We recently framed a wonderful piece of oversized art by a local artist, John Parente, a professor of art, creativity,philosophy, and religion at Chabot College. His work is filled with symbolism and knowledge reflecting world religion and philosophies.
This piece is a large-scale watercolor done in 3 pieces that are presented together as a triptych. Since it is a waterborne medium on paper, one of the major challenges was to keep the pieces flat and supported inside the framing package. We utilized a large fabric covered liner that is strong and won’t flex like a matboard might, and attached the art to a sturdy backing. The larger center section is nearly 7 feet tall, so plexi is a must. We went with Optium museum plexi which has no reflection and is anti-static as well as scratch resistant.
They are now proudly hanging in the Language & School of Arts building at Chabot College in Hayward, CA. A fitting tribute to a much appreciated artist. As John would wish for us all, “Peace and Fullness of Life!”
Each spring the Oakland #3 Rotary club hosts ‘brown bag lunches’ for all the members, so they can learn about jobs and projects in which their fellow Rotarians are involved. This year Galleria Scola hosted a group in our gallery to learn about framing and specialty custom services that we offer.
We began with a yummy catered lunch during which everyone asked all the questions on their minds – What is a French Mat? What is a shadowbox? What is a woodblock print? Elida skillfully answered all the queries with visual aids all around the shop. Then we put the folks to work!
After posing for a group portrait, each Rotarian selected a frame to put their photo in. While the pictures printed out, Micah gave a demonstration of how to cut and join a frame using a double miter chop saw and a Cassese v-nail driver. With all the right tools, it looks so easy! Jennifer then showed the pleasures of having a computer controlled mat cutter – great for cutting out special shapes or multiples of the same design.
They pitched right in, with Elida as their guide, to cut and clean glass & backings & attach the photos to the mats. Everyone had a great time seeing how “easy” it is to frame a picture – ha ha! All were very adept with the tools and techniques, and were justifiably proud of themselves by the end! And all agreed they would rather have US do it for them next time.
A great guy stopped in a while back with a special challenge. He wanted something unusual to display a group of posters – “Do you have frames made of old barn wood?” Well, not exactly, but what were you visualizing? As we discussed further I came to find out he is Chris Pastena, owner of Chop Bar in downtown Oakland. He has done great projects with local artisans in many areas of the restaurant – the reclaimed wood on the walls, the bar area itself – all utilizing repurposed materials of all sorts. This is the kind of challenge we love! We brainstormed a bit more and landed on the idea of old windows. He has posters from the monthly pig roasts Chop Bar hosts in the Spring and Summer, so something quite sizable was in order.
Chris went to a reuse center and found a wonderful long glassed door and pretty much said, “Go to town!” Great!
We started with the window – cleaned it up a bit and lightly sanded the painted frame. Then came the base coat for the crackle distressed finish we had decided upon. After the paint was dry, we applied a crackling medium which goes on very thick then settles itself into odd littel circles. When that was set-up and almost completely dry, the top coat went on – then the magic happens! It begins to crackle!
After about 24 hours, the cracks get even more pronounced. We used two related shades of paint and applied them oppositely on opposing legs of the frame – dark over light in one direction and light over dark in the other direction. We think it came out pretty darn great.
To finish it off, we painted the outside and inside edges black to give the whole piece a little more depth, then mounted the posters onto an oversized matboard backing with thumbtacks. The piece hangs horizontally from the hardware that was formerly it’s door hinges.
Chris was so delighted with the way it turned out, we had to take a photo of him with his new masterpiece!
You can now see it proudly displayed at Chop Bar, and you will not regret stopping in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour! And know that you are supporting a local dining treasure that is hosted by people who support local artists, food producers,and the local economy! Thank you Chris!
More often than you might imagine, someone tells me they love their framed artwork. But this image captures a rare moment of framing rapture between Reesa Tansey & her antique Chinese infant wrap. Reesa is a commercial real estate maven with Collier’s International. She brings in treasures from her world travels, then kvells over the results.
Three-dimensional objects lend themselves ideally to shadowbox frames. The antique infant wrap from China was a delicate batiked and pieced fabric. The simple presentation includes a silk covered backing board to which the batik was hand tacked with small stitches, surrounded by a liner covered in the same color silk. The frame is a solid maple in a strong beveled profile, finished in a tone that echoes the creamy white in the artwork. Museum glass is the best glazing option for shadowboxes, as it affords an unobstructed view of the details in the objects. You can still appreciate the drape of the fabric and the holes in the corners where the bundle was secured.
We have a client with a watercolor painting that he never quite knew what to do with, so it sat in a drawer for years. He brought it in for a creative solution, and we knew it needed a frame with a door to afford access to the clever workings of the art.