Monthly Archives: December 2012

Everything you wanted to know about framing in 2012 but were afraid to ask

new Lexington storeLast week, we showcased our favorite stories from the world of art in 2012. Today, we’re gonna reflect on this year’s posts from the world of Big Picture Framing. After all, it was a very big year for us, full of many successes. We opened store #15 in Lexington. Things have been working out great there – kudos to Jane, Emily, and the rest of the staff. We started giving all of our stores a fresh look – Natick, our second oldest store, was the latest to get a face lift. Our Newton Center location moved a short distance and became our new store in Newtonville. We’re looking forward to more exciting reveals in 2013!

Oh, don’t worry – we covered some actual framing, as well. Our mat selection got freshened up with several new specialty mats. We discussed a framer’s reasoning behind the proper way to frame something with a lot of helpful do’s and don’ts. three-railroad-spikesAnd if you ever doubted the benefits of Museum Glass, “It reflects well on us but not on your art” is the post for you. Lots of people think that all the frames in their home need to be the same, so we talked about some other design options when we helped a customer frame his collection of antique maps.

We shared some really challenging jobs – things you might never think to put in a frame, like these railroad spikes. Customers often bring us puzzles to frame but don’t know what to expect so we covered the in’s & out’s of framing your favorite jigsaw puzzle.

All in all, 2012 brought us a lot of joys, not the least of which was the pleasure of continuing to serve our customers who make all of these things possible. The staff at Big Picture Framing always look forward to the interesting and diverse items that our customers bring us and we love showing them beautiful design choices. We’re excited to see what fantastic art 2013 will bring!


Our own Best of 2012

Fortunately, the world did not end in 2012, but it did continue to crank out original & eye-popping works of art. A big upside to producing this blog is that we get to uncover some of that art right here. So as Old Man ’12 gets ready to hand it off to Baby New Year, here’s a brief round-up of our most favorite discoveries.

We love sharing stories about new ways to cut & manipulate paper, and we thought we’d seen it all. Then we found quiller Lisa Nilsson. This box, entitled Female Torso, is just one example of her work. It’s only 9 x 10 x 3/4 inches, and it’s still chock-full of technical prowess that blew us away. Lisa Nilsson

Sometimes the most interesting discoveries are in our very own backyard. We met Jesse Green when he brought us a bunch of articles about his chainsaw art to be framed. Now he’s got his very own reality TV show on Nat Geo, “American Chainsaw.” Congrats, Jesse! Jesse Green

Not all of our favorite posts were about a specific artist. There were some articles about fantastic concepts and ways to showcase art, as well. Art-o-Mat is a perfect example. Originated by Clark Whittington in 1997, these refurbished vending machines are just as impressive as the tiny artworks that they dispense. secca-nc

A recurring trend in art this past year was to go low-tech and espouse a sense of nostalgia. Homeroom was a show of 20 artists that demonstrates this idea beautifully. Concepts are always more interesting when they challenge you to insert yourself or your own ideas. How would you portray the images you scrawled as a child if you had to draw them today? soey-milk

If we had to pick one post that hit all these marks and gets our vote for top-of-the-heap, it’s gotta be this one. Ben Venom is hard-core when it comes to quilting. His mastery of piecing together heavy metal rock n roll t-shirts into mesmerizing quilts definitely left an impression on us. How else are you gonna stay warm, look good, and blast some Ozzy Osborne in style? the-mega-quilt

We did it again! Merry Christmas

Well, we made it through another holiday season of last minute custom framing. This is our time of the year to shine, when most other framers have to say “no” to custom orders 2 weeks before the 25th. We do all our production work “in house”, so it allows us a faster turn-around time. Each of our stores will get a phone call at about 11am this morning on Christmas Eve to announce the cut-off time at our saw-room. At that point, Bob & Barry – the owners of BPF themselves, will hit the road just like Santa and deliver those final frames. Still framing frame postEveryone on our staff did what it took to make this year a success. Whether it was Chris & his staff at our Needham location producing an enormous number of framed art, or the Shrewsbury staff staying late until everything was finished, or other framers like Lydia, Laurie, McKenzy, and Jamie traveling to help cover at other stores, or Rebecca working on her days off in the warehouse, the staff at all our stores take a lot of pride in saying “yes” to every customer and making sure their gifts are ready in time. Arguably, Frank and his staff in the saw room have the largest task, cutting every frame for every store. As long as the moulding is in stock, they say yes to all our phone calls. You may not believe in Santa Claus, but those guys will make you believe in his elves.
So great job, everybody! Tomorrow we’ll be able to enjoy the holiday as well as the warm feeling inside that we helped make a lot of other people’s holiday complete.

Ian Ruhter’s photo truck is a time machine

Ian Ruhter

Ian Ruhter's photo vanIf we had to make a list of our all-time favorite subjects, today’s post would be in the top three. This video about Ian Ruhter and his camera-in-a-truck will surprise you. Frustrated with ubiquitous digital cameras and camera phones, Ruhter packed up everything he owned and spent his life savings on this project. He created a traveling camera that occupies the entire inside of a panel van and prints on 1.5 meter wet plates. Each print costs him $500, and they don’t always develop properly. If you’re not an artist, his narrative in this video will explain a lot of what is involved in every artist’s experience. If you have ever made art, it will remind you of what makes the process so rewarding. Making art is not one thing. It is not being talented. It is not having the right the materials. It is not skill. It is mixing all those things together until the perfect accident happens. It is magic.

The biggest and easiest way to open a bottle of wine

Corkscrew-in-cellarWhen you open up a bottle of wine to enjoy this holiday season, will you do so with trepidation? Do you sometimes break the cork, or are you a master corkscrew artist? Either way, you could save yourself the time and trouble if you had this Rube Goldberg machine-style sculpture, The Corkscrew, in your home (altho’ it’d probably need its own room.)

ONEOEOFONE is a design firm based in Grantham, Lincolnshire outside of London. They commissioned Rob Higgs to build The Corkscrew. Higgs lives in Cornwall, which apparently is littered with old machine parts and mechanical items he finds on old farmsteads, boatyards, and in scrap-heaps. With them, he skillfully welds together these components to create his eccentric mechanical devices. Higgs’s bio says

Rob began to sell his work through The Cabaret Mechanical Theatre as well as working on collaborative commissions with Engineered Arts. His work has been exhibited widely across Europe.

In 2005 Rob was commissioned by The Eden Project in Cornwall to construct “The Nutcracker”, a mechanical sculpture measuring eight feet square by 35 feet high and weighing over four tons. He has also created a collaborative chainreaction film for the Science Museum.

Marcus Wilkinson of ONEOFONE met Rob through acquiring one of his artworks. He then commissioned Rob to build “The Corkscrew”, an ingenious mechanical device for opening a bottle and pouring a glass of wine.

Get them custom framing for the holidays

FramingElfWhether you love shopping for Christmas gifts or hate it, the goal is the same. We all want to find the perfect gift – something that the person will love, use, and be impressed by. That’s a tall order to fill when you’re in the retail and online trenches. But maybe it’d be easier if you consider thinking outside the box… and inside the frame. Custom framing always impresses. Your loved one will use it everyday when they look at it on the wall in their living or work space. And how much will they love it? You can insure they’ll treasure it forever if you frame something that they already cherish. Here’re some actual jobs that we’ve done that might inspire some your own ideas.

These tools were a gift to the customer’s husband – the very first ones he used at his life-long job.

Framing your child’s art as a gift to your spouse is always a great idea.

If you’re giving to a sports fan, we can frame a jersey or shirt of their favorite team.

Many veterans have mementos that are kept out of sight where they can’t be appreciated. Framing medals and old photos will mean a lot to the recipient and anyone else who sees them.

Souvenirs from special events like baseball games or concerts can be framed in many different ways.

Don’t worry if none of the above apply to you. We can help you get creative with even the most mundane possessions. These three ties were worn to work everyday by a father/husband – why simply throw them away when you can use them to decorate and inspire memories?

The longest art we’ve ever custom framed

Spider-Man bannerHow far would you go to decorate your child’s bedroom? How about custom framing a 10 foot long Spider-Man banner? One of our customers is tricking out his young son’s room with a Marvel Comic Book theme. He’s starting with this enormous vinyl Spider-Man picture that a friend who works at a comic shop got for him. Typically, only retailers would have access to something like it.

Okay, we get it, Jake.  It's a long picture.

Okay, we get it, Jake. It’s a long picture.

We had to use plexiglass to frame it – glass would have been too heavy and not safe for a child’s bedroom. We started with the idea to use a wood frame – a wood frame would have made the long piece more rigid. But the length was too long to get proper mitred corners, so we went with a metal moulding and it ended up working out great! We just hope the customer isn’t driving a Volkswagen Beetle when he comes to pick it up.
"#*$& lint, #@$% static cling *#@&$ dust"

“#*$& lint, #@$% static cling *#@&$ dust”

Framed Spider-Man banner

Twitter has gone to the birds

Twitter-birds 1Are you tired of following Twitter accounts that are nothing but boring minutiae and non sequitur brain farts? No matter how dull your friends’ dullest tweets are, here are some tomtits who’ve got them beat. Latvian conceptual artist Voldemars Dudums created a bird feeder using an old computer keyboard covered with cubes of bacon fat. When the birds flew down to snack, their random key presses were sent to an api that turned them into tweets on the @hungry_birds Twitter account. The birds would tweet about 100 times each day and could even be seen hard at work in a live feed, “Birds on Twitter”. The project earned Dudums a people’s choice award for Guerrilla Innovation in Advertising.
Twitter-birds 4
No doubt you have questions. Check out the video for some behind-the-scenes answers.