Inside the workshop: The making of a bespoke oval frame
Framing & Printing Guides

Inside the workshop: The making of a bespoke oval frame

Framing Services / Inside the workshop: The making of a bespoke oval frame

SohoFrames is home to a talented team dedicated to bringing your creative framing ideas to life. Regardless if you have a painting, photograph, or even a particularly unconventional item, our specialists can design and craft bespoke frames in almost any style or shape imaginable.

Whether you’re an art aficionado looking to display your latest masterpiece, a photography pro seeking the perfect gallery wall setup, or a sentimental soul wanting to preserve those cherished memories, our passion for framing shines through in every project we undertake.

We’re pleased to share with you the story behind our latest creation — a charming oval frame crafted from walnut. We hope you’ll find it intriguing to learn about the craftsmanship that went into making this unique frame. Here’s a step-by-step guide to how we did it.

Initial Contact and Consultation

The process began when the client contacted us expressing interest in a custom frame for their artwork. We had an initial chat over email to better understand their requirements and preferences for the envisioned frame, and invited them for an in-person consultation to get a better feel for their project.

Client Visit To Our Workshop

The client visited our Silver Place workshop with their artwork, and we had an in-person discussion about their ideas. We showed them various samples, helping the client understand the possibilities. Off the back of our discussion, we agreed on something exceptional — a custom oval walnut frame that perfectly complements their artwork while reflecting their unique taste and style.

3D Schematic and Joint Positioning

To offer our client a precise representation of the frame’s form, we crafted a 3D schematic that brought the design to life, allowing them to visualise how the frame would look.

This interactive approach enabled our client to explore every angle, inspect the intricate details, and get a feel for the overall aesthetic that we were working towards. After thorough deliberation, they opted to position the frame’s joints strategically at 12, 6, 3, and 9 o’clock around the frame. This guaranteed structural integrity and a visually pleasing outcome.

3D schematic of oval frame

Preparing The Wood

Crafting an exceptional bespoke frame starts with selecting the perfect plank of wood. We visited our preferred timber yard, carefully handpicking a plank that precisely matched the client’s requirements for colour, grain pattern, and thickness.

Back at our workshop, the raw walnut plank underwent a transformative process using a planer — a specialised woodworking tool used for smoothing and levelling uneven surfaces. This step ensured a clean and uniform foundation for constructing a frame.

Precision Carving

With the levelled walnut plank in hand, we meticulously identified the ideal section of wood to craft the four essential pieces for the oval frame. Ensuring precision, we carefully double-checked the cutting files before proceeding to carve out the frame pieces. This step demanded utmost care and dedication, taking approximately two hours of machine time to achieve flawless results.

Crafting The Frame

Following the carving process, we carefully inspected each frame piece for any defects or irregularities. Once we knew everything was in order, we checked the fit of each joint. Making the necessary adjustments, our team ensured that the frame pieces fitted together flawlessly and offered a seamless appearance.

Once satisfied with the joint fit, we moved forward with glueing the frame together using high-quality adhesive. To keep everything in place while the glue set, we used band and G-clamps. This ensured a strong and precisely aligned final frame.

Hand Finishing

Once the glue had dried completely, we sanded the frame to achieve a smooth finish — a crucial step in producing an oval-shaped frame. While machine-sanding handled most areas, the unique shape required delicate hand-sanding for the outer and inner edges.

After completing the sanding process, we turned our attention to enhancing the frame’s appearance. By applying sealers and waxes, we achieved the desired level of shine and protection, all while considering the client’s preferences and ensuring the frame’s long-lasting beauty.

Hand Finishing Oval Frame

Final Quality Check

Before considering the frame complete, we conducted a thorough final quality check. With an eye for detail, we thoroughly inspected every aspect, ensuring that the frame met our exacting standards of craftsmanship and precisely matched the client’s requirements.

With the finished frame in hand, it was now time to carefully fit the client’s artwork. Precise measurements and attention to detail were essential to ensure a perfect fit that showcased the artwork beautifully within the custom-made frame. Check out the final result below!

Finished Custom Oval Frame


Now you’ve learned about the love and care that goes into our workshop projects, why not schedule a consultation by contacting us today? We’d love to hear from you!

black and white art in a gallery
More From Our Guides

How to print and display monochrome pictures

Powerful? Tick. Nostalgic? Tick. Timeless? Tick! Black-and-white pictures have a remarkable ability to make a vivid statement, even in the absence of colour. This monochromatic medium allows artists and photographers to tap into the essence of their subjects, unearthing a raw narrative that can deeply resonate with viewers. Whether you are a seasoned photographer seeking…

Read More