Monthly Archives: June 2011

Zap! Pow! Blown Glass!

Jeff Burnette has been working in hot glass since 1979 and these unique ray guns are only an example of his works. He runs Joe Blow Glassworks, a 2700 square foot glass blowing facility located in the eastside warehouse district of Vancouver, British Columbia. Everything in the studio, other than the foundation walls, was built from scratch. It used to be a machine shop, hence the custom car & painted flames motif. Thru the studio, Jeff hopes to raise awareness of glass as a medium, and strengthen public appreciation for fine craft. His website is transparent (seriously, that was not intended) and describes each process in a way even us laymen can understand. Of the unique look that these “Raygunz” have he says, “The raygun is a bubble of hot glass with a transparent color on the inside. The silvering is a solution of silver nitrate, ammonia, and distilled water that is mixed and poured into the open end of the gun. The silver sticks to the inside of the piece just like a mirror. The final step is chemically bonding a machined stainless steel end to the piece.” They certainly look capable of fending off some invading aliens, as long as you don’t drop ’em. PEW-PEW, PEW, PEW!


Michelle Arnold Paine’s paintings remember lost cottages of Alton Bay

Contemporary painter Michelle Arnold Paine recently brought one her pieces to us for framing and shared with us the story that came with it.

Alton Bay Cottage (Oil on canvas, 18″x 24″) was painted for a friend who spent many summers friend spent many summers here on Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire both as a child and as an adult. Many of the cottages up at Alton Bay Conference Center burned to the ground in a large fire in the spring of 2009.This is the second painting I have completed for them. The first was also of Alton Bay and depicts the small cove on Lake Winipesaukee, NH near the cottage. That painting Alton Bay (Oil on Canvas, 18″ x 24″) is now hanging in their home, a reminder of summer and carefree days. The place holds many memories for her and her family. Now that they no longer have the cottage to go to they are now even more grateful to have the painting to bring back memories.

We don’t always get to hear why an item is special to the person framing it and its history – thanks, Michelle! Here’s how the painting turned out after she entrusted it to us.

Congrats to 2011 Grads on your custom framing!

WOO-HOO! You did it – you got your diploma and everyone knows that you’re super smart so it’s time to get a job. Not so fast. First, you have to put that official certificate in a frame. After all, it cost you anywhere from two to six years of your life, bags of money, and effort that can’t be measured. For Pete’s sake, don’t leave it in a drawer… show it off!
Custom framing is the best way to protect it, too. Light and other environmental factors can’t wait to lay waste to that piece of paper. But conservation glass and acid-free materials will make short work of those pesky elements.
So, now that you’re ready to frame your ticket to the professional world, you’ll want it to look great. “But I don’t want to take away from the diploma,” people often say. “I want to see it, not the frame.” Well ya know what? If you put it in a boring design, they will be looking at the frame. You’re not gonna dress plainly for that first job interview, and your diploma shouldn’t go in a plain frame – dress it up!
Don’t be scared – your frame design doesn’t have to be over the top. Take a look at these two certificates…

Both have a simple, dark frame. But the first one is a little generic for a school diploma and the single mat looks a little flat. The second piece is in a frame with some detail and it has two mats with a bevel accent between them. This adds a hint of color and a sense of depth. See, not in yer face, but juuuuuust right. That’s the magic of a good custom frame design. Don’t try this at home folks, we’re professionals.
Be sure to bring in your own diploma and we can show you lots of options for any budget. Plus, our work is unconditionally guaranteed for life. And that’s how long you want your diploma to last – for life!

Dear Photograph puts a new spin on old memories

The “about” tab on the Dear Photograph home page says it best: “Take a picture of a picture from the past in the present.” While there’s no guarantee that your photo will be used, they rely on submissions. The idea kind of reminded us of Keira Rathbone’s typewriter art from earlier this week because of the way that the concept feels so direct, so simple, so analog, so familiar – we’ve all done it before. It might’ve been on a smaller scale and a simpler format, but imagining the past and the present at the same time is a natural reflex, a warm hug, that happens in our mind’s eye. So it’s comfortable and unsettling all at the same time to see it thru the objective lens of a camera.

Don’t step in Ben Wilson’s paintings

Ben Wilson paints on chewed up pieces of gum that are stuck to the ground. He’s been doing this for the past six years in Muswell Hill, an area in North London. Wilson used to be a street artist, painting on billboards and advertisements, but this didn’t sit too well with the authorities. Fortunately, painting on chewing gum isn’t illegal. It allowed him to work spontaneously anywhere in London without having to obtain permission. “Our environment is very controlled and what we need so very strongly is diversity. Even galleries, museums, publishing companies are all very controlled. I want to be able to do my work and to bypass bureaucracy,” he asserts. Now he can be seen spending as long as ten hours lying next to a discarded piece of gum. He softens the gum with a blowtorch, sprays it with lacquer and then applies three coats of acrylic enamel. Using tiny brushes, he then quick-dries it with a lighter as he goes, and then seals it with clear lacquer. Each painting takes between a few hours and a few days, and can last several years if the conditions are right.
Next up, “How to frame chewing gum.”

Really, where’s the love, Bruins fans?

Hey, you! Yeah, YOU – the guy in the Bruins t-shirt! What, the parade’s over and now you forget all about yer signed jersey and yer photos from the event? We know you’re out there, somewhere – someone who wants to frame some Bruins mementos. MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said there were a record 120,000 inbound riders on the Commuter Rail Saturday. That’s more than the double the 67,000 passengers during an average weekday. Well get this, Joe – a total of 1.5 million fans showed up to support the Bs at their victory parade. That’s a record crowd for Boston. So maybe we’re crazy, but it seems like with all that team spirit, one or two of ya would wanna remember the occasion. When custom framing was invented, it was precisely for goodies like newspaper covers, jerseys, uh, hockey pucks, whatever! And really, who else you gonna take ’em too? Between our low price guarantee and unconditional lifetime satisfaction guarantee, you’re gonna win again and this time you’ll have something of your own to show for it.

Keira Rathbone proves the typewriter (art) isn’t dead

‘Should’ve known that we haven’t seen it all when it comes to new ways to make art. People will always find original and inter-
esting ways to express themselves. This week, we’ll feature at least a couple that will be hard for you to forget. Keira Rathbone’s art is a great example of a method so simple yet clever, you’ll think you must’ve seen something like it before. But chances are that we’ve all just thought of doing this. She’s made an art out of creating images with a typewriter.

How you can get in the V groove

That little white outline on the red mat around Bruce Springsteen may not seem like a big deal, but it can make all the difference when it comes to custom framing. It’s called a V groove and it’s one of those extra details that keeps a framed item from looking ordinary. Often times, including an item like an additional mat color or a fillet is too much – too busy or too heavy. But the V groove is a subtle highlight that helps bring just the right amount of attention. It’s made by cutting the mat, exposing the white (or black) core beneath the color, and then piecing it back together. It’s usually done just outside the opening where the art appears.
Now you’ve got another piece of info that’ll help you make your framed goodies that much more personalized. Give it a try the next time you get anything custom framed. Maybe these examples will give you some ideas.

Framers love it when the Bruins win!

Oh, man! We’ve been waiting for the Bruins to bring that Stanley Cup back to beantown in a big way. Heck, we’ve been waiting for any major team win ’cause so much of what we frame is sports memorabilia. We get a real kick out of showing fans how good their newspaper clippings, game tickets, and other keepsakes can look in even a simple custom frame design. No challenge is too big – we once framed 28 hockey pucks, all in a row in one shadow box! And no doubt we’ll see our share of jerseys in the coming weeks. We always remember the authentic ones because having to sew around the fight strap makes ’em different than any other sports shirts that we frame.
So let’s see the love, Bruins fans! We’re looking forward to doing our share to make this Stanley Cup win one of the most memorable.

Betchya didn’t think these sculptures were made out of paper

These paper sculptures by Ontario-based artist Calvin Nicholls will have you doubting that they’re just paper. Since the mid 80s, he’s been making work like this for advertising campaigns, private collectors, insti-
tutions, childrens books, corporate gift companies and galleries. Why all the white? He does that to emphasize the texture and form of each piece. After using a scalpel to assemble each sculp-
ture, Nicholls captures the detail on 8×10 film with a large format camera, prior to scanning for print applications or art prints.