exotic wood frame

Using Exotic Woods to Enhance an Artwork

Here at Paris Framemakers, we carry a wide array of exotic woods available in natural finishes. These woods offer so much variation in color, texture, and grain pattern! Along with their aesthetic richness, these woods carry rich histories, which can add new depths to the works of art that they encase. Purpleheart, for example, comes from the very center of the peltogyne tree, which grows only in the tropical rainforests of Brazil, Guyana and Suriname. It turns a vivid purple color as soon as it is cut, and its unique grain resembles a series of tiny X’s.

Lacewood is the quartersawn lumber of the American sycamore tree. When cut this way, its grain resembles short interlocking strokes. These marks almost exactly mirror the distinctive brushwork in the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. Recently, when searching for the perfect frame to enhance a small reproduction of Van Gogh’s “Rest Work (after Millet)”, we found that our Lacewood frame matched eerily well, both in hue and in pattern. Finding a naturally occurring match to Van Gogh’s signature style underscores his connection to the world around him, just as the art within is connected to the frame around it.

The possibilities are vast when it comes to natural wood finishes. Finding the perfect frame can not only create a beautiful piece of home decoration, but also place a work of art in historical, cultural and conceptual context. Natural woods are less austere than blacks or whites, but more sober than a painted color. They carry with them intimations of the trees they came from, and the faraway lands they grew upon.