Monthly Archives: January 2013

It was so cold last week that even fire was freezing

Alright, so maybe that title isn’t scientifically accurate. You’re gonna have to cut us some slack – our teeth are chattering so loudly that we can’t hear ourselves think. Brrrrrr! At least we’re just framing in this weather, and not outdoors trying to put out a fire like the one that happened last week in Chicago. It took almost 200 firefighters to extinguish this abandoned warehouse fire – fortunately, no one was hurt. Given the frigid temps, the water sprayed on the fire froze almost immediately! Check out the other-worldly results captured by photographers Robert R. Gigliotti, David Schalliol, and Darek Szupina. You can mouse over each image to see who shot what.
See, there is an upside to these arctic conditions – as long as you can appreciate it from the safety of your computer monitor. Chicago Wharehouse Fire-David Schalliol

Chicago Wharehouse Fire-David Schalliol-2

Chicago Wharehouse Fire-Darek Szupina

Chicago Wharehouse Fire-Darek Szupina-2

Chicago Wharehouse Fire-truck-David Schalliol

Chicago Wharehouse Fire-Robert R Gigliotti


Quick, to the bat cave… in Aruba!

BPF Jake at cliffsOne of our intrepid framers managed to flee the country get away with the family for a vacation on the island of Aruba. His favorite site was Arikok National Park, where he snapped some pretty impressive pics and was able to… well, we’ll let Jake tell it.

I figured Aruba would be nothing but beaches & piña coladas. But my wife and I read there was a national park that occupied 30% of the island. So after we’d had our share of the beach and the bar, we rented a car and spent an afternoon at Arikok. It was easily one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. After entering the park, we drove through cactus and rocks for about 30 minutes. Then, suddenly, the coast appeared. It looked like something out of a National Geographic centerfold. The volcanic rock made it difficult to walk near the edge of the cliffs, so we went as far as we dared. The force of the wind and the sound of the waves was hard to ignore.

Pano of cliffsPano of waves

waves at Arikok

The ocean view was so awe-inspiring that I didn’t think we could top it and I was ready to call it quits for the day. But Laurie was convinced that the bat caves were worth a look. A short walk back from the shoreline, there were rocky hills that one could easily enter.

Batcaves Once inside, it was pitch black. I almost didn’t go in, but framers are known for their *ahem* fearless demeanor. So even tho’ I literally could not see where I was stepping for about a dozen yards, I bravely followed my wife into the caves. Jake entering batcave The entire time, it felt like every monster movie ever made, certain that something was going to reach out of the darkness and bite one of us. It was worth the anxiety because after we made it to the interior, there was a comforting about of sunlight coming in through openings in the natural roof. Jake inside batcaveIt was so odd to see such a remarkable sight in person, and not just on a computer screen or in a coffee table book. I think the entire trip reminded us that seeing something or knowing something is not more important than doing something and sharing new experiences. Since getting home, we’ve vowed to do more traveling whenever possible.

Shelving the human body

DarraghCaseyShelf1In 2012, Darragh Casey began a series called “Shelving the Body”. In it, he experimented with using people’s bodies combined with specially placed shelves to support or counterbalance objects on those shelves. He was inspired by his dad who used to put up a shelf every time he got bored. Casey uses family members in the photographs of his shelving arrangements and appears himself in “shelf portraits.” There’s a nifty time-lapse video of how the photography end of it is done.

Unfold your dress so I can see where we’re going

elisabeth4Y’know how frustrating it is whenever you try to fold up a road map, right? Well… wait a minute, does anyone even use paper maps anymore? Are we dating ourselves? Should we have turned left at Albuquerque? Oh, well – the point is that Elisabeth Lecourt may use a GPS like the rest of us, but that hasn’t stopped her from creating these beautiful, origami-like items of clothing out of maps. She calls them Les Robes Géographiques – some are dresses, some are shirts, and all of them are meant to be admired, not worn. Which is okay, ’cause we need one if we’re gonna get back to Albuquerque.





Can you spot the cheetah?

Art Wolfe (a fitting name!) is an award-winning photographer who uses his work to support conservation issues by “focusing on what’s beautiful on the Earth.” The 61-year-old, Washington-based artist has produced one book every year since 1989! In 2005, he published a project called “Vanishing Act”, capturing camouflaged animals in the wild. Can you spot all the animals? Go ahead & click on each image if you need a closer view. hidden-animal-photography-7







Nothing succeeds like a unique Christmas gift

army medalsThis collection of army medals and photos was one of the really special jobs that was brought to us during the holidays. The customer was excited to surprise her husband with some of his father’s photos and mementos from WW II, including a Purple Heart award. Pieces like this offer many challenges from the beginning of the design process to the final fitting. But for this post, we just wanted to share some behind-the-scenes pics of what goes into constructing a mat that will display several 3D objects.
Once the openings in the mat were cut, we mounted the photos. They’re flat, so that’s easy.

multi mat with photosThe next step was to create some thickness under the mat. This is necessary because you never want glass touching any item that you’re framing. We used black foam core to get just enough depth for the medals.
mat with build-up

army medalsThe biggest part of the whole job was attaching each medal. We mounted them on pieces of a black suede mat, which is so dark that it almost disappears.

medals collageOne of our staff ran into the customer and her husband at a restaurant after she’d given him the frame. They both took the time to express their satisfaction and he was clearly pleased with the way these important items were showcased.

Do you have any of your own mementos that you’d like to custom frame?Framed army medals

Does this city make you laugh?

Here’s a new spin on street art that you can count on seeing more of in 2013 – the interactive variety, adding a narrative to an urban setting. The French artist OaKoAk uses crumbling city environments and breathes life into them with quirky humor. The Berlin-based art collective Mentalgassi created the two pieces in Spain shown at the bottom. Mentalgassi may have had a bigger budget than OaKoAk and a bigger scale to work on, but they share the same approach. Adding humor to the mundane is something that everyone can appreciate – we often do it ourselves in our own day-to-day lives. Do you classify works like these as “Art”? OaKoAk_2