One of my favorite things to buy is art and as I have mentioned before, I have tried my best to gather art all around the world and in as many cities as possible. The great thing about art and traveling is that typically you can roll it up and tuck it away, but the challenge happens when you get home and you want to actually enjoy it. Sometimes, this is the difficult and even more expensive part of owning art - picking out a frame and a wall!
About a year ago, we went to Thailand and we came back with our suitcases packed to the brim, including a print that I bought for only a few Thai baht (about 3 dollars) that I have been dying to hang on our kitchen wall. The print is of an original silk screen print that we saw at the Jim Thompson silk house. The question I had though was how should I actually frame the print? So I turned to the experts at Frameshop in OTR (Over the Rhine), to find the perfect frame and to learn a bit more about them & what makes them so great!
Q&A with james gerth
How long has Frameshop been open and how much have you grown?
- The shop has been open for a little over 2 years, and fortunately the shop has had incredible success! Originally, all the front of house and back of house (labor) was all done on the Main Street location. However, it didn't take long before it was way to small to accomplish anything in house. Now the production all happens up in Walnut Hills and the Main Street space is used customer interaction!
Why did you choose OTR and Main Street as your home?
- If you have ever been downtown Cincinnati there are quite a variety in styles in only a few blocks. You have your typical working downtown, Vine Street filled with restaurants and bars and then you have Main Street which is the true essence of eclectic. It is hard not to love Main Street, with its diversity in people, bars and shops. Frameshop is nestled right in the middle of it all, and even has you select your frame you are part of the neighborhood! There is always someone wandering by with a story or an experience, and Frameshop couldn't be in a more perfect place!
Do you have standard frames at all or is every job a custom piece?
- Frameshop keeps quite a few of standards in house, but James reminded me a few times that these are the best of the standards within the National Frame line and "typical" in house designs. Don't worry I checked them out, and there are some great frame options. However, Frameshop specializes in the art of custom framing or restoring original frames. In fact, the frame that I fell in love with was an antique frame!
- There are some gorgeous antique frames out there at flea markets, in your grandparents/parents attic or even in the garbage, but sometimes those are the best ones with so much detail and history. Often times, these are the ones that get lost in the shuffle, but Frameshop looks at the existing frame and brings it back to its original glory!
How do you choose a matte & why do you even need a matte?
- Originally mattes were used so that the glass didn't touch the artwork. Today mattes aren't always necessary, however often times mattes are used to create a separation or divide between the frame and the piece of art.
- Keep in mind when you look at mattes that you don't want something that necessarily makes a statement, but a color/texture that will almost disappear or be disregarded when it all comes together.
Do you have a standard glass/glazing that you recommend or use?
- There are all sorts of glazing (framing terminology) options. Frameshop uses conservation glass for 99% of it! Of course there are other options, one of the most heard of is museum glass which is known for protecting your artwork as well as eliminating a reflection. Sometimes this is really the right option, but often times the film that is put on museum glass can actually create a hazy effect and is extremely expensive! However, conservation glass hits all the sweet spots because it isn't the priciest glass available, but it also protects your artwork. Unless you specify otherwise, the Frameshop guys will hook you up with conservation glass for sure!
How long does an amazing frame job take?
- You would think quite a while, but it actually only takes 2 weeks! Of course, this may vary depending on whether or not you need it faster or the job just may be huge, but overall your amazing piece of art should be back in your hands within 2 weeks!
What is your favorite part about owning & working at the Frameshop?
- That every day is totally different and that there are so many different avenues and directions we can go. There is no longer any pigeon holes or restrictions, but instead always a new opportunity or project!
What are the next steps for Frameshop?
- The next big push is working on getting LEED certified. This is a certification that shows that you care about the environment and that you want not only your space, but the products that you create to go to the next level environmentally. Currently, there isn't really any company doing this in the frame world, so Frameshop is trying to go above and beyond!
- The last two years have been filled with partnerships, learning experiences and all new opportunities. Frameshop wants to continue in this fashion as they move forward only hoping to continue to explore and grow!
Do you have any tips or tricks for figuring out the perfect frame?
- I asked James this question a few times and every time he denied me the answer. But honestly he believes that every piece is truly a piece of art and there isn't just one solution to go with. In fact, the general belief at the Frameshop is that it doesn't have to be some million dollar piece of art to be worthy of a frame, but instead must only hold sentimental value. The whole intent of framing is that it be forever, so why not take what means most to you and preserve it? It was fun to hear the stories of the "pieces" that have come through including - a post it from someone's first date that led to marriage, a mixed tape that was given early on in a relationship and even a giant box for a sword used at Bockfest. These are the types of moments, big or small that make the Framehshop so unique!
Personally, I had a wonderful time down at the Frameshop not only chatting with Jake, but picking out my very own frame. Unfortunately, I had a serious mishap! The antique frame that I fell in love with is as big as my kitchen wall, so I still have to make it back down to do it all again! Don't worry, I did measure the wall at home before they actually framed it, but I am a bit sad that I can't use the antique frame I loved so much. So for your own future framing experience - if you have a wall in mind make sure to measure it before you start the whole process! No worries, I will be posting the final product in the next few weeks on our instagram so everyone can enjoy the final product!
I hope this makes the whole process a bit less daunting. Just keep in mind that as long as you love the art then it is worth framing, and really there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the whole process besides making it yours!