FRAMING

If you’ve read my “Style” page, you know that I’m inspired by classic design and dynamic proportions. “Good” design is good, regardless of when it is created. The “modernists” of the 1920’s are as current as the most contemporary designers. Morris, Sullivan and Wright, Le Corbusier and Saarinen, the Eames’s and Calder, have inspired generations of artists and designers because their innovations were not just, well, innovative, but were “good”.

I strive for understated elegance, sensitive proportions, inspired textures and neutral colors that are perfectly chosen to enhance the essence of the art. Our selection of beautiful mouldings range from burls, exotic hardwoods and gold leaf to an endless variety of decorative shapes and finishes. We generally use archival materials and methods. We never allow the framing to overwhelm the art, and we save the “wow” for well-chosen and well-executed details: fabrics, fillets, French mats, deep bevels, floated effects, etc.

Your experience at Johnson Framing Studio should be fun and informative. When your bring a piece in for me to frame I will ask you a few simple questions: Do you know where it will hang? Do you have a preconceived idea of how you would like it to look? Do you have a finished size in mind? Do you prefer warm or cool colors? Your answers to these questions, or your reluctance to answer them, will guide me to make some observations, suggestions and recommendations. At the end of the process, you should know exactly why we chose what we chose, and exactly how the choices enhance the art.

I am not of the belief that there is only one “right” solution. The decision really is a collaboration between you and me, often with another’s considerations as well. Some people prefer that I just “do what’s right for the art”. This is when I go in to the “what would I do if it were mine?” mode, . . when I look for references to history, tune in to subtle qualities that might be overlooked, speculate on the artist's intention, and search for a framing solution that is classic, neutral, timeless. It’s a process that is both cerebral and instinctive. But it is always fun.

Most people really are concerned with price. I believe that quality picture framing is an investment in the protection and long-term enjoyment of your piece. The materials we use are of the highest quality, and therefore, expensive. A picture frame is custom designed and created for you, and usually it is unique. We don’t have the “economy” of mass production or continuing consumption. If I’ve done my job well, you may never be back until you have a new piece to frame. I will spend as much time on the design as it takes to be sure that you are satisfied with the result. That being said, quality framing is a bargain! We can usually work within your budget. We have discounts for volume orders, artists and designers. It’s difficult to compare “apples with apples” in our industry, but we are competitive with other custom shops, including the franchises. The only way you can appreciate the value we offer is to experience it.

After 25 years, I think I’ve framed about everything, including a document signed by Abraham Lincoln, a drawing done on a napkin by Toulouse Lautrec, original Chagals and Dalis, an ancient antiphonal (sheet of music) on vellum, and a Rembrandt etching. People trust me with their treasures every day, and I genuinely respect each piece, whether it is a child's drawing, a scrap of grandma's quilt or a precious work of art, as if it were an original copy of the Magna Carta. Our business is based on customer loyalty and referrals. I work hard every day to earn both.

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