Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Swan Song

Upon completing a job for a new client, she expressed such satisfaction with the work and service, that she said she would next bring in a challenging project and would need me to save the day.  To which I said, "Bring it!"

A few days later she arrived with a dozen or so of these small needlework items she had made for her granddaughter.  She sent them off to an unscrupulous framer who did her a terrible disservice.  The items were cut and glued, both actions quite unreversible.  And then that framer went out of business.

cut, glued, and backed
She explained that she had taken these all over town and mailed them to reputable shops all over the country, and they had always been returned to her with the response that there was nothing that could be done.

hard, gluey edges
I spent a good amount of time finding a layout.  Ideally, I wanted to cut openings in a collage mat for all of them, to hide the gluey edges.  But the birthday cake piece was not square, and even if I could cut a birthday-cake-shaped opening, it would look pretty strange in a frame.  So then I wanted to piece them all together like a patchwork quilt, sewing all the edges together with no gaps.  But that was mathematically impossible.

So I came up with the layout in the image at the top of this post:  heads at the top, feet at the bottom, birthday cake in the center.  I sent the photo to the client via email, she approved, we selected materials.

Below is the completed project.  Items are floating and hand sewn to the mat. 

sideview with an oversize vintage rock poster that happened to be in the shop at the same time :)
It pleases me to leave this blog having saved the day, as this author is moving on.  xoxo

Sunday, December 5, 2010

At the Movies

The movie that touched nearly every Philadelphian's life while in production finally comes out next week.  You may recall yours truly framed about a zillion sports images that reportedly appear in the gym scenes in the movie (those scenes are inexplicably absent from the above trailer, but whatever). 

The city looks stunning.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanks, Google!

Remember when this guy came out & photographed the shop?  Google did this for select independent small businesses in walkable shopping districts in 7 cities internationally.  The photos have now been added to the shop's Place Page.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

All that Glisters

A client referred to me by an antiques dealer brought in the above vintage museum frame.  The job he wanted done was relatively simple:  change the mat, put in museum glass, and put the original art back in.  After a brief consultation, the client decided to instead insert a wide fillet into the existing frame rather than a mat.

This is the original mat.  I wanted to point out the orangey color of the bevel.  This is the number one indicator that the mat is not acid free.  In fact, the orangeness is caused by acid oxidation.  Also, there is discoloration on the outside edges of the mat, which was under the rabbet of the frame.  This is an indication that there was no uv protective glazing on this mat in its original setting.  I mention this not because the original framing was inferior (quite the contrary!  The art was mounted using very proper techniques and the frame itself is magnificent and very high quality.), but because this was originally framed before acid free products and uv glazing was invented.  It is a really good idea to change old or inferior mats and glass to more modern conservation materials before irreparable harm comes to valuable art.

So, I chopped and installed the fillet.

And now for the art.  Below is the art as it arrived in the shop in its original mat.

 And here it is completely unframed.  Note the discoloration of the paper.  We know it was in an acidic environment, but it is also very old.

and clearly original art.

The client recently acquired this piece and had not yet had it authenticated.  The art is unsigned.

This is the plaque on the original frame.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) is a French Master.  A Neoclassicist.  Le Grande Odalisque (below) is perhaps his most famous painting, though his portrait graphite drawings are among his most well regarded works. 

To be clear, I do not authenticate or appraise art, but naturally, I want to know what it is that I'm handling.  I looked into the artist's catalogued works to see if there was anything similar in style, theme, or materials.

Virgin of the Adoption

Niccolo Paganini

Study for Vicomtesse d'Hausonville, born Louise Albertine de Broglie

So now you have all the clues that I have.  Who knows?  I may have just handled the real deal.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Collage Walls

Design Trend, Part I

Over the past decade or so, the trend for the display of family photos has changed from collage frames (large frames with multi-opening mats) to collage walls (lots of small frames arranged in a group).  Here are some that I've happened upon quite accidently.

A friend snapped this at Brown Betty Dessert Boutique. The frames and mats are unified by color, but are varied styles and shapes.

And this one at the bosses' house has an eclectic mix.

This one, at Capogiro Gelateria has family photos transferred to canvas and put into vintage frames.

I spotted this one on a tour of neighborhood homes and the nice homeowner allowed me to snap this.  The display is multi-dimensional!  Special brackets mounted to the wall allow some frames to jut out.

This was in another home and another nice person allowed me to photograph (Oh, people must think I'm nuts--but I'm glad it didn't stop them from being so darned agreeable!).  I have never seen step frames before!  These were purchased ready-made.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cavalcade of Stars

There's been a run on shadowboxes lately at the shop.  Here are 2 from this week.

I got to thinking about the varied objects I've framed and observed other talented folks frame and thought I'd share a few.  I have been privileged to work alongside some really great people over the years, and they've graciously allowed me to show you some of their interesting 3D projects.  All framers credited beneath their work.

Richard Fekete

Richard Fekete

Paul Ricci

yours truly

Charles Johanesen

yours truly

Paul Ricci

Richard Fekete

Rafael Ruiz

Richard Fekete

Richard Fekete

Richard Fekete

Richard Fekete

Rafael Ruiz

Rafael Ruiz