Ryan Ward of United Measures does not make frames for you to hang on your wall. Someone who makes frames doesn’t care for the process or the subtle changes in timber or stain. A craftsman, by contrast, reacts to them, thinks on the fly, understands that a certain join would be better than another and that some timbers should be celebrated and enhanced, while very few should be painted. A craftsman can also create to your specifications and always wants to work with a client and with their treasured pieces of work, art and design.
Framing is a bit of a misunderstood practice. Most are daggy, expensive, factory-produced things that lazily hoop your prized acquisitions. You can either go for the off-the-shelf or the real deal. It’s an understanding and an education that, once it’s in your head, is pretty hard to shake. When you see the work and detail that only a trained hand can achieve you want everything like that. United Measures is your tailored suit for your art and design.
United Measures isn’t going to gild the lily, nor is it going to produce an ornate affair of rococo twirls and twists. The skill is in the construction and, of course, Ryan’s approach to the task at hand. Preferring to generously term what he does a collaboration, he will walk you through his process with a respectful discussion of what it is he does and what it is he’s going to do, explaining how certain woods will react and how others will respond to treatments and techniques.
Like other artisan trades it’s all in the details, and you may be the only one who will notice – in this case – the United Measures spline joint, but it’s addictive and once you have one you’re left in no doubt that you would frame your house if you could. It may be subtle, but United Measures’ gentle craftsmanship and wonderfully clean approach to design and construction leave you with satisfaction and pleasure.
United Measures will create a piece of furniture that you will appreciate for its own merits, understanding that a frame should never supersede the piece it’s celebrating. What’s left is a quiet confidence that through “fine art frame fabrication”, as Ryan calls it, you have something that adds to the whole.
15–25 Keele Street, Collingwood