8 X 10 Picture Frame Made From Beaver-Chewed Sticks

8 X 10 Picture Frame Made From Beaver-Chewed Sticks


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Item details



beaver chewed sticks


Height: 10 Inches; Width: 8 Inches

A picture frame made from found sticks that have been chewed by beavers. Each side of the frame has one end cut by beaver, and the other end meticulously fitted to its right-angle partner. These sticks have also had their bark stripped off by beavers, and you can see the toothy texture left behind by this process throughout the length of each stick. A glossy finish highlights the texture of the wood and the facets left by the beaver's teeth.

The frame is sized for 8" by 10" (20.3 x 25.4 cm) inserts. It comes with an acrylic front glass, a black mat with a 4.5" x 6.5" cutout, a foam core backing board, and easy instructions for inserting your artwork into the frame. The frame can be hung in either portrait or landscape orientation.

This is a picture frame that will draw attention to and complement any artwork or photograph, and has tremendous charm and eye appeal in its own right. Naturally, each beaver-stick frame is completely unique and one of a kind.

Note that you can request custom frame sizes. My ability to accept a particular custom order will depend on what's in my collection of beaver-chewed sticks.


A little about my process for making these frames:
In my daily walks with my dog, I'm always on the lookout for good beaver sticks. A "good" stick of course has to be chewed off at one end by beavers, should be around 5/8 inch to 1 inch in diameter, be long enough to form one leg of a frame, and be fairly straight throughout that length. And finally it has to be pleasing to look at -- either fresh and clean, or perhaps older but weathered in a way that doesn't look too grungy. With all those requirements, there aren't a lot of suitable sticks to be found. It would be a lot easier if my local beavers would just listen to my specifications and deliver up sticks to my doorstep on a schedule!

When I start making a frame, I first select four sticks from my collection that go well together. Then I have to cut what's known as a rabbet along the length of each stick. This is the step-shaped channel in the back of the frame that the glass, mat, artwork and backing board will fit into. This rabbet has to be perfectly straight and square, and that's rather a challenge because I'm cutting it into a natural stick that isn't either straight or square. To accomplish this I use a router and a set of jigs and tools that I made myself. These hold the irregular stick in an exact orientation and guide it across the cutting blades of the router.

The next step is to fit the four sticks together at the corners of the frame. Both the interior rabbets and the outer faces of the sticks have to be joined precisely; the former so the frame will be square and will hold its artwork flat, and the latter so the visible front of the frame will have a neat appearance. This fitting takes a lot of hand whittling and careful grinding. When the fit at all four corners is perfect, the pieces are joined with epoxy adhesive.

Next the frame is given a glossy finish that will show off the natural texture of the stick and the facetted grooves of the beaver's chew-marks. Even this step requires some special care. The beaver-cut ends of the sticks absorb finish very differently than the body of the stick, so two types of finish have to be applied in stages. Finally hardware for hanging the picture frame is attached, and a glass, mat and backing board are inserted and held in place with framer's points.

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From North Andover, MA
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Meet TheChewedStick

Karl Bunker

Karl Bunker

North Andover, Massachusetts

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