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  • Keith Tribe

It's all in the details

Rustic Works was built literally from the ground up from a single custom frame. To this day, my processes have evolved, but never too far from where it all began. I wanted to explore that a little more in this months post.

Back in late 2014 my wife acquired a print from a well known artist, Robbie Craig, and asked me if I could make a frame for it. Previous to this I was using unfinished pine to make frames for her. The pine frames were fairly standard, mitred 45 degree corners, and I would paint them to match the print. They looked great, but when I looked at the current print she asked me to frame I knew that I wanted to try something different!

Let me tell you, the first time working with barn board was wildly different compared to regular wood. What I immediately learned is that none of the wood is uniform. Often barn wood was milled decades if not close to a century ago and each barn used different thicknesses and types of wood. As I tried to construct the frame I found that the wood was all different thicknesses and when I cut it, would often look odd since the cut was exposing the non weathered wood underneath. To make the frame I ended up using brackets that I bent to ensure the front of the frame was uniform, and developed my signature inserts for the inside portion of the frame to hold the glass. At the time I used a foam backer and nails to hold it in place. All in all, it was a beautiful frame, but I knew I could build on that first frame and get better!

Shortly after that, friends and family started asking for barn board frames and not long after that, Rustic Works was born! With each frame I was learning better materials, better processes and through trial and error found how to make frames that look beautiful but were also soundly built with professional materials.

So far I’ve shown how I pick the boards, and how I choose the frame type. Today is all about the details! Brackets that are still hand bent as needed, custom inserts that are burned to match the patina of the wood, pin nails, metal backer board clips and professional strength glue. Each frame is still built the same way as my very first, with clamps, nails, cutting, re-cutting, more re-cutting to fit and time!



I was making room in the house for newer frames and my wife and I decided that we could let the first frame go for sale. Looking back on it, I was reminded how far Rustic Works and my craft has come, but also how true to form each frame really is. Every frame is custom, unique and truly one of a kind. I say it all the time, and when I look back, I can really see it!

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- A century in the making -