Author: grainger-arts

Unsung Hero of the Gamble House

A tribute to Randell Makinson, the man who preserved Pasadena’s Gamble House.

Randell Makinson, Father of preserving Pasadena'a famed Gable House, Jeff Grainger
Randell Makinson, Father of preserving Pasadena’s famed Gable House

Perhaps when you hear the names, Charles and Henry Greene, the name Randell Makinson doesn’t automatically come to mind. However, the Arts and Crafts movement lost its last great champion on August 13, 2013, when Randell Makinson died at age 81. their brilliant and intimate designs would never have happened. I owe him a vast debt.

Read a full article and interview with Randell Makinson in the USC Trojan Family Magazine.

Email or call Jeff at 626-221-5244 to create beautiful Arts & Crafts lighting and furniture for your home.

Alternative Custom Frames for Rockin’ Art

Rock, Punk and Alt Music inspire breaking the flat Oriental front told.

My workshop used to be near a frame shop and I’d watch the Frame Guy make stock frames eight hours a day. As he cut frames and mats for whatever art walked through the door, all with perfect 90-degree corner cuts, I knew there had to be another option.

Cutting frames creates a lot of leftover scrap. As I watched all those pieces being tossed aside, I thought I could break outside the box, or frame, so to speak, and create unusual patchwork art frames. I needed a frame for a Sex Pistols poster I’d recently acquired and thought this was the perfect artwork for a custom frame that completed the punk rock experience.

Custom rock n’ roll frames are born

I salvaged some frame stock scraps from the frame shop’s trash bin and added some filler scraps of metal (hinges and the like) to close gaps in the wood. I thought it was appropriate that the glass covering the image be cracked. I did that, then sealed the glass with silicone so that the pieces wouldn’t fall out. I then distressed the finish on the frame and there it was: punk rock art. Framed.

custom art frames los angeles, california
Keeping it together – custom frame detail

I got more posters and used more found objects to “hold” the frames together, like scraps of leather, belt buckles or twisted wire used as hangers for the frames. I continued to distress the surface of the frames by scratching them up with wire brushes, singeing them with torches, and aging the metal used on the frames to create a scuffed, worn-out, abused look.

It was fun putting these things together as mismatched puzzles. On most of them, the glass was strategically cracked, partly to enhance the punk rock look, but partly because

none of the frames are square. Chances are good that there are no 90-degree angles in any of them.

The art of sharing your craft

I have a friend who worked at New York City’s Hotel Chelsea in his younger days. The hotel is famed for its eclectic clients; many of the residents are and have been rockers. Probably the most notorious was Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols.

custom frames for rock music posters, jeff grainger arts & crafts
Sid and Nancy custom rock poster frame

My friend was on staff at the time of the infamous Sid-and-Nancy murder/suicide attempt. As an homage, I made a punk rock frame for a Sid and Nancy poster and sent it to my friend. As was my habit, I put a carefully placed and sealed crack in the glass. When my friend opened the package, he thought, to his dismay, that the shippers had damaged the glass. My friend’s wife, an artist and former employee of Andy Warhol’s Factory, spent two days, a lot of gas (and a couple of cut fingers) chasing down new, uncracked glass, to custom fit the frame with no 90-degree angles.

My wife, who heard their broken-glass tale of woe, was reluctant to tell them that the cracks were purposeful. I had no such compunction. When I saw what they’d done I said, “What the HEY!! those were SUPPOSED to be there! Don’t you get it?”

Email or call me at 626-221-5244 to create art objects of any style for your home.


custom alt music rock posters
Custom rock frames by Jeff Grainger
jeff grainger custom art frames
Custom frame detail