The story in the frame

Many think a framer’s job is one of a simple service of making pretty boxes to put things on the wall. I believe that is a very simplistic concept of what true picture framing is about. Yes, we have the knowledge of design, conservation and technique but there is far more to framing - what we really do is present and preserve our client’s story.

In a new age of Instagram, Facebook and everyone trying to show the world who they are instantaneously, we are in a unique position to tell their story in a way that isn’t fleeting and gone in 24 hours. We create their family heirlooms of the future. Treasured pieces that, in time, will tell the stories of their life.  

Blackbean canvas float frame

Every special and unique frame design contains our energy and a piece of ourselves. Call me crazy but I believe this wholeheartedly. This is true of all specialist artisans. The connections we make with clients and the stories they entrust with us are what makes our industry unique - one that will withstand the test of time. I see evidence of this in my retail clients’ enthusiasm for the antique timber frames we offer. They embrace the story and the energy and often select a 100-year-old Silky Oak frame for their modern pieces.

But what if the frame its self also has a story to tell. A story of ancient forests and cultures.  Of rarity, sustainability, community and ethical management of ancient lands. When the frame has tens of thousands of years of dreamtime stories of its own.  

This is what we are excited to be bringing to our small artisan community.

Many clients ask us why and how our product is different from the other natural timbers on the market and why they are priced what at first seems high. To be frank, it amazes me that I am asked this by people in our industry. We hear it all the time. Why is framing so expensive when they can buy a ready made for a fraction of the cost?

native Australian timber picture frames

We always explain politely that what we do is CUSTOM. Designed and crafted specifically for each unique piece. We use higher quality materials and techniques and the design possibilities for our clients are endless. Once the difference is explained then the matter of price becomes less of an obstacle.

ARTIS PURA Mouldings are just this. The difference between the mass produced and the custom.

Many of our timbers are sourced from the ancient forests of Far North Queensland. The indigenous people of the land have tended to these forests for over 40,000 years. Through care and a spiritual understanding of sustainability of our earth these custodians of the land selectively harvest these rare timbers. They do this in such a way that it promotes new growth under dying canopies and ensures the forest is re-growing. For every tree that is felled and average of 5 trees grow in its place.

This knowledge is sacred and passed down through the generations of Australia’s traditional land owners. Our timbers are sourced from companies that work closely in collaboration with the local land owners providing industry and opportunity while respecting the provenance of the forests.


We are grateful that we have this opportunity to bring to our industry truly sustainable timbers that hold the colours and stories of our lands. A product that is 100% local and supports regional communities.

Our native timbers range highlights the primeval beauty of our ancient country. They are tactile and ignite the senses. Their simple beauty and clean lines make for perfect designs on many varied pieces from works of art to needleworks and sporting memorabilia. Like the saying “if these walls could talk” we believe that these frames too have their own stories to tell, much older stories than the walls!

Be Inspired!






A little bit of history

Checking the stock for defects before putting into to inventory

Checking the stock for defects before putting into to inventory

So how does a picture frame mouldings company come about?

Passion for the frame! Passion for bringing something unique (yet so simple) to a starved industry! When you look to our neighbours across the seas, the design options will blow your mind when it comes to framing. So many suppliers, so much creativity. From your basic length to multiple makers of fine art hand finished frames using modern and traditional techniques, such as water gilding.

Australia is a great land but we are so far removed from the rest of the world and with a small population our wholesalers have to make hard choices as to what to import. There are almost no companies manufacturing the mouldings here. Everything is imported from overseas companies already finished in length.

This has always troubled me. Why when we have so many resources here are we bringing in the same old same old from overseas. The other issue is that the market of custom framing in this country is small as most people don’t think to turn to a custom framer, but instead head to the nearest Ikea. Urghh! (That’s another story for another post) This has seen wholesalers being driven into a price war and when price is the driving factor quality and uniqueness in offerings suffers. It is such a long way to import these products so they have to make decisions based purely on business and design variety is secondary. Not that that is a bad thing but it can stifle creativity.

About five years ago I was part of a breakfast network group and one of our members made vertical gardens. I had given a 10 minute talk on some hand finished frames we had been creating. At this point we only had access to raw pine in limited profiles. After the meeting he pulled me aside and said “I can get you better timbers”. My mind raced with ideas and we organised to catch up for coffee. He presented me with the golden cherry, all these amazing native Australian hardwoods that I didn’t even know existed. My first thought was the simple box mouldings. We got started on picking species and standard profiles. We started with just your every day 2030 in about 6 species. Testing species for consistency in quality, work-ability and popularity.

Bernd and I - Its always better working with great people

Bernd and I - Its always better working with great people

From there over the years we built up new shapes, even introducing canvas float profiles, grooves, and inlays. Our clients loved them. Blackbean certainly proved to be the favourite, even though I would have thought Silky Oak would have come out on top. Once a client had a taste of our native timber range there was no going back for them. Not only we were providing a product of substance and with the heart of Australia ingrained in it, the timber is sustainably grown and 100% supports local industry. It was a win win all round.

It was early 2018 that my now friend, Bernd, and I began talking about the possibility of taking this to the framing market on a national level. We both knew that we needed each other to get it off the ground. Him from the manufacturing side and me from the business side. Who better to create a product for framers than a framer. Over the years we had ironed out almost all the issues that are normally faced in framing with working with natural products. After careful consideration and many chats, ARTIS PURA Mouldings was born. We officially launched on the first of July, 2018. We have started small as the capital investment had to come from our little framing shops profits.

We found ourselves a great warehouse not to far from our studio (working mum and wife with now two businesses proximity was imperative) and my husband, Gino, joined the team as the general manager. My dear friend Grant also took a plunge and joined us as our Accounts Manager. I mean, I still have a custom framing studio to run, and it is my heart. The future looks bright and I am brimming with design ideas and energized by what we can bring to our industry.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful framers who have supported us in these early days. I hope that this is one way that we can help energize our industry and support Australian made.


Erin Salguero


A New Website

Until now our website has simply been a page on our custom framing website. It was not ideal but it has not been until now that we have been able to create a new dedicated website. In the early days we really did not have enough content for a dedicated site but with the rapid growth of ARTIS PURA Mouldings and all the wonderful designs we are bringing out it was time to create a space just for mouldings to shine.

We are very proud of this little site as it has been built completely in house as a team effort. Many hours of trying to get forms to work and making things “line up”. In framing we find this an easy task but web design is not our strong suit. And neither should it be. Our focus is frames! Beautiful frames!

We hope you like the new website and we hope it brings new business your way.