, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Given that even regulated items are frequently exported containing toxic chemicals- one can only imagine what is in a product that has little to no oversight. Sawing, sanding, joining- every stage of the framemaking process creates dust, and even with filters this dust is inhaled. By completing every step of the process from the begnning by hand, the materials used in the custom framemaking process can be aknowledged and protected against.
The responsibility of the framemaker.
I take the materials I use very seriously and throughly educate myself about their history, uses, and dangers. Never hesitate to question a framer about products or chemicals they use to make a frame- it is their responsibility to know the answer. Feel free to ask me about my frames, or anyone elses at firstname.lastname@example.org.