Sep. 17

 

Alphabet City

by Lynn Byrne

anna Kovecses collage1

anne kovecses collage

 

anna kovecses collage3You might think when you first saw these images that I was still wallowing in sentiment, with fond dreams of my boys’ elementary school years.  I am.  And this little volume with its adorable illustrations captured my heart.  It reminds me of those wonderful “Golden Books” I enjoyed as a child and loved sharing with my own kids.

But I also am sharing this book because it is incredibly well designed.  Author/illustrator Anna Kovecses’   drawings are witty and the colors are spot on.  Anna’s  translucent use of color is especially cool.

Anna created the book to introduce the 44 letters of the Hungarian alphabet to a special 4 year old girl.  The illustrations were carefully chosen to represent subjects that the child is currently very much interested in.

How charming.

An added note is that the book was made and published with Blurb, a company sponsor  that I happened to meet at last January’s Alt Summit.  Amazing what you can do on that website!  This lovely book can be purchased on Blurb by clicking here.

Alphabet images by Anna Kovecses from here.

 

 

Sep. 15

 

FRAMING YOUR ART: Six Tips from J.Pocker, an Industry Expert

by Lynn Byrne

Patrick Byrne with his beautifully framed painting by J.Pocker, and detail shot of same.

Patrick Byrne with his beautifully framed painting by J.Pocker, and detail shot of same.

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.

Historical photos of early J.Pocker storefronts

Historical photos of early J.Pocker storefronts from their website

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.

Robyn Pocker (left) with Patrick's abstact painting and Hannah's print

Robyn Pocker (left) with Patrick’s abstact painting and Hannah’s print

 

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.

A small peek at the vast amount of framing options at J. Pocker

A small peek at the vast amount of framing options at J. Pocker

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.

Foyer in the 2012 Holiday House designed by John Call, mirrors framed by J. Pocker

Foyer in the 2012 Holiday House designed by John Call, mirrors framed by J. Pocker, photographed by Barbara Viteri

 

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.

Trying out different framing options for Hannah's print

Trying out different framing options for Hannah’s print

Print by Hannah Herbert framed beautifully by J. Pocker

Print by Hannah Hebert framed beautifully by J. Pocker

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.

 

 

 

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