As my regular readers must know by now, my oldest son Patrick is an art major in college. His loving mother makes *many* trips to the framer. So you can imagine my delight when New York’s premier source for the finest custom framing, J. Pocker gave me an inside peek into the framing industry to show me how it is done with panache. To demonstrate, company owner, Robyn Pocker offered to frame two works of my choosing.
J.Pocker has been in business since 1926 making Robyn the third generation to run the business.
With that history, I thought it might be fun to give Robyn a challenge. For my two works of art, I chose a piece by Patrick and one by his girlfriend Hannah, also an art major. Both works of art were school assignments. Neither reflected Pat’s or Hannah’s preferred medium or style. The art students didn’t even like these pieces. Still, to paraphrase House Beautiful, I knew that a great frame could transform anything. Of course, Robyn did not let me down.
Along the way, Robyn divulged some great tips to keep in mind when you are selecting a frame.
1. Think UV protection and don’t skimp on quality glazing. Preventing fading as much as possible is a good investment for the future. Once a signature is faded, it is gone forever.
2. Be open to ideas that you have never used before. There is more to framing than thin black. Lucite, for example, can be used to frame a photo so it appears to be floating in glass. Similarly, consider finishes you never knew existed. For example, if you want black, think black with the grain showing through, black with an American carved panel, black plexi or black powder coated. There are so many options.
3. Avoid too narrow a mat. The right size will add interest. When a mat is the correct color it won’t stand out but will draw your attention to the art.
4. Gather all of those items you have been meaning to frame and create a salon wall. A bit of this and that, framed each in their own style will create a really personal wall. (I have done this in my own home.)
5. Go to your framer when you need a mirror. They can help you fashion the perfect style and size.
6. And most important of all, ask the experts. You want a framer that has more ideas than you do. It takes years of experience to know the techniques of good framing and nothing replaces the expert advice of an experienced sales person.
Of course this all means that if you are in the New York metro area, you should be going to J.Pocker for all of your custom framing needs! They have locations in NYC, Bronxville, Greenwich and Westport.
So how did Robyn address my pieces? She suggested a white frame for each but in very different styles.
For Hannah’s print, she immediately removed a poor quality mat that did nothing to enhance the work. Robyn chose the perfect shade of white for a new mat in just the right scale. She also created thickness, with a box-like frame to add stature to the artwork. Hannah was planning on giving the piece to her mother (Us moms love it all, *wink*), but Patrick tells me that Hannah was so pleased, she kept it to hang in her sorority house bedroom.
As you can see in the first photo, Patrick’s abstract was framed in a thin, white frame which contrasts marvelously with the predominately darker tones in his painting. I grabbed it for the Montauk house–it’s moody blue/green palette is perfect for the beach! I haven’t decided where to hang it yet–I wish I could bring Robyn Pocker to Montauk for that!
Thanks so much to Robyn and J.Pocker!
This post is in collaboration with J.Pocker. Holiday House foyer image from Viteri Style Management blog. Images not otherwise identified are by me.