Classified Ads

Print Friendly

Classified Ads header

 

Picture Framing Business for sale. Located in Spokane, Lee Frame Shop was founded in 1932 in downtown and has remained under the same name through several owners. I bought the shop in 1993 and it has expanded and grown since our purchase. We are currently the only shop in downtown. We have all modern equipment, ie. Wizard Mat Cutter, Cassese V nailer, etc. Our volume of business averages $120,000 and the net is around $22,000. Please contact Dick Hughes at 509 624 2715 or email me at dick@leeframeshop.com for more details.

======================================================
For Sale: Early Corona cold vacuum press 34x44" working size.
Clear plate glass lid. Works great.
Included: pump, vacuum gauge, timer switch, oil vapor filter, low sturdy table with casters.
$250.00 obo. Location: Seattle.
Contact: epfg@ferensoft.com
======================================================

Everything you need to start your own picture framing business today!

All the best equipment, here is an example:
• Fletcher 2100 Mat Cutter
• Fletcher Production Stops
• Fletcher Squaring Arm
• Fletcher Angle Mat Guide
• Fletcher Mat Clamp Lifters
• Fletcher 3000 Glass Cutter
• Fletcher 3000 Stops #3751
• Phaedra Framing System (Dual Miter Saw)
• Dual Vacuum System (works with saws to collect debris as you cut, a must for any indoor use)
• AMP VN-42 Mitre Mite V-Nailer
• Sil-Air 50-24 Compressor
• Putnam Mitre True Sander
• C & H Thumbnailer Master Joiner
• AMP Mini Mitre Fillet Cutter
• Custom Made Wooden Work Bench, designed specifically to fit your mat cutter and tons of supplies 51" x 77" Fantastic clean flat work space.
• Mat Board Corner Samples Display (2)

. . .and so much more. We have tons of supplies, mat board, molding, corner protectors, samples, adhesives, backing, back paper holder, metal frame joiners, wooden frame joiners, etc. . .. If we have it, you can take it, all extras not listed will be included, and there is literally everything you need to open your own shop or home business today. Please contact me for more information about equipment and supplies. Business sold as a whole. Offers on individual equipment will not be considered. Buyer will need to arrange transport of all items.

Eastside Area of Seattle MORE INFO: http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/bfs/4515394854.html

Step Up Your Game

Print Friendly
As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

 

Step Up Jolly

 

Daniel Jolly, owner of Mukilteo Art & Frame, used a pre-programmed V-Groove pattern from his CMC,  to accentuate this vintage photo.  So many have this capability - but say they forget to utilize it.  Simple, elegant, and beautiful - taking this design from good, better, to WOW!

DS photo 1 DS photo 2 DS photo 3

Cindy Nord from Daniel Smith in Seattle, used up some colorful mat scraps in her attractive organized-looking readymade frame display.  What a nice way to get customers to think outside the box and use color rather than the basic white mat which comes in the mass produced RM's. It also encourages them to use wider and creatively weighted matting.  The color and matting in general, lends an eye-catching, polished, professional and clean look to the group of frames.  Her printed sign, which says it all, is a great touch as well.

Painted bevels are a simple and extremely beautiful and effective way to add color to a framing design,  or eliminate  the sight of a white bevel or the architectural void of a reverse bevel when done only to hide a white bevel. Sadly I arrived too late to take a picture of Tida Meesrikul of New Dimensions in Bellevue, doing the very beginning step where the masking tape is placed overlapping the line where the mat opening will be, which is why you see the mat window replaced after the painting had been done.  This is just to give a visual reference.

Mask, paint, remove and enjoy!

Notes on Needle Art – Go Green

Print Friendly
Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting.  Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting. Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

 

Materials are continuously updated in the framing industry, but archival methods are slow to change. Allan Lamb, CPF reports on conservation techniques from Sandra L. Troon, textile conservator in this March 1995 article. Good advice today!

Publication1Publication2

 

Volunteer for Satisfaction! – Editor’s Scraps

Print Friendly
There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

 

TEAM UNITY AND COOPERATIONThis month as I was casting around for something to share with you, my mind kept returning to how amazing it is to volunteer. I started volunteering in different groups about 10 years ago on a regular basis and in a larger way. It's become quite addictive, and here's why:

 

  • When you volunteer you choose it because it's something you're genuinely interested in, so you will enjoy it.
  • Expressing your interest through commitment to a group makes you carve out consistent time to be spent on what you're passionate about.
  • When you give your time, effort and talents to a cause you gain appreciation from those involved.
  • The appreciation you receive creates a circle of positive energy-you give, they receive, they give, you receive...
  • Working with others who also volunteer is a supportive and generous learning environment for gaining new skills.
  • You can share your skills with others and enjoy seeing them learn as well.
  • The commitment of time builds amazing results for the cause you care about.
  • Observing what you've helped to build gives you confidence and pride in achievement.
  • Working toward a common goal builds rich relationships. You suddenly realize you have made great friends.
  • When you give your time to build something in your community, you find a community builds around you of which you're happy to be a member.

Volunteer for something today!

I loved volunteering for the EPFG for several years and also serving in this job as Newsletter Editor. This is my last article as editor. It has been my pleasure!

-Sheri J. Kennedy, Editor

Classified Ads

Print Friendly

Classified Ad Header winter 13-14

 

 

Lakewood Gallery & Framing for Sale                 $30,000

HURRY DEADLINE FOR OFFER IS APRIL 4TH.

Established Lakewood art gallery and frame shop for sale. Must go immediately. This business has cultivated hundreds of long term customers and contacts through it's tenure. A vital business that will have to close without a buyer. Come in and start doing business today. No updates needed, turn key and ready to go. Contact with any questions. The final day we can consider an offer is April 4.  jan@lakewoodgallery.com

Holly Brown and Jan Giroux

253-584-1774

Framing Inventory

Equipment:

Four station phone system

Computers (3) Printers (2)

Wizard 5000 Matcutter with unlimited corners

60” Fletcher Wall Mounted Glass/Acrylic/Foam Core Cutter

48” Fletcher Table Mat Cutter

Jyden Guillotine Mitre Chopper

40x60 Hot/Cold Vacuum Mount Press

Senco Pneumatic Nail Gun and Hoses

Craftsman 25 Gallon 175 PSI Air Compressor

Corner Vises (2)

Framing Hardware and Supplies

Print Bin

Security Cameras

Fixtures/Furniture

Dozens of limited edition prints and posters

Established relations with consigning artists, artisans and antiques dealer

Intangible Inventory

600 Email Addresses Constant Contact

Living Social/Amazon Local – Campaign Proposal in Progress

500 Facebook Followers

Updateable Website

100 Twitter Followers

Longterm Business Accounts

Pacific Lutheran University

Parkland Water and Light

Clover Park Rotary

Lakewood Rotary

Federal Way Rotary

Tucci Construction

Pierce Transit

National Electrical Contractors Association

Weyerhaeuser

West Pierce Fire District

Concepts Design

Connie Kay Design

City of Lakewood

CutArt Variations – Practical Mat Decoration

Print Friendly
Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch.  However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch.  This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day.  We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch. However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch. This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day. We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

 

 

Making CutArt Variations

Every framer has their decorative design ideas – the kinds of elements they like to use and the ways they like to apply them.  The challenge is to vary the details of the idea each time you use it to tailor it to the picture and to make it look different to casual observers.  Framers do this even when the design idea is as simple as a triple mat.  The variations can be: change the colors, vary the contrast, change the reveal sizes, put the narrow reveal in the middle, put the narrow reveal to the inside, make the wide reveal really wide, use patterned matboard for the wide reveal…

So it is if you have a favorite CutArt.  This example shows a geometric starburst at the side of the opening.  Perhaps you would like to add a starburst accent like this more often, but there is just this one.  You feel that if you use it too often, your work will begin to look too repetitive.  You can vary the size and the placement, but the element itself remains the same.  Your work would have more variety and each picture could be more individualized if there were a dozen different starbursts you could choose from.

The Original Idea

The CutArt here is Fanlite from the Accents1 folder of the Wizard CutArt.  The decorative elements are about half an inch wide and 1.25 inches high.  The starbursts are a quarter inch away from the opening and slightly below the center.  (The opening is 6 x 8 inches, just for the sake of perspective.)01 6x8 Original

This design formula – the accents close to the opening symmetrically on the sides – is as important as the element itself.  It illustrates probably the most effective formula for using cutout accents.  Now we will make a portfolio of similar elements so that we can use this formula more often and in more settings.

Things We Will Change

The three shapes in a starburst pattern is a very appealing concept.  As we are creating variations in the drawing program, we will retain this concept.  However, there are some other things we would like to change:

It would be an improvement if the elements could be closer together.

We need a variety of sizes but we do not want the triangles to spread farther apart as we enlarge the element.

We would like to preserve the sharp points of the triangles, but change the short sides.  Perhaps the short sides could be vertical lines. Perhaps they could be all in a line, perhaps staggered.

Perhaps there could be curves introduced to soften the stark geometric feel.

In the Drawing Program

In this illustration we have opened the Fanlite CutArt in PathTrace.  The original CutArt elements are the blue triangles. 101 Variation 1

Notice first that the ornament is oriented vertically.  In its original state, it is horizontal, but we will use it vertically in this design formula.  This change in orientation was done in MatDesigner, where rotation is easy.  This illustrates an axiom about drawing projects that bears repeating no matter which program you use: Do what you can (those things that are easy) in the design program, then do what you must in the drawing program.

We have drawn some lines to reshape the middle triangle.  We want the point at the right to be a little less sharp.  Begin by drawing a diagonal line for a new leg at the top, then mirror it across the horizontal center line (the white horizontal line emanating from the midpoint of the short side of the middle blue triangle) so that the new triangle will be symmetrical.  Note also the gray vertical line that will be the new short side of the middle triangle.

How Close Can These Triangles Be?

Next we must decide how close the smaller triangles can be to the new middle triangle.  This is an important design question because we want the grouping of three triangles to read more like one unit than they do in the original.

As we draw, though, spacing is an important cutting question, too.  When two shapes are close together, there will be overcuts on the back of the mat.  If the shapes are too close, these overcuts will cut far enough to weaken the narrow strip of matboard between the shapes.  As the cutting proceeds, the narrow strip of matboard may be pushed out of place.  This spacing question will be decided by making a series of test cuts.

Offset the top leg of the triangle a specific distance.  Enter the distance in the Reveal field at the bottom left.  Here, the top leg was offset 0.18 inch.  (This, in fact, was not the first test.  This drawing does not show the lines from the earlier test that was too close.)

Then construct a new small triangle above the middle one using this offset line as its inner leg.  Draw a new vertical line to be the short side (a departure from the original, but a variation we would like to evaluate) and draw a new outside leg to complete the triangle. 102 Variation 1

The vertical line at the right serves as a guide to help determine where the point of the new triangle must be to be even with the point of the middle triangle.  These points do not need to line up precisely.

Watch, too, that the angle of the point of the new small triangle is a bit less sharp than the point of the original triangle.

Completing the First Variation

Join all the segments of the two new triangles and set the bevels.  Then mirror the top triangle across the horizontal center line onto the bottom.103 Variation 1

You want only the new triangles to cut, but there is no need to delete the original triangles.  They may come in handy as a reference.  Simply explode them.  The lines will remain but they will no longer cut.

Make the test cut and assess the progress.  It is important to make an actual test cut.  When items are this small, do not depend what you see on the screen - either in PathTrace or in MatDesigner.

The lines you see on the screen are the lines at the bottom of the bevel, not the top of the bevel.  As you look at the finished mat, you will judge the space between the triangles first by looking at the stability of the narrow strip of matboard between the triangles, then by looking at the space at the top of the bevels – the colored surface of the mat.  If you like the results, save the new CutArt as the first variation.

How Small Should These Triangles Be?

As you evaluate the test results, note the size of the triangles.  There is no real limit to how small each triangle can be.  All the cuts are straight lines, after all.  The real question is: How small can they be and still look good as decorative elements next to an opening.  The answer will be different for most every framer.  Here, the smaller triangles are a quarter inch from their points to their short sides.  Whether or not you like the look of elements this small, it is good to know that it is possible to cut shapes this small.02 6x8 Variation 1

Again, to get a feel for the proportion, the opening is 6 x 8 inches.

Making a Larger Variation

We have decided that this is a good size for small openings, but for larger pictures, we will want a larger element – but we want the triangles to remain 0.18 inch away from each other.  If we re-size the new CutArt in the design program, the triangles will enlarge, but so will the space between the triangles.201 Variation 2

Open the first variation in PathTrace.  The white vertical line at the right is snapped to the point of the small triangle.  Offset it so that you know how wide the new top triangle will be.  In this drawing, the vertical line is offset 0.30 inch.

The vertical line at the left near the middle triangle will be the new short side of the middle triangle.  Its position is an artistic decision.

Note the horizontal center line snapped to the midpoint at the left of the middle triangle.  It will be the mirror axis in the coming mirroring operation.

Finishing the Larger Variation

Delete the blue triangle at the bottom.202 Variation 2

Explode the two remaining triangles.

Join the new short sides to the original legs to form the new triangles.  The gray lines inside the triangles in the illustration are the original short sides of the triangles in the first variation.

Mirror the triangle at the top across the horizontal center line onto the bottom.

Set the bevels, make a test cut, and save this as a new CutArt if it meets your approval.  This will be the second variation.

Introducing Curves

For a less geometric attitude, we will make the short sides of the triangles into curves.  The blue triangles in this illustration are the elements of the larger variation we just completed.301 Variation 3

We have drawn a single line beginning a little beyond the top of the top triangle and ending a little across the horizontal center line.

Using the Move Point function, move the midpoint of the line to curve it.  Remember that these segments will be very small, so do not curve the line too severely.

Integrating the Curve with the Triangles

We need to break the curve into pieces then join the legs of the triangles with the curve segments to form the new shapes.302 Variation 3

Draw a short line crossing the curve near the small triangle at the top.

Break the curve at its intersection with the short line.  The piece of the curve at the top will become the short side of the small triangle at the top.  The other piece (the white curve in this illustration) will be the beginning of the new short side for the middle shape.

Finishing the Curved Variation

Much has happened in this illustration.  Here are the steps:303 Variation 3

Explode the small triangle at the top.

Join the legs of the small triangle with the top segment of the broken curve.  This new small shape is now complete.  This is the white shape in this illustration.

Mirror the newly joined top triangle across the horizontal center line so that it will replace the old triangle at the bottom.

Explode the large middle triangle.

Mirror the other segment of the broken curve across the horizontal center line.  This new middle shape will have two curves as its crown.  It will now be a curved diamond.

Join the legs from the middle triangle to the two curves of its crown to complete the curved diamond.

Getting Ready to Cut

Delete or explode the original triangle at the bottom.  All the other leftover gray segments can remain.304 Variation 3

Then set the three new shapes to cut.  Make a test cut to make sure these curves cut nicely – but also to make sure that they are dramatic enough.

Often we are so concerned about drawing gentle curves that will cut nicely that we forget that our original intent was to add the excitement of curves to the ornament.  If we draw such gentle curves that they appear to be straight lines, then there is little benefit to our efforts.

One More Idea

Brainstorming about curves and drama always generates another step in the evolution of an idea.  All the variations so far have had the points on the right lined up very nicely, but to add more drama, we want to have the point of the middle shape protrude noticeably farther than the points of the outside shapes.  This will make the middle shape decidedly larger, too.401 Variation 4

Copy the shape at the top.  As you move the copy, the original will remain as a guide.  This is important because you will see how far you have moved the shape – and you will be able to keep the bottom lines lined up, insuring that the new shape will still be the same distance away from the middle shape.

Now, we want to move the middle shape’s crown farther to the left so that the curves of the short sides appear to be continuous again.402 Variation 4

Explode the middle shape.

Join the two curves of the crown.

Using the copy function, move the crown to the left.  Hold the Control key on the keyboard as you move it so that it moves exactly horizontally.

It is not critical that the two curves of the shapes be mathematically continuous.  In fact, it may be more dramatic if the crown were moved a bit farther to the left than necessary.

To finish this variation, join the segments to form the new middle shape and set the bevel.403 Variation 4

Mirror the moved top shape across the horizontal center line onto the bottom of the element.

There is no need to delete the original small shapes.  Just explode them so that they will not cut.

Make a test cut, evaluate the results, and save this fourth variation as a new CutArt.03 6x8 Variation 4

Every framer has had the experience of searching for just the right CutArt to adorn a picture.  When you find something close and a little alteration would make it just right, it should not be a daunting task to make a few changes in the drawing program.  In this space, we have made four variations of the original CutArt – one flowing out of the ideas of the other - using only half a dozen functions in the program.  Just as you do not need to know the entire city to find your way to a friend’s house, you do not need to know the entire drawing program to make a few little changes.  Imagine, then make a few experiments.

Brian Wolf has been a picture framing educator since 1979, specializing in decorative matting techniques. He is the artistry ambassador for Wizard International, Inc. Contact him at WizardU@wizardint.com  Brian’s column is sponsored by Wizard.  www.wizardint.com or call 1-888-855-3335

The Magic of Grouping – Practical Mat Decoration

Print Friendly
Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch.  However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch.  This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day.  We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch. However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch. This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day. We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

 

The Magic of Grouping

Several of these columns have used Grouping to manufacture a new shape from two overlapping shapes.  In one example we overlapped a plain rectangle to cover unwanted decorative elements in a shaped opening.  In another example we overlapped a rectangular opening onto a shaped opening in order to extend it and make it the correct size. 101

A more exciting use of grouping is to create an artistic shape.  Everyone knows that you can overlap a CutArt, a letter, or a decorative shape onto an opening, then group them.  The program will integrate the overlapping shapes and the machine will cut he perimeter of the new shape.

The Mundane Side of Grouping: An Alignment Tool

The most practical use for grouping is when the openings do not overlap, though.  Some multiple opening layouts are complicated – particularly when openings have associated items like captions or auxiliary openings that need to remain aligned with their respective openings.  Grouping locks each pair of items together so that they can be moved around as a unit.102

Here is a simple example of how grouping helps with a multiple opening design.  There are four double mat openings.  Each opening has a caption centered under it.  Each opening with its caption must be lined up and spaced to make a tidy layout.

Begin with One Opening

The first opening-caption combination we work with will be the one at the top right.  The opening is 3.25 x 5.25 inches.  The dark inner reveal is 3/16 inch.  The pen caption is 0.3 inch high.  Adjust the Kerning (the size of the spaces between the letters) and Tracking (the size of the spaces between the words) to your liking.

The normal alignment tools will center and space the caption under the opening.  The top of the caption is 0.25 inch away from the bottom of the opening’s top layer.

Now group the opening and the caption so that, as we add more openings and move items into place, this opening and its caption remain accurately aligned.

The Grouping Process

First, select both the opening and the caption.  You can click on the Advanced tab at the top and click the Group Selection button at the left, but it is also handy to know that you are able to right-click on the selected items.  In the middle of the menu that pops up, click on Group Selection.201

When the items are grouped, there will be a dotted blue line around the grouped items.

It is important to note that the size of the grouped item is now 3.625 x 6.175 inches.  The width is measured from the outside of the top layer of the opening.  The height is measured from the top of the top layer of the opening to the baseline of the caption.  Note that the tail of the y in Mary dangles below the dotted blue outline of the grouped item.  All the alignment tools will reference this dotted blue line.

Adding More Openings

Copy the first grouped opening-with-caption and paste it twice so that you have two more openings with their captions.  Copy and Paste eliminates a big part of the work.  The copies have the proper size reveal around the opening.  The captions are the proper size, font, and distance from the opening, though the names will be changed.202

Move the copies to the left.  Ungroup one of them in order to change the name in the caption.  Either click the Advanced tab where you will find that the Group Selection button has become the Ungroup Selection button, or right-click on the item.  On the menu that pops up click Ungroup Selection.

When items are ungrouped, all the items remain selected.  Either click the Escape key on the keyboard or click on the background to de-select the items.

Select the caption, change the name, and re-center the new caption under the opening.  Its distance from the bottom of the opening will not have changed unless you have altered the height of the letters.  Group this opening with the new caption.203

Ungroup the middle opening.  Here, you will need to change the name - plus, the size of the opening needs to be 3.75 x 5.75 inches.  When you enter new values into the height field, you will see that the bottom remains in place and the top grows.  So once again, the caption’s distance from the opening will not have changed.  After you change the name in the caption, you will only need to center the new caption under the opening.  Group the middle opening with its new caption.

Aligning the Top Row

We now have three groups.  Each group is an opening with its caption centered under it.

Select all three groups.204

Click the Alignment tab at the top.

On the left there are nine buttons in the Aligning section.  Click the middle one in the bottom row.  This will line up all the groups’ centers.

Now we need to make sure the groups are evenly spaced.  Enter 0.75 in the field at the left of the Space Horizontally button.  When you click the Space Horizontally button the groups will be three-quarters of an inch apart – as measured on the top layer of the mat.

Why Do We Use Grouping?

To see the magic of Grouping, try these steps without grouping.  When you click the Space Horizontally button, there will be six items evenly spaced along the row – an opening, a caption, another opening, another caption, etc.

Now try it a different way: align and space just the openings.  Then center each caption under its opening.  You will find this tedious at best.  And on larger projects, you will not be able to zoom in closely enough to see clearly.  This may be Grouping’s mundane application, but it streamlines a layout like this.

Once these three groups are aligned, select them all and group them.  This allows us to continue to work with the layout without accidentally knocking any of these openings or captions out of position.  You now understand that you can have groups, groups of groups, and groups of groups of groups if necessary.

Adding the Bottom Opening

On the clipboard is still the original opening grouped with its caption.  Paste one last time and move the copy so that it is below the top group.

Ungroup this last opening and caption.  Change the size of the bottom opening to 10 x 4.5 inches.  Change the caption.  The letters for the caption along the bottom picture are 0.4 inch high and they are 5/16 inch below the bottom of the opening.

Center and space the caption with its opening, then group these two items, just as you did with the other three openings and their captions.

The Final Alignment

In the layout we now have two groups.  The top row is one group of three groups – and, yes, each of these three groups is also a group consisting of an opening and its caption.  The bottom row is another group consisting of the large opening and its longer taller caption.205

Select both these groups.  Use the Aligning buttons to center the bottom group below the top group.  Use the Spacing tools to make the bottom row 7/8 inch away from the top row.

While the artistic uses of any tool always garner the most attention, it is enlightening to see how this more pedestrian use of grouping makes this involved – but common, effective, and practical – layout efficient.

Brian Wolf has been a picture framing educator since 1979, specializing in decorative matting techniques. He is the artistry ambassador for Wizard International, Inc. Contact him at WizardU@wizardint.com  Brian’s column is sponsored by Wizard.  www.wizardint.com or call 1-888-855-3335

 

Classified Ads

Print Friendly

Classified Ad Header winter 13-14

 

Lakewood Gallery & Framing for Sale                 $30,000

Established Lakewood art gallery and frame shop for sale. Must go immediately. This business has cultivated hundreds of long term customers and contacts through it's tenure. A vital business that will have to close without a buyer. Come in and start doing business today. No updates needed, turn key and ready to go. Contact with any questions. The final day we can consider an offer is April 4.  jan@lakewoodgallery.com

Holly Brown and Jan Giroux

253-584-1774

Framing Inventory

Equipment:

Four station phone system

Computers (3) Printers (2)

Wizard 5000 Matcutter with unlimited corners

60” Fletcher Wall Mounted Glass/Acrylic/Foam Core Cutter

48” Fletcher Table Mat Cutter

Jyden Guillotine Mitre Chopper

40x60 Hot/Cold Vacuum Mount Press

Senco Pneumatic Nail Gun and Hoses

Craftsman 25 Gallon 175 PSI Air Compressor

Corner Vises (2)

Framing Hardware and Supplies

Print Bin

Security Cameras

Fixtures/Furniture

Dozens of limited edition prints and posters

Established relations with consigning artists, artisans and antiques dealer

Intangible Inventory

600 Email Addresses Constant Contact

Living Social/Amazon Local – Campaign Proposal in Progress

500 Facebook Followers

Updateable Website

100 Twitter Followers

Longterm Business Accounts

Pacific Lutheran University

Parkland Water and Light

Clover Park Rotary

Lakewood Rotary

Federal Way Rotary

Tucci Construction

Pierce Transit

National Electrical Contractors Association

Weyerhaeuser

West Pierce Fire District

Concepts Design

Connie Kay Design

City of Lakewood

Step Up Your Game

Print Friendly
As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

 

Sophie of U-Frame-It Renton, showed me this trick they learned from someone at Larson Juhl's warehouse.  By adding black paint to one of their bottles of wood glue, a lot of time is saved and mess spared by not needing to use black putty so often.

photo 1

photo 2photo 3

Be the You-iest You – Editor’s Scraps

Print Friendly
There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

 

 

I read an article about the top 5 regrets spoken by people at the end of life. The phrase this hospice nurse heard most was, "I wish I would've been more true to myself instead of worrying so much about what others would think."

The context of this regret was what they had NOT done. It's often said people regret very little of what they do, it's what they didn't do that haunts them.

What are you passionate about? Is there something you've put aside to be dutiful or because others might think it's silly? I challenge you to take the leap. Choose one thing you've always wanted to do and carve out a little time to do it. It can be an hour a week, or maybe an hour a day.

Find time to be quintessentially you. You might change the world for the better. And I'm sure you'll change your world for the better.

-Sheri J. Kennedy, Editor

true-to-yourself

First Contact – Phone Skills – Go Green

Print Friendly
Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting.  Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive.

 

We can transpose some of this article's terminology to Google listings and online inquiries and apply it just as well today as when it was written in April 2002. Your phone and shop email are often First Contact. It's important to focus when you answer and be conscious of the information you provide to create a relationship with a new client.

Capture1 Capture2

The Serpentine Top Opening- Practical Mat Decoration

Print Friendly
Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch.  However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch.  This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day.  We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch. However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch. This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day. We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

 

 

The Serpentine Top Opening

Probably the most widely used shaped openings are rectangles with shaped tops.  There is a shape with a gentle arc across the top and there is the ubiquitous round top opening.

Serpentine Top Example

In an earlier column, there was a matted example with an opening shape from this family that framers found interesting but elusive.  It was a rectangle with a serpentine curve across the top.  The shapes mentioned above can be made directly using templates, but this serpentine top opening requires an alternative view of this particular template to see the possibility, then one small alteration – an alteration that, happily, can be done in the design program.

Like all templates in most programs, one template can be transformed into several shapes by adjusting the parameters.  This particular template in the Wizard program can make a flared corner opening, a serpentine top opening, and in a previous column we used it to make a Kobe corner opening.

Beginning the Design

When you use this template shape, the default parameter settings suggest the flared corners together with the serpentine top and bottom.  It then falls to the designer to refine the shape by changing the parameters.

01 Temp 314

Design the opening.  In this illustration, we have set the size, the number of layers, the reveal sizes, and the border sizes.  The template is number 314.

Click the Parameters tab at the bottom and look over the array of settings.  What do all these settings do?

Refining the Shape

When you are curious about a particular parameter, click the question mark beside the template ID number at the top.  This opens the Parameter Map.  This particular one is fairly complicated because there are seven parameters, but the illustrations are helpful.

02 Parameter Map

Then click the plus and minus buttons beside each parameter, enter new values in the fields, and watch the changes to get a better idea of how the parameters work.

 

We want to have only the serpentine curve across the top.  No flared corners, no Kobe corners.

03 New Parameters

Change all the parameters to zero except the top one – Arc Height.  You will see only the serpentine curve at the top and bottom.  Change the Arc Height setting to suit your vision.

Experiment with the next two parameters, too.  Side Arc Offset moves the beginning of the curves to the inside of the opening.  Here it is set quite small - a quarter inch.

To complete the project, we want to remove the serpentine curve from the bottom of the opening.

The Auxiliary Opening

We will add another opening at the bottom to simply cover the curve along the bottom.

04 copy opening

Copy and Paste to duplicate the opening.  This is the easiest way to get an opening with the same width and the same reveals.

Its placement does not concern us at this point.  But do not disturb the original opening.

Changing the Shape

Next, change the new opening into a rectangle.  Click the Change Template button and select the rectangular shape from the template menu.

05 changes to rectangle

It is handy to know that you are also able to enter the template number to change the template shape.  In this illustration the yellow field at the top reads 101 – the ID number of the rectangular template in the Wizard program.

 

This rectangular opening must be exactly as wide as the original opening, and all the mat layers must line up, but it needs to be shorter.  Remember that it needs to be tall enough to cover the bottom curve, but not so tall that it covers any of the top serpentine curve.

06 shorter

Either drag the handle at the top of the opening down to make it shorter, or enter a smaller value in the Height field.

Aligning the Openings

Now snap the rectangular opening into place with its bottom against the bottom of the original opening and its sides against the sides of the original opening.

07 snap into place

Actually, you are using the snapping properties of the borders.  If you are not feeling that positive snap as the bottoms and sides pop into alignment, check to make sure the borders are properly against the original opening.

Merging the Openings

The final step is to merge the two openings.

08 openings selected

Select both the openings.

Click the Advanced tab at the top.

At the left there is a button labeled Group Selection.

Every mat design program has a merge feature like this.  The glamour part of this function is to form new shapes with overlapping openings like this example, but its primary use is to lock a number of items together as you are designing a complicated array.

 

When you click the Group Selection button, the program merges the paths of the two openings and the design is finally as we imagined.  It is ready to cut.

09 grouped

It is possible that you would look at the serpentine curve across the top and want to make changes.  If you click the Properties tab for the opening, you will find that the parameters are no longer available now that this is a grouped opening.

You can still adjust parameters.  Note that the Group Selection button is now the Ungroup Selection button.  If you ungroup the openings, you will be able to select the serpentine opening and make further parameter adjustments.

As is normal for this column, this explanation shows the steps in the Wizard software.  Perhaps the software you use has direct parameters for this particular shape – a fortunate turn of events.  But perhaps this device of using an auxiliary opening to cover unnecessary details is just the solution you were searching for in order to accomplish some other design in your imagination.

As is normal for this column, this explanation shows the steps in the Wizard software.  Perhaps the software you use has direct parameters for this particular shape – a fortunate turn of events.  But perhaps this device of using an auxiliary opening to cover unnecessary details is just the solution you were searching for in order to accomplish some other design in your imagination.

Brian Wolf has been a picture framing educator since 1979, specializing in decorative matting techniques. He is the artistry ambassador for Wizard International, Inc. Contact him at WizardU@wizardint.com  Brian’s column is sponsored by Wizard.  www.wizardint.com or call 1-888-855-3335

Step Up Your Game

Print Friendly
As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

 

 

Admittedly I am taking advantage of having this platform, but I just wanted to proudly show off a couple matting ideas I came up with after getting inspired by the pros in classes and trade magazines.  After mainly being interested in the architectural features and colors of mouldings, I bought these photos specifically to do some creative matting.
photo 2image
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Miles, of Phoenix Art Restoration, made his own title cards for his art work using scrap materials, yet they still look like a million bucks.

photo 3photo 4

Don’t Just Do Something… – Editor’s Scraps

Print Friendly
There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

 

This month I came across a saying at the top of the blog WISCONZEN.wordpress.com that made me take pause...

Don't just do something...Sit there.

31054_454334209417_4649556_n

A good reminder to take our time. So much can happen in moments of stillness. Even short ones. Enjoy!

-Sheri J. Kennedy, Editor

Pricing – Go Green!

Print Friendly
Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting.  Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive.

 

Here's some insight into price figuring from April 1998. Though many framers rarely or no longer use mounting tissue, the exercise is useful and a good reminder to consider hidden costs and to make sure retail pricing is based on the full picture. (pardon the pun!) There's also a little trivia to play with answers at the bottom of the article pages. Thanks to Tim Taricco, Editor and Paul Miller, CPF for the thought-provoking article.

Go Green Jan 14 1Go Green Jan 14 2

Resolution to Chill – Editor’s Scraps

Print Friendly
There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

 

New Year's Resolutions can tempt us to take on the world only to be crushed under its weight. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge believer in goal-setting. Reaching for goals enriches my life every day. But it's also important to know when enough is enough.resolutions_I131206191028

This past year was one of great and exciting challenges. I published a book and started a new company with 9 other authors to promote and sell our works together. Then I became a co-ML for our region's National Novel Writing Month and helped host over 30 events in 30 days. At the same time, I wrote my own new novel of 50,000 words that month. I found my ENOUGH!

While all the goals were accomplished, I began to lose some of the things that were an important part of choosing to set them in the first place.

Many of you are business owners or artists who carry an outside job as well as create your own works. You are highly motivated people with grand goals and dreams. As you contemplate Resolutions for the upcoming year, consider the inner rewards behind them and make sure you're making way for those values as well as some outward achievements.

In your goal-setting, be kind to yourself, and if necessary create a Resolution to Chill.

-Sheri J. Kennedy, Editor

Pencil Captions – Practical Mat Decoration – December 2013

Print Friendly
Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch.  However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch.  This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day.  We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch. However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch. This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day. We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Pencil Captions

There were a few questions about a suggestion made at the end of a recent column.  The suggestion called to mind the fact that small captions under pictures were once hand lettered with a hard pencil.  So many of us learned engineering script as students.  It was never perfect printing, it always had the hallmarks of handwork, but it was always quite small and it was always legible.  This early training in careful letter formation turned out to be useful for writing captions on mats.

101 Date

We use engineering script here as a starting point because so many of us are fairly well practiced with it.  But it remains engineering script in all its connotations – the most disconcerting of which is that it is a trifle sterile.  We can look in many places for ideas to dress up our lettering.

Ornament Ideas

There are a number of thin line fonts we can copy for ideas.  The fonts illustrated here are called Calamity Jane and Speedball 1, 2, and 3.  Look over the details of the letters and you will see a few variations adaptable for your lettering.

04 Calamity Jane01 Speedball 103 Speedball 302 Speedball 2

Keep in mind that there is a fine line between ornamentation and affectation.  A few flourishes on these tiny letters are generally sufficient to give a caption its individuality.  You will find that lower case letters will be almost always the same.  Perhaps you will vary the lengths of the ending strokes of the f, j, or y.  The upper case letters offer many more possibilities for variation.  Finishing strokes like the tail of the R, the Q, or the K can have extensions or flourishes.  Some letters – the A, E, F, G, Q, and S, for example – can take completely different forms from font to font.

The placement of the letters is another variation to consider.  Review the column from a few months ago.  One caption was all upper case letters.  It had larger beginning and ending letters.  The letters were even across the top, too.  Another caption had exaggerated capital letters that floated to where they looked best, regardless of the baseline.  Any of these typographical devices would add a different character to the caption.

Mechanical Hints: Guide Lines

Begin by drawing guide lines for the baseline, the x height, and the top of the upper case letters.  Draw several vertical lines, too, to use as a reference as you draw vertical letter strokes.  Use a soft pencil for the guide lines and draw them faintly.  You will be lettering with a hard pencil and you will be able to erase the faint guide lines without disturbing the lettering.

102 With Guides

Sizes

Everyone will have their own size preferences.  Some people prefer larger letters because slight errors are not quite so glaring.  Others prefer smaller letters because smaller circles and curves are easier to draw accurately when they are smaller.  The x height of the letters in these examples is not quite a sixteenth inch high.  The total height of the upper case letters is about an eighth inch.

The Matboard

Choose the matboard for these lettering projects for its handling properties as much as for the color - Can you erase the guide lines without a trace?  Will the matboard’s surface be marred as you work on it?  Will the matboard’s texture be a factor as you draw?  Heavy textures may force the pencil point into an angled or curved line, rather than the straight vertical line you intended.

The Pencil

Use a 2H, 4H, 6H, or harder graphite for the lettering.  Traditional wooden pencils work better for this than modern mechanical pencils.  The graphite has more support and is much less likely to break as you make small curves or press hard.  Sharpen the pencils with a file or fine sandpaper.

The graphite for these examples was 2H.  This is a bit darker than normal, so that the letters would show better in the photography.  4H graphite is preferable.  It leaves a more understated caption and it still has plenty of contrast to be easily legible.

As you letter, press to deboss as much as to write.  This allows no way to erase a mistake, but you will find that you will letter slowly and carefully enough that mistakes will be rare.

Centering

When you want to center a hand lettered caption, begin by lettering the caption exactly as the final caption will be on a scrap.  Measure its length and calculate the starting point so that the final caption will be centered on the mat.  Realize that with small variations in the letters’ sizes and spacing, the caption could easily end up as much as an eighth inch off center.

With this in mind, consider the option of positioning the caption well to the left or to the right.  The presentation may not have that completely formal look, but it will be clear to all that the caption is meant to be off center.

Write Things Correctly

When you are lettering by hand, you will be writing names, dates, places, and possibly short sentences.  Do not let the extra effort of hand lettering be your excuse for using abbreviations, though.  We are writing captions for pictures to be admired for years to come.  Write entire names.  If there is a military academic designation, write it completely and correctly.  Write out the entire names of months, and write out the entire names of cities, states, and countries.  Always include necessary punctuation.

103 With Lines

This may be the most impractical advice you have ever gotten.  In the face of technological devices that can draw letters for us, what is the sense of presenting ideas on how lettering can be done by hand?  The validity of any answers to this question will depend on the ins and outs of your shop.

How else can we add such a small caption under a picture, though?  The smallest practical CMC lettering is around three-sixteenths of an inch high.  And, how else can we make a caption this understated?

We often overstate the efficiency of computerized processes.  When we want to add a caption under a picture with the computerized mat cutter, there will be design and refinement time.  Once we are practiced and confident with hand lettering, there are guide lines to draw, a little measuring, and the lettering itself.  The time spent will probably be equal.  The obvious difference is that with a computerized mat cutter, everyone in the shop will be equally competent at lettering.

Hand lettering, however, gives every framer an answer to one of the saddest stories in all of our experiences.  A customer presents us with a photo to frame.  It may be beautiful or it may be tattered, but we hear that it is the only known image of some relative.  The customer is probably thinking how nice it would be to add something that would identify the picture to every viewer.  We, at the same moment, might be thinking that without any identification, this could easily become known as “The odd picture Aunt Mabel had hanging in her hallway.”  It would be relegated to a garage sale once its significance is forgotten.

And of course, if we can draw letters by hand with a pencil, why can we not draw pencil lines around the opening?...lines that are broken to include the inscription, lines whose ends have a small decorative element?

Brian Wolf has been a picture framing educator since 1979, specializing in decorative matting techniques. He is the artistry ambassador for Wizard International, Inc. Contact him at WizardU@wizardint.com  Brian’s column is sponsored by Wizard.  www.wizardint.com or call 1-888-855-3335

Classified Ads – December 2013

Print Friendly

Classified Ad Header winter 13-14

 

 

We are in our busy season as well as all of you are too. We are looking to hire a part time Framer for our Woodinville Gallery with Exceptional skills. If you know of anyone that could use some part time work, please let us know. We are willing to pay up to $20.00 per hour. Our number is 425.424.9500.
Thank you and Have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.
Stevn and Corinne Alavekios
Photographic Essays
http://www.photographicessays.com

Twas the Night Before Christmas – Go Green!

Print Friendly
Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting.  Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting. Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

A favorite blast from the past, reminding us all to have a Happy Holiday Season!... From the December 2008 issue and including a reprint from 1993.

Capture

Step Up Your Game – December 2013

Print Friendly
As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

Last year I showed a fun matting design on a Christmas piece my Mom did for me, and I’ll continue that tradition.

photo

I took my own advice and used some fancy corner cutouts and added ornamentation learned from a Brian Wolf article.  The red pieces are just reverse bevel circles adhered to the bottom of the matting.   I wish all of you a Merry Christmas!  –Jennifer Patterson

Selling Artistically Balanced Mat Proportions – President’s Corner

Print Friendly

 

 

Hello Framers,

Having trouble getting mat proportion you’d like when designing on the frame counter? For your clientele, more often than not, it’s a money issue. The perception that bigger is more expensive. So getting your customer to agree to a wider mat can be hard to do.Rami

Confession time. When I first began framing, my approach was to save people money any way I could. This was because, that was my approach to framing for myself. Consequently, The art suffered and my customers suffered. I let people walk away with mediocre framing and I had to walk away with a slight feeling of shame inside.

Gradually, I began to realize that the people who walk into a frame shop, no matter who it is, are expecting to shell out some serious money. My problem wasn’t that my frames aren’t cheap enough; it was that I wasn’t selling a perception of value.

Next time, try this technique.

Establish the mat colors you’ll use then pick your frames. Take the art measurements and start calculating the price. Don’t discuss mat proportions with your customer. Establish those sizes in your head and work that into their price. Now, tell them the price and wait for their reaction. Afterward, no matter what the reaction is tell them, “and that’s with a such and such size mat.”

This at least gives you a chance to deliver that price to their thoughts before counting it out. In a sense it’s “a starting from the top down” method. This technique, of delivering the price first then giving the details last, always worked for me. It’s a simple switch to your usual routine. Give it a try and see if it works. If you have any tips on getting the mat proportions you want, let me know and leave a comment below.

-Rami

Step Up Your Game

Print Friendly
As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

There is a two for one lesson here.  The first is an out of the box approach to matting.

photo 2

In this sea shell grouping done by Juanita Schmidt of Frame It, Ltd., 2 of the frames have unique weighting to break up the sameness of everything being even.  In the second picture, Holly of Daniel Smith gave the bird more perching room by bottom weighting her mat.

photo 1

The second lesson here and quite possibly the more important one, is the use of Museum Glass in ALL of these store displays.  I believe to show this glass is to have customers fall in love with it, and want it - seeing its performance helps to justify its price tag.  Very sadly and alarmingly, I recently heard two different framers describe Museum Glass to their clients as something to use and attempt to sell only on heirlooms.  My response to that is the opposite - anti-reflective glasses are for when you want to actually see what's on your walls!   Having art you cannot see is like having a favorite comfy chair you cannot sit in!

Take Care – Editor’s Scraps

Print Friendly
There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

 

I'm going to give you some well-learned advice that will probably sound like your mom or your granny talking. But you know what? Their shouts of 'Don't forget your sweater' saved you many a miserable cold. So listen up! Sometimes we all need a little reminder.royalty-free-granny-clipart-illustration-215342

During the Holiday Season Rush:

  • * Make sure to eat a good meal at work, no matter how busy you are.
  • * Keep water by your elbow and tip it back often all day.
  • * Take a break at least once an hour and stretch and breathe.
  • * Admire your own handiwork and appreciate the artwork you're sending out.
  • * Take full pleasure in the emotion your clients feel about those special gifts you're helping them create. Share with them.
  • * Put your feet up every chance you get.
  • * Clean and organize your work area at least once a day, especially if you're too  tired. Avoid accidents.
  • * Remember it's the holidays and find every possible moment of good cheer!

A special holiday wish of happiness and love to you from me!  -Sheri J. Kennedy, Editor

Decorative Breaks – Practical Mat Decoration

Print Friendly
Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch.  However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch.  This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day.  We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch. However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch. This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day. We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

 

Decorative Breaks in a Narrow Reveal

As we are looking for ways to use the computerized mat cutter to its fullest, we see that the standard corner treatments and ornamental cutouts are often not the answer.  How can we include decorative cutting in a different way?

This idea begins as a triple mat.  The top and bottom layers are rectangular.  There is a decorative break in the narrow middle layer.  The eighth inch of color is broken and a decorative element peeks from the break between the top and bottom layers.

201 Beginning Photo

This idea is not part of any standard computerized mat cutter program.  Making a mat like this requires the use of the drawing program – both to draw the decorative breaks and to integrate them into the middle layer of the mat.

Drawing the Decorative Breaks

This is a very good beginning drawing project.  You will learn and exercise a number of the drawing functions.  There are not line by line drawing instructions to follow, but the hints offer a good start as you learn more about drawing.

001 Breaks Graphic

Here is a picture of six variations on this idea.  Copy it and save it as a graphic file.  The first design is the decorative break used in the photograph at the beginning.  The next three variations change only the crown of the break.  The last variation is the break used in the photograph at the end.  They have all been tested and they cut nicely provided they are in these proportions and they are 1.5 inches high.

Using the Image

Put this image into the background of PathTrace and draw lines and arcs that follow the lines and arcs in the picture.

002 Path Trace Drawing

When the image is in the background, make it 1.75 inches high and 3.85 inches wide.  This will make the picture the proper size and proportion so that the images of the decorative breaks themselves will be 1.5 inches high.

This illustration of the drawing in progress is zoomed in on the element on the left to get a closer look.  Note the Height and Width settings of the image at the lower left.

There is an Opacity slider above the size field to make the image more faint so that you can see the lines you are drawing more clearly.  The element on the right is only the image.  You can see the darker gray lines we are drawing on the element on the left.

The Decorative Breaks’ Construction

All these breaks are drawn with only lines and arcs.

The vertical line at the top of each one needs to be exactly in line with the vertical line at its bottom.

The arcs and lines at the tops of all these breaks are identical to the arcs and lines at their bottoms.

A Few Drawing Reminders

To draw perfectly horizontal or vertical lines, hold the Control key on the keyboard as you draw.

To snap the beginning of a line or an arc to specific point, move the cursor near that point and right-click.  The beginning point will snap exactly onto the closest point to the cursor.

Zoom in very close to see that lines and arcs flow together without an angle.

Use the Move Point function to refine the shapes of arcs.

Use the Tangification function and the program will smooth the junctions of lines and arcs.

Draw the top half of the break, then mirror it across a horizontal center line.

Join all the segments and set each finished break to cut as a V-Groove.

Save each decorative break as its own CutArt file.  This is how you will add it to a mat design.

There will be a few more drawing reminders in the details that follow.

Integrating the Break

The decorative break has been drawn and saved as a CutArt.  To use the break in the mat design, we now need to replace the sides of the middle layer of the opening with the CutArt we have drawn.

101 In MD

Design the opening in MatDesigner.

Include the CutArt anywhere in the design.  There is no way to snap the CutArt to the correct spot on the opening here in the design program so its placement is not critical.  We will be able to snap the CutArt into its exact place in PathTrace.

Send the design to PathTrace.

In PathTrace: Positioning the CutArt

Use Copy Object to move the CutArt into place.

103 Snapped to Side

Move the cursor near the top of the CutArt and right-click when you select it in order to grab it by the point at the top.

Hold the Shift key and the original will disappear as you move the copy around.

Move the CutArt near the midpoint of the left side of the middle layer of the opening.

Right-click to snap the top point of the CutArt to the midpoint of the side of the middle layer.

Now that the CutArt is snapped to the side of the middle layer, we need to move it up or down to a place where we think it looks best.104 Positioned

Still using Copy Object, hold the Control key so that the CutArt will move perfectly vertically.  Hold the Shift key, too, so that only the copy remains.

Move the CutArt to its final vertical position.  In this example, it is just a little below the center.

Deleting the Sides of the Opening

The CutArt will replace the sides of the middle layer.  First we need to delete the existing sides of the middle layer.

105 Exploded and Deleted

Explode the middle layer of opening.

Delete the sides of the exploded opening.

Extending the Endpoints

This is not a critical step, but the segments of the opening will join better if the endpoints of the CutArt are extended to be closer to the corners.

106 Extended

Hold the Control key on the keyboard so that the sides of the CutArt remain perfectly vertical.

Use Move Point and move the endpoints of the CutArt closer to the corners.

In this illustration both endpoints have been moved.

Mirroring

Next, mirror the CutArt onto the other side of the opening.

107 Center Line

Mirroring works by using a reference line as a mirror axis, so we need to draw a vertical center line.

Move the cursor near the midpoint of the top of the opening.  Right-click to snap the beginning of the line to the midpoint.

Hold the Control key to keep the line vertical and end the line anywhere.

Mirror the CutArt on the left across the vertical center line onto the right side of the opening.

108 Mirrored

Mirroring is a two step function, but it is very simple.  First select the item to be mirrored, then select the line that is the mirror axis.  The mirrored copy will appear on the other side of the opening.

Finishing

Join the four new sides of the middle layer.

109 Joined

Set the new shape to cut as a normal bevel.

110 Set to Cut

Make sure that you set the new shape to cut as the middle layer of this opening.  At the bottom left, note that the Current Layer is set to Layer 2.

The mat is ready to cut.

As usual, these steps use the Wizard software.  Your program’s functions may have different names, but the process will be the same no matter which program you use.

202 Ending Photo

It appears as if there are many steps to this process of integrating these decorative breaks into the sides of the mat.  Explanations often mask reality, though.  Once you understand the process, you will find that all the steps are quite simple and the procedure will take only a minute.

The fact remains that this idea of mat decoration is outside of the kinds of things computerized mat cutter programs do normally - so of course we are required to do things manually.  New ideas will always require a little extra effort, but the results will be something special.

Brian Wolf has been a picture framing educator since 1979, specializing in decorative matting techniques. He is the artistry ambassador for Wizard International, Inc. Contact him at WizardU@wizardint.com  Brian’s column is sponsored by Wizard.  www.wizardint.com or call 1-888-855-3335

Building Trust with your Internal Clients – Go Green

Print Friendly
Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting.  Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting. Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

 

This is a gem that was re-run in 2006 from 1996 EPFG Newsletter. Too good to wait 10 years again. By W. Franklin Graham

snip 1 Snip 2

Start Your Holiday Rush Preparedness Now! – President’s Corner

Print Friendly

pirate RamiOctober is the month we normally start preparing for winter. It’s also the month frame shops everywhere should knuckle down and prepare for the onslaught of holiday rush. If you haven’t prepared your work flow yet, START NOW! The holiday season marks the beginning of last minute people with thoughtful framing ideas. It’s up to you as the framer to be the hero who performs holiday miracles.  Thanksgiving is around the corner and people need to fill those empty spots on their wall before the relative come over. Indeed, the holidays can feel like a hurricane passed through your shop.

Two steps to be ready for the holiday rush:

1. Plan your scheduling.

Don’t overextend yourself. Be realistic and figure out when your cut off point is. Mark this date and let everyone know NOW! If you’re on facebook announce this cut off date to the crowd. I can’t stress this enough. Share this information to your clientele now, either by word of mouth or by some sort of newsletter. Do this weekly, perhaps, post it every Monday. You’d be surprised how much more business this will stir up.

2. Stock up.

If you know you’ll need it and you've got the means to get it, then get it now. Your foam board, craft paper, framer’s points, glass, offsets, screws, hangers; get em now. don’t wait. Many shops don’t keep too many of specific color mats in stock, but for the holidays it’s a wise investment. I suggest keep atleast black and white mats on hand just incase. Don’t forget those stretcher bars. Also, keep lots and lots of spray paint handy. If you’ve done this long enough, you know why. Not enough time to order more black metal frame molding, just spray paint a silver stick black.

-- Rami

Caption Tweaks – Practical Mat Decoration

Print Friendly
Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch.  However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch.  This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day.  We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch. However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch. This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day. We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

 

Caption Tweaks

Framers have always had many opportunities to add captions to pictures.  Customers always appreciate when the people in photographs are identified and there is a long tradition of labeling artwork.  Though writing a caption and centering it under the opening is pretty straightforward using the computerized mat cutter programs, we can take a few extra steps and refine the caption and make it a real attraction.

 

Size

We see captions all day long under pictures of all descriptions.  We do not often stop to measure exactly how small the type actually is.  In mat design, we think a half inch is pretty small, but for a caption under a picture, that is jumbo sized.  Begin by thinking of captions a quarter inch high.  This will help you in a couple ways.  First, it will help the picture remain the focus of the presentation.  Next, it will preserve the vertical space we have – the mat width along the bottom.  If we include a large caption along the bottom, it will create the illusion that the bottom is more narrow.

Also, making the caption less tall will allow us to make longer captions.  With this extra length we can write more correct captions.  When we have used the computerized mat cutter to cut letters as openings, we are abbreviated words and excluded symbols to preserve horizontal space.  When the caption is a date, for example, with smaller letters, we can write out the name of the month, write all four digits of the year, and include punctuation - and the caption will still be a manageable length.

 

Pen Width

Hand in hand with the height of the letters goes the pen width.  When the pen is more narrow, the letters can be smaller.  Experiment with 0.5mm and 0.3mm pens.  With a 0.3mm pen, the x-height of some fonts can be as small as an eighth inch.  Mechanical pencils also draw very nicely in computerized mat cutters.  There are 0.5mm leads available in various hardness grades.  They can easily draw letters less than a quarter inch high.  Plus, the silvery look of the graphite is a softer alternative to the stark black we normally use for captions.

 

Spacing

Few of us are type experts, but we all can see when the spacing between letters is incorrect.  Some typefaces are worse than others, but just about every caption can be made to look more polished by moving a few letters.

These spacing anomalies occur because mat cutter programs use “bounding rectangles” to calculate the space between objects.  This is best because we cut rectangles almost every time we use the machine.  Text programs use “kerning pairs” to accommodate adjacent slanting letters, rounded letters, and letters with horizontal protrusions.

Publication1

Type the word Avalon into the Text field.  You will see that the alon portion looks pretty good, but the Ava portion cold use some refinement.  The slanting strokes of the A and the v, and the roundness of the a create some wide separations between the letters.  Correcting the spacing is easy.

No matter which program you use, begin by separating the letters.  In the Wizard program, click the Advanced tab.  Under Other Options at the left, there is an Explode Font button.  Before you click it, the entire word is one item.  After you click it, each letter will be a separate item and can then be manipulated independently.

Publication2

Select one letter and use the arrow keys on the keyboard so that you are certain to move the letter only right or left.  You can select several letters and move them as a group, too.  Hold the Shift key or the Control key and select all the letters you want.  Most importantly, remember that if you hold the Alt key on the keyboard, items move 0.01 inch per click as you use the arrow keys.  This is much more precise that the usual sixteenth inch.  It will take about 20 clicks to correct the spacing of this word.

Never worry about how precisely you refine the spacing.  First, any improvements you make will make the caption looks better than the original.  Next, no matter how great the caption looks on the design screen, it is important to see how it looks when the machine draws it with the pen you have chosen.  Design a test cut using the newly spaced caption without an opening.  This way you are able to evaluate every aspect of the caption – how nice the pen line itself looks, the caption’s size relative to the picture, and the spacing of the letters.

 

Typography

In printed work, there are a dozen tricks that add sparkle to a caption.  We do not have such programs, nor do we have such a luxury of time, but there are a few things we can do quite easily to add interest to a caption.

 

A Script Caption

Publication3

The first example is obvious.  Make the capital letters overly large.  This is a script font and large flourishing capital letters are almost expected, but the extra size allows the flourishing stroke at the bottom of the L to tuck more comfortably under a.  The extra height allows the details at the tops of the letters to tower above the lower case letters, and the strokes below the baseline can be well below the lower case letters.  Here, the y’s are a little oversized, too, so that their tails can curl under the previous letters more nicely.

 

A Few Hints on the Procedure

Though every decorative caption’s construction will be different, there are a few clues here that may prove to be helpful.  This caption began as two separate LetterMat openings: a capital L and ady.  Set the size and spacing of the lower case letters then make the L large enough so that it nestles nicely with the a.  Adjust the vertical position of the L as you change its size, too.

Copy and Paste the two items then change their text to be F and lorence.  Copy and Paste adds a touch of efficiency because the font and the sizes of the new items will be identical to the originals.  This is easier than adding a new LetterMat opening, then changing the sizes, the font, and the text.  Here, all you need to change is the text.  Adjust the spacing so that the Lady Florence portion of the caption is in order.

Paste the two items again and change the text to be G and ray.  Use the arrow keys and the alignment tools to arrange all six parts of the caption to your liking.  In this example, all the lower case letters are on the same baseline.  The capital letters are positioned at slightly different heights, and they are slightly different sizes, too.

It will be obvious to you at this point that the spacing of the y’s need adjustment.  Explode the font as we explained in the Spacing section.  Then make the necessary spacing adjustments.  Now, as long as the y’s are separate, why not take the opportunity to make them a little more dramatic, too.  Both y’s are a little taller – so that their tails are longer - and they are slightly wider.

 

A Flat Top Caption

The second typography idea could be thought of as little dated - it has an early 20th century architectural look - but it has some practical application to some of the problems of picture framing.  It is a caption in all capital letters.  The letters at the ends are slightly larger and the tops of all the letters are all in a line.

Publication4

Most often, we are aligning captions at the bottoms of rectangular pictures.  Very often, we want to place the caption as close to the opening as we can without the layout seeming crowded.  The flat top of a caption like this allows the caption to be as close as it can be to the opening.  The larger letters at the ends give the caption some flair beyond the Spartan feeling of writing in all caps.

As you might imagine, the procedure here is to adjust the Kerning (the size of the spaces between letters) and Tracking (the size of the spaces between words) first.  Then explode the caption, in order to change the size of the letters at the ends.  The classic formula is to have only the letters at the ends larger.  On this longer caption, notice that the V and the final O are also slightly larger – though not quite as large as the A and the L at the ends - to give the caption the look of a rounded baseline.

 

True Type Fonts

Keep your eyes open for other typographical devices that you might use to enhance captions.  You will see clever type everywhere.  Keep your eyes open, too, for interesting fonts.

Computerized mat cutter programs make use of true type fonts for some, if not most, lettering.  These fonts are easy to find and easy to add to your computer.  Some of them are wonderfully decorative and the font itself will be a typographical device without any manipulation.  There is no cutting with a blade, so the only limit to how small a caption can be lies with the pen you choose.

There is one warning here.  O’s and the dots of i’s are generally circles.  Computerized mat cutters cut circles (actually, any shape composed of curves without any angular corners to use as a starting point) with a preprogrammed overrun beyond the initial point of the cut.  You will not notice this as you watch a normal oval being cut, but when you watch the computerized mat cutter draw the dot of an i with the pen, it may go round and round six times before it stops.  This is not a fatal flaw, but it does not always look as nice as it could.

 

The Correction

It is not always necessary to fix this, but when you feel it is best to fix it, the procedure is straightforward.  Send the caption to the drawing program.  In this example in the Wizard program, this is PathTrace.  Here is a thumbnail sketch of the procedure:

Publication5

Draw a line through each circle (or curved shape) in question.

Use the Offset Object function under the Prep Design tab and offset the line 0.005 inch. In the illustration you see the pairs of gray vertical lines.

Break the intersections that the lines have with the circles.

Join the segments of the circle, leaving out the 0.005 inch break.

Set the broken circle to draw with the pen.  The circle will now draw only one time around.

In this illustration, the dot of the i and the inside circuit of the o have been set to draw with the pen.  The outside of the o has been broken and joined, but still needs to be set to draw with the pen.  The vertical lines that were drawn to break the circles are still in the drawing.

Once the breaks are made and the bevels are set, save the altered caption and add it to the design.

Publication6

This is a good example of a decorative font that works great for captions.  It is sometimes called Calamity Jane.  This particular word required no manual spacing beyond changing the Kerning setting.  All the upper case letters in this font are intentionally oversized and have some very attractive ornaments.

 

Debossing and…

Though these comments were written with computerized pen drawing in mind, all the ideas apply to debossed captions, too.  The spacing anomalies will not appear as severe because debossed letters are not as small as pen letters, but spacing improvements always add to the professional appearance of any captions.

And let us not forget that before there were computerized mat cutters, talented patient people wrote captions under pictures using calligraphy.  One incarnation of this was an adaptation of engineering lettering.  Tiny letters (eighth inch high) were drawn using a hard pencil – 4H or 6H lead, for example.  The idea behind the hard lead was for the pencil to deboss the mat in addition to writing the caption.  The letters were often even smaller and the captions could be quietly ornamented, too.  Surely this is not a lost art, and it comes to mind that these – and other - typographical devices could be put to use in this hand work, too.

Brian Wolf has been a picture framing educator since 1979, specializing in decorative matting techniques. He is the artistry ambassador for Wizard International, Inc. Contact him at WizardU@wizardint.com  Brian’s column is sponsored by Wizard.  www.wizardint.com or call 1-888-855-3335

Shipping Framed Pieces – Go Green!

Print Friendly

 

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting.  Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting. Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Shipping framed works is a tricky and sometimes stressful requirement. Here are some tips to provide peace of mind from EPFG's September 2006 Newsletter:

Sept 2006 Archive Newsletter

Step Up Your Game

Print Friendly
As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

 

This creative and fun design by Anna Johnson of Tacoma Framemakers, demonstrates both a practical and a whimsical technique.

photo 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the practical, the glass has been placed between the textured scoop liner moulding and the top block cap frame which creates a natural lift or shadow box effect. This is a very attractive, easy and effective trick to do when the art is lifted and floated. Using two mouldings can be an intimidating proposition to sell, but considering there is no matting here, the united inches are much lower.  All the money saved in keeping it smaller can go towards a flashier fantastic frame design.

photo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The whimsical factor here is the hand painted "blood spatter" on the linen mat, which did a great job in soaking up the red paint. A thinner paint wash was applied first then more concentrated dripping created this look.

Mind-mapping Your Business – Editor’s Scraps

Print Friendly
There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

 

While approaching NaNoWriMo, I learned a new technique as a writer and saw an immediate application to improve the process of Business Planning for those of us who are more visual or artistic in nature.

map-clip-art-4

 

An outline is important to the success of a story, and a Business Plan is important to your success story as a Picture Framing Shop or Gallery owner. The traditional approach can put us off from the process of planning, leading to haphazard decisions, plot lines that go nowhere...Our business will wander without direction to oblivion.

But here's a technique that's fun and brings the plan forward in an intuitive manner. Mind-mapping! Use colored pencils or markers and choose a color to represent your center. Write the first word that occurs to you. This can be your endpoint, or where you are now. Begin adding colors, words, images if you'd like, that build out from this center in all directions. Some may circle back and most will interconnect to other ideas you've represented.

The point is to be free and express whatever associations you find as you represent your path to success. You may be surprised what shows up on this map from your mind and how many great points you'll find to work on with a purpose.

Enjoy the process of creating and discovering all those goals and ideas for getting where you want to go, and enjoy following your map to a stronger business and more directed workdays.

-Sheri J. Kennedy, Editor

Contribute to the EPFG – President’s Corner

Print Friendly
Rami

Rami Alhakeem

Hello, fellow evergreen picture framers. I know it’s been awhile since our last president’s corner. I've been kind of sick lately, and haven't been feeling very well. I guess, I've caught some sort of bug. But deep inside, my soul has been feeling bad too.

I had high aspirations for my presidential position. I wanted to bring us back together as a community of framers by hosting another meeting. Unfortunately I haven't been able kick start anything. Every date and place we planned conflicted with too many peoples schedules. The people on the board of the EPFG are made up of all volunteers with a common interest to promote education in framing. We intend to do this any way we can within our means. We used to provide education by hosting meetings for members to attend. Though, many people want to join our group, many cannot commit to attending our meetings. It has become more clear to me that times are changing and our expectations have to be different.

Despite this there is an inherent  value to meeting in person. I am currently seeking a frame shop or gallery in the Seattle area to host a small scale meeting in March. Nothing big and fancy with bells and whistles... We just need a warm, dry place to get members together to vote on officers and do some sharing and networking. If you are in the Seattle area and are able to help, please email us at info@evergreeenpictureframers.org.

So as I said, we want to continue promoting framing education. We mostly do this by contributions to our blog. Our contributors are volunteers with a passion for framing. They shine a beacon of light for our group and help guide us on our path. It is because of them we have a strong readership. I am always looking for new contributors. Contact us if you’d like to be a contributor. I contribute with my comic, “The Jagged Corner”, Jennifer Peterson with her “Step Up Your Game”, and even the mat cutting legend Brian Wolf contributes with his “Practical Mat Decoration”. Do you have any ideas or expertise that you could share with the group?

--
Rami

Bookkeeping Basics – Go Green!

Print Friendly
Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting.  Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting. Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

 

This look back to September 2009 gives great advice on keeping the business end of framing in order. As you're re-organizing for Fall and preparing for the Holiday Season reference these tips to stay on top of it all.

Go Green Sept 2013

The Zero Setting – Practical Mat Decoration

Print Friendly
Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch.  However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch.  This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day.  We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch. However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch. This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day. We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

 

 

The Zero Setting

Normally you read articles in this space dealing with some aspect of the computerized mat cutter.  There is no argument that they are more efficient and more widely used.  Add to that the fact that there are many features – for decoration and for efficiency - that have great potential, but need a little explanation or a reminder, and you see the sense for concentration on the computerized mat cutter.

However, most of us also do a few things regularly with the manual mat cutter.  After all, there is a certain pride in the craft that keeps old skills alive for just about everyone.  There was an occasion recently to cut a multiple opening mat with a manual mat cutter and it brought to mind one clever tip that always made life easier.

Well adjusted stops and a nicely aligned guide take the guesswork out of cutting.  They helped us cut a perfect double mat every time when the manual mat cutter was state-of-the-art technology.  We depend on stops now that we do not use the manual mat cutter every day.  We depend on them even more when we are cutting more difficult things – multiple opening mats, for example – even though their use may be tedious.  The settings of the guide and each stop will probably be different for every cut.  Most of us feel this tediousness is a small price to pay for the assurance stops give us.  The old adage is: If you don’t take the time to do it right, you’ll need to make the time to do it over.

Mat 1

Still, with multiple opening mats, there are always cuts that are out of reach for the stops - settings beyond the 7 or 8 inch maximum for most machines – where you will need to estimate the endpoints.  Most often these will be the cuts that form the separation between two openings.  The arrows on the illustration of the finished mat indicate these cuts.  The trick that follows will cut the guesswork in half.

The Typical Scenario

We always measure and draw pencil lines on the back of the mat for these cuts.  We cut along these lines, but equally important, we use them as the stopping and starting points for adjacent cuts.  In the photograph of the mat in the machine, the two pencil lines on the back of the mat are the lines indicated by the arrows in the illustration of the finished mat.

photo 2

In the photograph, the mat is in the machine ready to make the cuts for the bottoms (or the tops) of the two openings.  The side of the mat is against the guide as normal.  There will be two cuts with the mat in this position.

To begin the first cut, set the front stop as normal and begin cutting.  The stopping point of this first cut is the first pencil line – the upper line in the photograph.  It is out of the range of the back stop, so we must rely on our experience to gauge the exact stopping point.  However, to make the second cut, we will be able use the stops to determine both the correct starting point and the correct ending point - even though the starting point is beyond the range of the front stop’s settings.

Using the Zero Setting

Set the front stop to zero.

Move the foot of the stop – the part of the stop that normally is set to the edge of the matboard – so that it is exactly on the line.

As you hold the foot of the stop in place, tighten the stop into place on the bar of the machine.

The photograph shows the details of these three steps on the Fletcher mat cutter.  Your particular machine will likely be a bit different, but every machine is capable of this.

Photo 3

Making the Cut

Move the cutting head into place against the front stop and begin the cut as normal.  With a simple two opening mat, you will certainly be able to set the back stop as normal.

This works pretty well with most machines, but it is clear that the manufacturers did not intend this.  There is almost always a little clashing of parts - sometimes as the head moves into place, sometimes as you are plunging the blade, sometimes as you are cutting the first inch.  Live with it.  The assurance of stops is worth the trouble.

Another Hint

We mentioned drawing pencil lines a few times.  Drawing and using these lines are the most common stumbling blocks for cutting multiple opening mats with manual machines.  These lines need to be drawn with care.  You will use these lines to position the mat in the machine (when you are unable to use the guide) to make these middle cuts.  So use a precise ruler, a sharp pencil, and a careful eye as you make marks, line up the ruler, and draw.  Draw razor thin lines so that there is never a question of exactly where the blade should cut.  Draw the lines all the way across the mat.

When you are positioning the mat in the machine (without the aid of the guide) to cut along these pencil lines, test with the point of the blade - at both ends of the cut - to make sure the cut will be precisely on the line.

Now…With or without the zero setting idea, with or without the zeal to keep traditional skills sharp, is it any wonder that computerized mat cutters have become so crucial to efficiency?

Brian Wolf has been a picture framing educator since 1979, specializing in decorative matting techniques. He is the artistry ambassador for Wizard International, Inc. Contact him at WizardU@wizardint.com  Brian’s column is sponsored by Wizard.  www.wizardint.com or call 1-888-855-3335

Step Up Your Game

Print Friendly
As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

 



 

Christopher Framing and Gallery in Edmonds built this wall to separate the production area from the rest of the store to create a distinct display and gallery area.  Previously they just had one small end wall for gallery space.   Such a simple and easy addition absolutely recreated and transformed this frame shop into something brand new and entirely different!

photo 1a

photo 2a

photo 3a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is so easy to forget to add a name and price tag to the art we hang on our walls which we want to sell and serve as inspiration.  We spend so much time and money to finish these projects, then often quit once they are hung, or hastily place an unprofessional looking  hand written sign, but they need a proper price tag to be totally finished.  Handwritten signage makes the price look made up therefore arguable.  Here they printed out the information, mounted on 3/16th black foam core, then cut out with a reverse bevel  - super fast, easy and cheap, yet very clean and professional looking.

photo 1

photo 3

You Don’t Know Everything – Editor’s Scraps

Print Friendly
There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

 

Did this article title make you feel defensive? Even just a little? Whether we're well experienced or new to our craft, it can be hard to take criticism. I often recall a scenario from my early days as a framing gallery owner in downtown Seattle. My clientele was well-educated and art savvy. They kept me on my toes.

I also had world-class competition with a framing shop known for its museum level expertise nearby. My edge was pricing, and I fancied myself enough of an expert after seven years in framing to hold up in all but the most complex jobs.

frustration-stress-confusion-17051959

I was challenged with an original 3-D paper piece with images that came very close to the edge of the background paper. I framed it with a foam board lift under the mat and apologized to my client that the paper was buckled because I couldn't hold it down with the foam since it needed to be recessed to not show.

She came back two weeks later and showed me the, now obvious, solution she received from my competitor--to bring the foam all the way in to the window edge and line it with the same mat board just below the bevel.

Here's the key point. I was defensive and ungracious to my client that returned. She was excited and went out of her way to share the great solution so I'd know what to do next time for this trendy artist's work. She told me she'd still come to me first and trusted my skill, and she understood I just hadn't encountered that situation yet. And while I heard her, my pride was stung, and I had it written all over my face. What was an excellent learning experience and a noble sharing by my client became awkward and perhaps hurt the relationship.

That moment has stayed with me--one of tiny regret that always gnawed at me. I hold it as a reminder that when I'm confronted with I Don't Know Everything, I'm in a moment of the spectacular chance to grow.

Here's a belated Thank You! to that generous client, and a nudge for you to embrace those I Don't Know This Yet moments.

-Sheri J. Kennedy, Editor

Winners are Always Inspiring – Go Green!

Print Friendly
Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting.  Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

Relevant articles from the archives, full of creative nutrients to be re-purposed and reused to grow your business and help you thrive. This month's article gives a glimpse back at our history and the emerging use of heat-mounting techniques for fabric and the early use of pre-coated boards for mounting. Then as now, using creativity and keeping up on new techniques is vital to our industry and each business' success.

 

 

This month's Go Green! recycles excellent and varied certificate framing designs from EPFG's 2009 Framing Competition.

Framing Competition

Page 2

Anybody Home? – Editor’s Scraps

Print Friendly
There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

There is a scrap cabinet in every frame shop I know. Why? Because leftovers are often gems and full of profitable inspiration. Here's something I've learned:

 

 

There are many folks who've started business Facebook pages or blogs and Doorspent money on a website saying how little traffic they have. They wonder if it's worthwhile. Then there are those few who look at them cross-eyed and say, 'Of course it's worth it. I have tons of people interacting on my pages. I just had a guy come into the shop who...'

So why are some of us finding cold empty pages and others welcoming friends and clients into theirs daily? Perhaps the key word is Welcoming. Would you return to a door  you knocked on several times with no answer? Would you try one more time if you saw a vase of fresh flowers and a well-kept porch?

It's great to start your Home page, but you need to make sure someone's Home. Take a few minutes today and sweep the porch, put out a welcome mat tomorrow. By the end of the week, add a vase of fresh flowers, and don't forget to pick some new ones to replace them every few days. Answer the door when guests come knocking. You'll have that buzzing Home page in no time. Oh, and don't forget to tell them your address!

-Sheri J. Kennedy, Editor

Adorning Cuts – Practical Mat Decoration

Print Friendly
Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch.  However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch.  This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day.  We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

Sometimes our mental image of a decorated mat includes frills and swirls and patterns on every square inch. However impressive this may seem, a better idea is to add just a small touch. This column will focus on decorative ideas you might use every day. We all have skills and we should use them regularly – to keep our work interesting and to keep our customers thrilled.

 

 

Adorning Cutouts

Decorative cutting.  Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is the thousand silhouette cutouts that are in every computerized mat cutter program.  There are sports symbols, animal outlines, and geometric shapes, to name only a few.  We add them to reinforce the significance of the picture we are presenting.  These silhouettes cut as an opening and a contrasting color shows through the cutout.  Often we look over the finished mat and think that this idea falls a bit flat.  Aside from questions about ornaments overshadowing a serious piece of art, a big part of our uncertainty is that the cutout does not nestle naturally with the opening for the picture.

One idea for helping the silhouette relate to the other openings is to frame it with an opening of its own.  A rectangle will be cut on the top layer (or layers) and the silhouette will be cut in the bottom layer.

This idea is nothing new.  It has been presented in many other places.  Here we will concentrate less on the design and more on the process of making sure that each item cuts on the proper layer of the mat.  As usual in this column, the steps will be detailed using the Wizard software, but every computerized mat cutter program will have an equivalent process for making these kinds of changes to the cutting instructions.

 

Beginning in the Design Screen101 In MD

Here are three stars framed by a rectangle.  The final ornament in its opening is small enough – 2 x 4.25 inches - to be added with just about any size picture.  In this array, the stars are 2 inches, 1.25 inches, and 1 inch across.  The CMC is capable of cutting very small geometric shapes such as stars.  Experiment to see how smaller items cut – if delicacy is a concern.

An obvious beginning for a project like this would be to use one of the thousand silhouette cutouts in the program.  Any one of them could be enhanced this way, too, but it is important to show that you are not limited to just the prefabricated designs – nor are you limited to just one shape inside the rectangle.  These stars are designed using the template shapes.  There are also circles, hearts, and diamonds in the template library.

It looks promising in the design screen.  There is a double mat opening framing the stars.  The left point of the big star will be cropped under the opening.  That is an intention of the design.  Then when the three layers are cut and assembled, it will come out just as we intended.  Right?

 

The Need for Cutting Changes102 In Cut Screen.TIF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It looks promising in the design screen, yes, but the cutting preview screen shows us a problem.  Look at the items in red in the illustration.  The stars and the outer layer of the rectangle will all cut on the top layer.

Let us quickly clarify exactly how we want this to be cut.  There will be three layers to this ornament.  The top layer of the rectangular opening will cut on the top layer.  The inner reveal of the rectangular opening will cut on the middle layer.  The stars will cut on the bottom layer.

We need to give the shapes new cutting instructions so that they all cut on the correct layers.  In some programs, you will open the design in a drawing program, but in the Wizard program, you will send the design to PathTrace.

 

New Cutting Instructions

Before we begin making changes, let’s review a few points about PathTrace.  Look at the tabs across the top.  Under each tab, there is a list on the left and you can select the exact operation you need.  The Prep Design tab and the Trace and Draw tab have the operations you need to make changes to the shapes of the objects.  The Set Bevel tab and the Order Cuts tab have the functions you need to change the cutting instructions.

Along the right side there are several functions you will use no matter which tab you are under.  Zoom functions are at the top and the Undo button is the fourth button under Tools.  Hover over each button and a tool tip will appear in a few seconds to remind you of its function.

Here, the Set Bevels tab is selected.  On the left under Bevel Type, Normal Bevel is chosen.  We will use only Normal Bevel for this entire project.201 Start in PT

At the bottom, under Current Layer, Layer 1 is specified.  In PathTrace, Layer 1 is always the bottom layer.

When a particular layer is specified, the items set to cut on that layer will be displayed in dark colors.  All the items set to cut on other layers will be displayed in faint colors.  The inner reveal of the rectangle is now the only item set to cut on this layer.  (If an item has no cutting instructions, it will be displayed as gray or black.)

As you move the cursor around the design, you will see a blue arrow point move from spot to spot.  In this illustration, the blue arrow point is at the corner of the bottom star.

 

Setting the Bevels for Layer 1202 Layer 1 Set

To set the stars to cut on Layer 1 (the bottom layer), move the cursor so that the blue arrow point is at a point on one star.  The point you choose will be the starting point of the cut for this star.  This design is not so intricate that we need to worry about which corner we choose for a star, nor do we need to worry about which star cuts first, second, or third.

Click one time.  You will see that star change from faint blue to dark blue indicating that this star will now cut as a normal bevel on Layer 1.

Move the cursor and click points on the other stars, too.  In this illustration all three stars have been set to cut on Layer 1.

Note that the inner rectangle is still set to cut on Layer 1.  Do not be concerned by this.  We will change this in the next step.

 

Layer 2203 Start Layer 2

Change the Current Layer at the lower left to 2.  This is what you will see.  Every shape will turn faint blue except the outer rectangle.

Move the cursor so that the blue arrow point is a corner of the inner rectangle.  Traditionally, we choose the lower left corner to begin the cut of a rectangle.  This is because of the placement of the clamps that hold the matboard in place in the machine, but that is not critical with something as small as this.204 Layer 2 Set

Click one time.  The inner rectangle will change from faint blue to dark blue indicating that this rectangle will now cut as a normal bevel on Layer 2.

Once again, note that the outer rectangle is also set to cut on Layer 2.  We will change this in the next step.

 

Layer 3

Change the Current Layer to 3.  This is what you will see.  Every shape will now turn faint blue.  Here we will be creating an entirely new Layer 3.205 Start Layer 3

Move the cursor so that the blue arrow point is a corner of the outer rectangle.

Click one time.  The outer rectangle will change from faint blue to dark blue indicating that this rectangle will now cut as a normal bevel on Layer 3.206 Layer 3 Set

Save the design.  In almost every program, you will save these new items in the format of the special cutouts you add to a layout.  In the Wizard program, you will save it as a CutArt.  You will add it to any layout as you would add any other CutArt to a layout.

 

This is the most elementary way you might include an ornament like this in a design.  Here it is centered between two 5 x 7 inch openings. 302 In Grouping

As an exercise in your design program, rough out a design like this without the rectangle around the stars.  There will be enough blank space between the two rectangular openings to make you scratch your head and reconsider the effectiveness of the stars.  The frame around the stars helps make sense of the separation.  As a bonus, there is more color.  Plus the layers provide physical depth and the cutout is more dramatic.

Brian Wolf has been a picture framing educator since 1979, specializing in decorative matting techniques. He is the artistry ambassador for Wizard International, Inc. Contact hime at WizardU@wizardint.com  Brian's column is sponsored by Wizard.  www.wizardint.com or call 1-888-855-3335

Step Up Your Game

Print Friendly
As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

As a sales rep and a true custom framer at heart, I enjoy seeing the creative designs and problem solving exhibited by you. I wanted to post a "brag column" allowing framers to show off proud accomplishments. A focus of this guild is education, and through the photos posted monthly in this feature, I wish to get our creative juices flowing and hopefully teach an old dog a new trick or even a new pup and old trick every now and then. I promise to always have a camera with me, plus invite you to email your own photos to me at JenniferJPatterson1@yahoo.com

 

 

Vangie La Gesse of Puyallup Custom Frame & Art does all her mat cutting old school—no CMC here—yet  has more decorative mat cutting on display than I've seen in ages.  Separated and regular V-Grooves, debossed lines (Again by hand, she used her burnishing bone and a straight edge.) notched corners, applied cut outs, etc. can also be seen the following collection.  As a credit to her, Vangie is not shy about admitting that she is 85 years young and still going strong.  Although she recently admitted that maybe selling her business in the thriving downtown Puyallup area would be nice so she can do other things.


These embellishments add such a nice touch of elegance and design even in their simplicity.

photo 1photo 2photo 3photo 4photo 5photo 6photo 7