top of page

Inside Artelier's Sustainable Framing Collection

As international art consultants, Artelier specialises in curating art for luxury residential, hospitality, yacht and aviation projects. For many previous projects, Artelier has created bespoke painting frames as part of our art consultancy services. Expanding the scope of our art framing services, in early 2020 Artelier launched an extensive range of frames for canvas paintings and works on paper, which were individually designed and developed by our team. We explain here how our comprehensive art framing collection was built on our ethos of sustainability.

Central to Artelier's ethos is an emphasis on sustainability in all aspects of the business – from championing artists who use natural and ethically sourced materials, to being environmentally conscious in our everyday operations. When creating Artelier's new fine art framing collection, sustainability was a core consideration at every stage. Through responsibly sourcing woods, dyes, and finishes, as well as supporting sustainable practices, we have developed a collection of painting frames that truly reflects Artelier's values.

Responsibly sourced wood

The need to verify sustainable sources has become increasingly important for many private residential and hotel art projects. As well as being a central concern for our art consultancy, we promote sustainability by using environmentally sourced oak and specialist woods for our wood picture frames.

While wood is naturally a renewable material, responsible sourcing is of critical importance to make wood a truly ‘sustainable’ resource. Wood that has been classified as sustainable has been sourced from carefully managed forests: this prevents damage to eco-systems, the landscape and local wildlife, and ensures the longevity of the area as a woodland.

All of Artelier's wood picture frames use wood from FSC and PEFC certified suppliers. FSC and PEFC are independent, non-profit organisations who are internationally recognised as leading authorities on sustainable wood. They promote Sustainable Forest Management by working “throughout the entire forest supply chain” to ensure timber is “produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards” (as explained by PEFC).

The majority of Artelier's fine art wood frames – both those in the Classic and the Signature collections – are crafted from Oak and African Maple. These woods have been specially selected, as each are classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as being species of ‘Least Concern’ – the lowest risk category.

Our Oak is grown in Wales, and so additionally complies with British forest management standards. As well as being sustainable woods, Oak and African Maple are ideally suited to frames due to their distinctive grains and malleability.

Our Specialist Woods range, which is part of the Signature Collection, offers a range of luxury woods that can be used for any profile. When working with exotic woods, it is essential to assess their origin; by ensuring that all wood suppliers for our wood picture frames have been FSC and PEFC certified, we are pleased to be able to offer an ethical option to those clients who want these woods. Cherry, American Ash and Walnut in this range are especially environmentally responsible options, as they are plentiful and are overseen by tight regulations.

Natural finishes & dyes

Due to our experience delivering art consultancy for a variety of luxury projects, we understand the need for exceptional finishes in all aspects of the design scheme. In the same way that we commission art that complements subtle elements of the design, our custom-made wood frames enhance other interior finishes. For example, wood frames finished with natural dyes and waxes can harmoniously integrate with other natural materials in the space.

In order to enhance the wood’s qualities, framers use a range of waxes and oils to give a lustrous finish. Naturally derived waxes, such as beeswax, are not only made from renewable materials, but also create a much richer polish than synthetic varnishes made from heavy chemicals. Oils, like linseed oil, can also be applied in multiple coatings to the frame; as it slowly infuses through the surface layers, it builds up shine and preserves the wood.

Artelier’s Natural Finishes frames showcase a variety of water-based dyes created from soluble organic materials. The colours that can be achieved exemplify how natural dyes can create starkly different effects from the same wood, as well as enhance the wood’s grain. The advantage of using natural dyes rather than heavy pigments is that a dye penetrates the surface, rather than gathering in the pores of the wood. The colour is therefore more subtly changed, and the wood’s natural qualities are given prominence.

Liming can also be used as an added finish, and is especially effective on open-grained, harder woods such as oak and ash. This traditional technique uses a lime base mixed with water; once applied to the wood, it adds a soft white-wash effect, and leaves a distinctive white residue that lightens the grain.

Organic Colour

Paints from naturally derived colours are richer, earthier and more subtle in tone; the overall effect is more elegant and sophisticated than synthetic colours. When we are developing artworks for projects as part of our art consultant role, we carefully consult on colours so that they best complement the natural materials used in the project. Similarly, selecting well-matched, organic colours is an important consideration for coloured frames.

All of our fine art frames can also be coated in a range of eco-conscious paints made from 100% naturally derived pigments, as seen in the Contemporary Colour range. The sustainable paints we use are created exclusively from raw materials of plant-based or mineral origin, such as limestone, resins, starches, fruit oils and waxes. In contrast to synthetic paint, it is free from