Monthly Archives: April 2013

Arrowheads in a Roma shadow box

Do you collect anything? Arrowheads are still a popular collectible, and this recent custom job at our Harvard Square location is proof. The customer did it as a gift to a geologist in Texas. All the arrowheads were ones the geologist had collected over the course of the last several decades. The framer designed the arrangement on a silk mat, using museum glass. Each arrowhead had to be sewn onto the mat by hand. They’re shadowboxed in one of our Roma frames – a line of hand finished frames from Italy. Great job, guys! arrowheads

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Ruuuuuuuunnn!

Oh, hi there. We didn’t see you come in – we’ve been busy working out, getting ready for the 117th Boston Marathon. There’s been a lot of lawn chair folding and closing, some intense elbow bending, and we usually finish up with some rapid clapping combined with an alternating “WHOOP-WHOOP!” and “GOOOOOOO!”
But if you’re not like us and you actually run in a marathon, then you’ve got some runner’s memorabilia. It’s one of the more common, non 2D items that we custom frame. It’s nice to remember that level of accomplishment with something other than a jar of sweat and bleeding nipples. It’s fun for us too when we have something to frame that’s more of a challenge than a flat image. The design requires different considerations, like which method to use so that the glass doesn’t sit on the medal or other objects. And the actual construction and attachment takes more time to get it just right. There are a lot of different design options we can use to make any of those items look terrific!
So until you make it in with your bib number, shirt, and finish line photo, we’re gonna keep at our workout regiment. Time for another 50 reps of Chariots of Fire…

Cesar Del Valle’s drawings are in their own space… and yours


Hyperrealistic human forms? Check. Clever paper cuts that are more 3D than 2D? Check. But the colliding of the two, creating an illusion that your brain can’t ignore? Well, Cesar Del Valle’s got that one all sewn up. The Columbian artist’s black & white illustrations are photo realistic, adding to the jarring sense that the figures might actually be balancing on a pencil or in front of the wall, rather than on it. We like his self-restraint when it comes to how much the paper is manipulated. Just a string here or a tear there, but for the most part our brains complete the effect. All that empty space on the paper carries a lot of power – it’s characteristically, uh… paperish.

This art will stick with you

At first, we figured there wasn’t much more to Max Zorn’s tape art than what meets the eye. But the street artist has a few twists waiting for anyone who takes the time to check out his site. First of all, it’s not evident in these online pics, but he hangs his portraits on street lamps and other urban light sources. The tape has been applied to clear plastic layers, so the lamp illuminates what might otherwise look like the top of a discarded shipping box.

Max Zorn (surely not his real name – that was the villain’s name in the James Bond flick, A View to a Kill, played by Chris Walken!) includes a map on his site that will tell you where he’s “displayed” his art. And he even announces upcoming “shows”. Just the other day, he posted that Liverpool, Bristol, and London can expect to see the release of his take on The Beatles.
If there’s any doubt as to the talent that his tape art requires, there’s a time-lapse video below of Zorn at work. We wouldn’t have guessed the process requires so many steps, both additive and reductive. It’s darn impressive.

Julie Bender draws heat with animal drawings

Rodan sculpted in clay & bronze. Gauguin painted with oils. Cristo wrapped fabric. Julie Bender draws with heat. She practices the art of pyrography – the art of burning or scorching on wood. You may not have heard of it before, but pyrography has been around since the beginning of recorded history in Egypt and Africa. However, the art form has come a long way since then. Bender uses tools that are like a soldering iron but much more sophisticated. She can adjust the temperature and in turn control the shading, thickness, and other values of her line making. That, along with different tool tips and varying degrees of pressure allow her to create these remarkable and photo-realistic images. Her wood of choice is grade A northern maple veneer, sealed with protective finish. The natural motif she’s chosen is a fine match for her subject matter – the animal kingdom. Grouped into “Wildlife”, “Avian”, “Canine”, and “Equine”, her portfolio has something for every animal lover.

After we got over the impressive nature of Bender’s work, there were two qualities that stood out to us. It would seem that if an artist doesn’t have different colors, sizes of brushes, surfaces, etc. to work with then there would be a limit to how different each picture would look. But with the same type of wood and the same tool over & over, Bender is able to communicate very distinct surfaces and textures. The hair in a horse’s mane looks nothing like the hair of a snow monkey. The results she achieves appear limitless.

We also enjoyed the fact that some of the wood is left untouched on many of her pieces. This is probably a practical decision as well as an aesthetic one. It lets the grain of the maple become part of the image. The empty areas are an interesting contrast to her detailed mark making and remind us that these are not your typical illustrations.

Now is the time to custom frame

Halley’s Comet. A royal coronation. The Centennial Exposition. Some events don’t come around very often. Like this. The big one. Our half off sale. That’s right, 50% off all custom framing.
Oh, yeah – we can hear some of you out there. “Pffft, half off – that’s no big deal. Places do that all the time!” Not us. Remember, when stores give you a discounted price, the value is only as good as the number that’s being discounted. Our normal, everyday 30% discount is taken off of standard framing industry list prices. We don’t start with a built-in markup. We’re not a big box store that’s part of a nationwide chain with lots of overhead costs to cover. So we’re able to stand behind our guarantee that you can’t get any of our custom frames for less anywhere else.
ImageProxyThat means that when we do our world-renowned 50% off sale, you better believe it’s a true value. Great, you’re gonna save a bucket of money – now what?
Well, this would be a great time to bring in anything from Dad’s game winning golf putter to that menu you kept from the family’s trip to Disney World. Quilts, sports jerseys, diplomas, vinyl records, army medals – bring in whatever you’ve got and let us show you how custom framing can look amazing on anything that you want to display and protect.