September 17


Outside the Art | Custom Frame Fabrication

In the design space, the frame is, in essence, a combination of sculpture and architecture. It is an extension of a work of art, fusing the piece with its surroundings. Matisse described the four sides of the frame as, “the most important part of the picture.” The frame can draw attention to the entire piece or a specific element within.


The earliest discovered frame designs, thought to have hung in Egyptian homes, date back to the 2nd century A.D. Though, it would be the twelfth and thirteenth century before the frames we recognize today would come into fashion.  In the hospitality design space, we see frames portraying a variety of art; flat, dimensional, and digital.  With such an array of subject matter to fit within the frame, skilled fabrication becomes vital. 

Computer-aided design (CAD) is an essential step in the design process. Specifiers and interior designers coordinate with CAD engineers to draft custom frames that are scalable in both quantity and size. Durable materials and finishes enable designers to create stunning frames to place their content. Metal frames give art a sleek contemporary look. Colored frames add a dimension of daring.


Welding processes join the framing materials to ensure stability.


The craftsmanship found centuries ago in the studios of the masters is still alive in the fabrication studios of today. Knowledgeable craftsmen ensure the integrity of the frame.  CNC lasers and routers are employed for precision cuts. These machines can produce a one-off as effectively as repeated identical production.

After the CNC machine cuts, a more hands-on approach is incorporated using welding and grinding. This is where the sparks fly.  Welding processes join the framing materials to ensure stability.  After the welds, grinding techniques smooth and sculpt the design. The frame is now ready for the finishing process, but before that happens it must be pre-assembled.

Custom Frame

Detail of a custom frame template.


Quality control best practices are incorporated during the frame’s pre-assembly. All fabricated pieces, joiners and fasteners, and templates are documented for instructional purposes.  The end goal of assembly process documentation is to give the frame installers the most informed instructions to aid in the installation.

Once the pre-assembled frame is approved, it is disassembled and prepared for finishing. Powder coating offers the most superior finish for metal. It provides a more durable finish than liquid paint while still providing an attractive look.


Fabricating custom frames for specifiers and designers requires an understanding of the commercial interior design environment.  Once a client’s needs have been met and the project has been approved, crated, and shipped, the process now moves to the installation teams.  Providing a quality custom frame with clear documentation and precise installation templates is the key to success. This is important, as multiple projects are often occurring in the final design space.

Creative Edge Hospitality Art has a history of working with designers to meet their custom framing needs.  Our designs range from wall-mounted frames to standing frames and include security frames and multi-purpose frames.  We would be glad to discuss your next framing project with you.  Visit this link to get started.


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