CraigsUniqueFrames' Bio | Shop Home



Calgary, AB, Canada


I am interested in truth, integrity, beauty, and quietness. And love, as an action, and an outpouring from within, and not some vague, lofty, magical vapor in the sky somewhere to be constantly groping for, or trying to hold onto for dear life.
I also like drums. And cameras. And stand-up comedy.

Skills and Techniques

The hardest, yet most enjoyable and important part of the process begins with the finding of the wood. Craighas a four-wheeled pirate ship, which he uses to travel the shores of the mighty Fraser River, and other places, plundering beaches and nearby forested areas, for unique and odd-looking stocks of wood.

Each frame is crafted from stocks of wood that the crafter himself has deliberately set out to find. Each piece needs to stand out as being peculiar in shape and texture, as well as coloring and grain patterns.

When you order custom picture frames online from Craig's Unique Frames, you are going to receive quality wooden frames to which the utmost diligence and care have been given, throughout the entirety of the process.​

Although perhaps Craig's favorite part of the process, finding the wood is often the most difficult and time-consuming part.

There is then as much care and diligence put into the crafting process. There is much deliberation in the details, without compromising the beauty of any of the natural irregularities of the wood.​

There are few "products" used (wood glue and lacquer, for the most part), and the bulk of the work is performed by hand.​

In short, Craig goes on a wood-harvesting odyssey, finds the wood, studies it briefly, and then, using a couple of saws and a chisel, removes everything that doesn't look like a beautifully amazing and unique picture frame! ​

These wooden frames are just raw wood, lightly chiseled and sanded, with a light covering of lacquer, to seal them and bring out the color and contrast. Each comes with removable glass, backing and hanger.

Artist Choice Ultra Clear glass is included with these frames. It protects without sacrificing the clarity of your artwork or photograph. The true colors of your framed project will come through clearly, without the green tint of ordinary glass. Great clarity, true color transmission.

If you are looking for unique portrait frames, for example, you will find in our shop unique portrait frames, indeed. In other words, you will truly be the only person who has your frame! Each one of the several wooden frames crafted each week are an original photo frame design.

Furthermore, it is a new frame every time you turn it a different way. Because of this, the included hanger is removable, so you can hang your frame however you like it best, and turn it if you decide to put a different photo in it down the road, and maybe that picture is of a different orientation than the prior one (i.e: "landscape" vs. "portrait"). "Flex-points" allow very easy removal of glass and backing.

The pricing for each frame is determined by:​

a) the time put in to making it
b)the picture frame size and dimensions
c)the amount and type of wood used (some wood is harder to find and/or more difficult to work with)​

Thank you for your interest in these handcrafted picture frames, taking the time to read about the process and considering ordering one or more pre-made or one-of-a-kind custom picture frames online from us (they ship fast!). Blessings to you!

Get to Know

My name is Craig Johnstone. I am a Canadian photographer, artisan, air-sculptor, time decorator, Earth-dweller, ultra-overcomer, and fugitive of the law of averages, currently living in or near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

I also build unique and elegant handcrafted photo frames.​

I started building these in 2011, while living in "the sticks" for a spell and discovering diamond willow wood. The frames I made with it quickly became very popular with the people around me, and I began to sell them at farmer's markets, etc. I began to also build more rustic frames, like root wood frames, real barn wood frames, even fence post frames and driftwood frames. They all received much more attention and praise than I ever would have expected, and it was becoming more than feasible that I could make and sell a handcrafted photo frame or two online. And I did!

Then things happened, as they do, and I was without the tools, equipment and space to be able to continue building them, for about 2 years. Well, a series of blessings has allowed me to now continue again, with what is one of my favorite things to do... building unique wood picture frames for the wonderful people who seem to enjoy them!​

One of my earlier unique portrait frames was to be featured on the UK TV show "Crafty Beggars" a few years ago, but they ended up having to cut it from the show, sadly. On the bright side, I guess I still have my 15 minutes coming to me... :) Thanks for visiting me here, and enjoy browsing all of my most recently built handmade wood frames!

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