Monthly Archives: October 2012

Let’s ride out this hurricane in a pumpkin

Hey, does anyone wanna talk about anything other than storms and elections? Because after all, Halloween is Wednesday. We’ve all seen photos online of over-the-top carved pumpkins. Y’know, the ones that have images of pop culture references with different layers of lighting inside and intricate details. You’ve probably wondered who makes those and what’s involved. Meet one of the leading art teams in the world of fancy jack o’ lanterns, Maniac Pumpkin Carvers. Below the video, there’re some examples of their work. The first one, based on Van Gogh’s Starry Night, was on display at the Museum of Modern Art last Halloween. A photo of it was posted on their blog and became the most popular image the museum has ever posted.


Why I Love Fall (or Why Everyone Should Check Out the Waltham Mills Open Studios!)

There is nothing wrong with your monitor. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. Today’s broadcast is coming to you from Big Picture Framing HQ to give our fearless blogger a well deserved break. While the voice may change, the ideals remain the same!

There are a million colorful reasons that I love fall, but one in particular is the onset of art & craft fair season! They’re everywhere this time of year! I try to hit as many of these events as time, and my bank account, allow. I love meeting artists, seeing new ideas and new interpretations of old ideas, and learning about fun new techniques. I’m drawn to all different mediums, I like diversity in everything I do and own, (except my bourbon-straight-up; single barrel. Mash or blends need not apply!), and I collect eclectically, so these events are the mother-load for me!

One of my favorite art events each year is the Waltham Mills Arts Associations Open Studios. Over the years, Big Picture has done a great deal of framing for this event so I’ve gotten to see a lot of original art come through from WMAA artists and I especially love it when I get to meet and talk with them about their work!

This is WMAA’s 36th year. It’s one of Greater Boston’s oldest artists’ communities, with more than 70 artists working in a wide range of media, including sculpture, glass, printmaking, painting, textiles, photography, woodworking, film, video and more!

Former Big Picture staffer, Michelle Arnold Paine, is a member of the WMAA and has been helping coordinate this event. In addition to being a top-notch picture framer, Michelle is a wonderful contemporary painter and teacher, and she’s is going to be a Mom any second now! Yea! Check out some of her work here and go see her there!

WMAA Open Studios. Saturday, November 3rd 12-6pm, Sunday, November 4th 12-5pm. 144 & 289 Moody Street, Waltham, MA. Support your local artists!

Charles River Museum of Industry ( will be FREE OF CHARGE during Open Studios hours on Saturday and Sunday, so there will be something for both the art lovers and the science lovers!

Scariest breakfast ever

Just in time for Halloween, artist Guillermo Fajardo figured out how to make breakfast cereals downright creepy. On his Behance page he says, “I’ve always wondered what if the characters from our favorite cereal boxes were actual real life moving and dramatic creatures. This project is based on a personal point of view, taking all my child memories and turning them into a new sarcastic and adult vision, remaking all the cereal gang.” The bio for his version of Tony the Tiger is particularly quirky – a latin lover who is competitive and addicted to body building. These pics may put you off cereal mascots for a while, but look at it this way: now you’ve got some inspiration for this year’s Halloween costume!
Btw – this is our 300th post! No, we don’t know how it happened either. But that’s a LOT of posts – help yourself and dive into the past archives to find some fantastic stories that you might’ve missed, full of fascinating art and framing projects. Thanks for reading!

Framers feel the need for speed!

Even we know that there’s more to life than framing. Once a year, the Big Picture family throws caution to the wind (along with no small amount of dignity) and cuts loose at our company party. Last year’s first foray into the world of indoor kart racing proved such a success that we went back for more. More sore arms. More wind burn. More milk at the winner’s circle. Our thirst for glory is unquenchable! Fortunately, this year nobody got a speeding ticket on the way home. But we’re still itching for that buzz and have been attempting to make frame fitting into a speed sport.

Store #15 is open for business!

We opened our 15th location last Friday in Lexington, MA! We’re very excited to be in one of the town center’s historic buildings at 1646 Massachusetts Avenue. Many of the regular customers at our Arlington location will have somewhere to go that’s a little closer to home, and people who hadn’t known us before can find out about the beautiful designs that we do at affordable prices.
We’ll have more photos of the finished store in time for the grand opening, but for now, here’re some behind-the-scenes of what goes into a Big Picture Framing location. Thanks for the pics, Jane!

Oops, this image of our “specialty tools” might be considered a trade secret

Owner Bob Clayton, shows off the display wall for the frame corner samples

Look at all those brand new ready made frames!

Owners Bob & Barry have done nearly all of the store set-ups during the company’s 12 years

Marta Altés makes pencil shavings dance and roar

Marta Altés is from Barcelona. She studied graphic design there and worked as a graphic designer for five years. Altés then decided to pursue her interest for illustration and moved to England to get her degree in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. “I think it was the best decision I have ever made,” she says. In the meantime, she produced these “experiments with pencil shavings.” Who knew that such simple arrangements could make such different characters?

Need a custom poster frame? We’ve got a special for that!

The Big Deal Poster Special frame comes in gold, silver, matte black, and anodic black.

We know that sometimes you want to hang some art that only needs a basic custom frame – a concert poster, a building floor plan, a sports poster, something for a college dorm room – anything that simply needs to stay on the wall. This month we’re spotlighting our Big Deal Poster Special. It’s an offer we have all the time that includes a custom metal frame, conservation clear glass, and dry-mounting. Unlike an off-the-shelf poster frame, we can cut this to practically any size. It’s a better made product than a ready-made frame and like all of our custom work, it’s covered by our unconditional lifetime guarantee. The price depends on the size of your picture, but the Big Deal Poster Special starts at just $59.88. We can even add a mat for a small fee.
So the next time you have something that doesn’t fit a pre-fab frame or that you don’t trust to an inferior product, but you don’t need a unique design, try out this perfect custom solution at any of our 14 (soon to be 15!) locations.

The BDPS frame works great on sports posters.

Daniel Kukla’s photographs reflect on desert life

“Edge effect” is an ecological term that describes the juxtaposition of two contrasting environments. It’s also the name that Brooklyn based photographer Daniel Kukla has given his series of photographs taken in Joshua Tree National Park. Kukla, 28-years old with a background in biology, lived alone in the park in a cabin for a month. Armed with a camera, an easel, and a mirror, he set out to capture the ecology in the desert of southern California. “The whole area has a really surreal feel to it. At first glance the desert looks completely barren but once you get closer, you realize it’s incredibly diverse,” he says.
If you’re a regular visitor here, you know that we like clever ideas with low-tech execution. Even with his simple trickery, Kukla’s mirror-on-an-easel photographs had us a fooled for a moment – or at least mystified. The elegant, reflection-free effect keeps us moving from one to the next, curious to see what is revealed in each mirror. The mirrors behave like tattle tales, reporting to us the world that’s going on outside the frame of the camera.

The Junk King will turn you on to his dreams

Meet Vince Hannemann, otherwise known as the Junk King. He’s been doing installations and found-object art since he was 16. In 1989 he began collecting what eventually amounted to 60 tons of discarded items and used them to create an enormous cathedral. People would come to see it and Hannemann describes much of their interaction with the structure as spiritual. He says that even the children who visited were essentially praying when they played there. Watch this 6 minute video by Evan Burns to find out what happened when the city of Austin, Texas declared the cathedral unsafe and made him take it down.