Florence Italy, 2009:
At a frame finishing workshop at the Florence Academy of Art, Bandiera Studio I turned to my friend Adrienne and whispered:
"I'm going to learn to build frames."
My name is Nigel Robertson, and I am the founder of Batican Custom Framery, and an alumni of the Florence Academy of Art. It was that faithful day that I set my intentions to learn the art of hand making frames. I started collecting the tools to actualize my dreams of making beautiful frames in early 2012. I suppose it started as a hobby like making art did. I set my intentions of being an artist in first grade, and that intention eventually developed into being a frame maker as well. I am passionate about both. As Picasso said "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." a beautiful art quote that has always resonated with me. I started studying the masters at around age 19 and fell in love with Rembrandt and Caravaggio like many before me, and it was in City College a figure drawing professor recommended I check out Florence, and I did. Eventually by age 26 I had made it over to study at the Florence Academy when I felt I had learned all I could on my own.
What an amazing time! Academic Training! Learning to truly see is a beautiful thing. I was in love and I was on fire. Visiting the museums around Florence and Rome was another turning point that cemented the idea that I had to learn to make frames, because since my early years of making art I had always envisioned my paintings having interesting frames. I was always inspired by Mark Ryden's elaborate hand carved frames, and desired to achieve something similar. My tastes have changed since then, something that comes with more maturity I suppose. Another big turning point was Christmas 2010 when I first stepped foot in the Rijks Museum and saw the stunning beauty of the Dutch Ripple frame. The dutch black has been a large inspiration for today's Batican frames. I am a fan of how a dark frame seems to make an oil painting seemingly glow. Black and gold is our staple motif, and seems to fit with the name "Batican" perfectly. How we got our name is another story best saved for another time.
After years of practice, trial and error we have arrived at the point we are today. We started in a garage making frames for our art, and for fun, and for the love of making. We are still a very small company, and still just a few friends having fun working with wood, making pretty things striving to refine our craft. We appreciate the overwhelmingly positive response to our creations and we're working hard to continuously get better at what we do, so thank you from all of us at Batican Custom Framery.