Welcome to the world of personalized framing as it was intended to be

We are a small to medium business situated in the heart of the Vela art route driven by people with a desire to empower people of all spectrums of life to own a thing of beauty. 

How our team met is of lesser importance, but who we are together is what started our voyage!

Arto Martha framing emporium was born from the need of an up and coming artist, Martha, to be able to have art pieces preserved and enhanced in a manner that will reflect the precision, quality and dedication given to the creation of the piece itself.

In the search for quality at a reasonable price it was discovered that services available do not have the right balance between quality and price. There were the providers that provided high quality products but at a price that is not reasonable to the consumer. On the other hand the reasonable priced vendors do not show the ability to quality.

After completing her studies, Martha, at that time employed by a well known organization in a senior position, decided to put preach to practice and started on the road to provide a high quality, reasonable priced framing service. No shortcuts were taken in making sure that only the best manufacturing equipment as well as the highest standard manufacturing material was purchased. To make sure dividend can be drawn from the capital outlay, training was sourced from a company in Cape Town. Equipment was also purchased from the same company who has the sole distributing rights of this equipment in South Africa. After shipment of the machinery to Pretoria the services of an experienced carpenter, by chance, became available and was immediately incorporated.

About Us

Even though only the highest quality equipment and supplies are being used, Arto Martha treasures its staff as one of its biggest assets. We currently employ four full time personnel supplemented by contractors. Although all permanent personnel are utilized in the administrative capacity of a formal company frame work, all staff is well trained and very capable of producing high quality products.

Martha is a founding member and currently tasked with looking after the well being of the company in the capacity of general manager. As the person with the vision for this company she is also tasked with pricing structures and is part of the quality assurance team.

Martha possesses a diploma in arts and was previously employed as an inventory manager.

Although of a technical education Dirk has a history in the financial and marketing sector but more recently in business analysis and project management. He is currently tasked with governing the direction of Arto Martha as well as financial planning.

All contractors are hand picked and work on site under permanent staff’s supervision. We have the ability to outsource tasks like glass and backboard cutting to selected suppliers who are involved in the framing industry and are currently used as suppliers to Arto Martha.

Production capabilities
Due to our emphasis on quality, a cut off point for daily production by permanent staff was set at twenty five canvases, A2 on average, thirty certificate sized frames with matt and thirty five desktop sized picture frames. This can easily doubled by the use of our contractors in case of larger orders. More personalized framing with regards to boxing, i.e. rugby shirts etc, requires more time and is set at average of four per day.

As we have working agreements related to framing services i.e. engraving, restoration printing, etc all is seamlessly integrated into our offerings with a single point of access.

Framing materials
Even though all suppliers claim to sell high quality products we accept the responsibility to ensure that every purchase is quality assured before allowing it in to our stock. We do not purchase from the emerging eastern or the so called “cheap” market. Only manufacturers with a proven record of quality are used. All matt board is acid free and our glass is ultraviolet resistant.

With a variety in excess of 2000 frames and 1000 matt types we are convinced that we will be able to serve your needs.

Our Services

What do we frame?

Although we offer all available kinds of personalized framing these are out most popular types:

Stretched canvas
Panel canvas
Watercolor, Charcoal, Pencil and ink
Desktop and wall photographs
Hunting memorabilia
Antique memorabilia
Wedding photos

Stretched canvas

Canvas is typically stretched across a wooden frame and commonly coated with gesso before it is used. This is to prevent oil paint from coming in direct contact with the canvas fibers, which will eventually cause the canvas to decay.
As the commonly used medium is oil or acrylic, these frames will be fitted into the frame without sealing on the back of the portrait as it needs to breathe. Fixing to the frame will be done with offset or canvas clips. Only the back edges of the canvas and frame will be covered with none corrosive material.



Panel canvas

Panel canvas is the most historic way of carrying the paint medium. This was replaced by canvas as a popular carrying medium as early as the year 1410. Modern panel is not a treated wood but was replaced by processed wood commonly known as hard board.
The medium in this instance is the same as stretched canvas. As the board supports the paint, there is no need for the paint to breath and the back of this type of art work will be covered completely. The painting is placed into the back of the frame, the rabbit, and kept in place by pins inserted into the frame.



Watercolor, Charcoal, Pencil and ink

Due to the sensitive nature of these art works it is recommended to have the painting framed as soon as possible. For this instance preservative framing is at the order of the day. Only acid free matt board is used to create the finishing touches. The matt does not only serve to keep the focus on the painting, but also separate the painting from the glass and allow for the circulation of air around the painting thus preventing damage due to moisture. Ultraviolet protective glass is used to protect it against fading. The back of the framed painting must sealed properly to prevent foreign objects to get to the painting.





Prints are mounted onto a mount board bigger than the print. This action stops the print from sliding around in the frame once the chosen matt is imposed on to the print. Although not as sensitive as watercolor or charcoal artworks, it still is recommended to use preservative framing as the print also is sensitive to ultraviolet light and moisture.





You can build a box frame to highlight a memorable event or as a special three-dimensional (3D) piece of art or object. Box framing is also known as shadow boxing.  Perhaps you may wish to have a shirt or a medal framed for someone as a gift.  Box framing gives you the opportunity to have many things on display which ordinarily would be put away in a drawer so that they do not get damaged.

Because a shadow box is little more than a box or a shelf with a frame around it and often has a protective piece of glass on the front, it is easy to make and the design can match your décor.





Today, there is a very fast-paced competitive environment in the business world. This is much more apparent in an office environment. Some staff members will always try to do better, get promoted and get ahead in their career. Because of this fiercely competitive environment, the employers are seeking various credentials when hiring or promoting an employee. That is why a degree is imperative when applying for a good job in a reputed company.

Diploma frames are fitted with glass on the front. The glass is raised off the surface of the paper by a matt. The reason for this is that if the glass touches the media inside, any condensation inside the glass will be transferred onto the media.



Desktop and wall photographs


Framing is more than what you do with your photos! It is a powerful composition technique. Careful framing of your photo can make a dramatic difference and add an interesting element to the shot.

The same techniques are used in picture framing as print framing.



What did we frame?

Living our motto made it easy for us to acquire the permission from clients we served to publish some of their works as examples. The case being that an open mandate to create most of the examples speaks not only of trust by our clients but also of the capability of our team.


Hunting Memorabilia


The pride felt by hunters is not easily displayed and not all have the space or the passion for work from the taxidermist. In this piece we were given full mandate to create a stylish piece for the client’s entertainment area.

A boxed frame with matt finish was used with a wooden frame and for the back décor a treated warthog skin was used.


Antique Memorabilia


An antique christening dress with photograph was entrusted to our care to not only preserve but also to create a perfect birthday present to the woman on the photograph.

The dress and photograph, dating back to 1939, were preserved in a boxed frame with matt finish and clear UV protective glass. The photograph was elevated from the dress to ensure focus.





The team was commissioned by one of our clients to restore this oil on panel canvas by a well known painter.

After a time consuming cleaning process the piece was framed with antique finish wooden frame.



Wedding Photos


An exclusive wedding mirrored the client’s stylish life style.

Creating a frame for these exquisite photographs was no small quest. The outcome was a double combo frame with matt finish and UV protective glass.



Current Artist


This artwork was created by a well known  artist and the client was referred to Arto Martha for framing.

“Sunset”, oil on canvas, was finished with a double combo frame to encapsulate the tranquility of the painting.



Upcoming artist


“Lilly’s on green”, acrylic on canvas, was painted by a young and upcoming artist.

The frame was carefully chosen by the artist to serve not only as a frame but as a part of the artwork. 


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1234 Moulton Avenue
Christelle Strauss 082 495 8672