Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She?s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show?s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop?s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.
Specializing in custom framing of fine art, mirrors, memorable keepsakes, and artistically positioned banana peels, Nielsen Framing adds an aesthetically pleasing pizzazz to valuables. Experienced craftsmen draw on a wide selection of finely wrought frames to lasso, break in, saddle, and preserve striking paintings and grandma-impressing graduation certificates. Prices vary according to materials and size, but customers can opt for offerings such as a 8”x10” plain black frame with glass and 2” matting ($147), or an 11”x14” olive-veneer black frame with glass and 2” matting ($327). Best of all, this deal makes for a thoughtful Mother’s Day present by ensuring handsome housing for noteworthy digital daguerrotypes or impressive report cards.
Since 1995, the dexterous framers at Hang It Inc. have been embellishing artwork and other displayables with more than 1,000 first-rate frame varieties culled from around the world. Enclose a photograph or a napkin from a particularly delicious barbecue dinner with a 16”x20" black wood frame ($64), equipped with glass and a mount. Drab dorm rooms are illuminated with a poster encased in a 24”x36" black metal frame ($69), and gold, silver, and ornate borders enable customized constructions. Other combinations may be seen here. Hang It’s unique plasma-TV-framing service adorns wall-hung television sets with a quality picture frame and liner, transforming T.J. Hooker reruns into art. After shopping, customers can peruse the studio's art gallery, Gallery 122, which features a variety of mediums from local artists.
Within his private studio, Professional Picture Framing Association member Joe Weinbeck handcrafts elegant frames to protect oil paintings and prints. Equipped with conservation framing know-how and hundreds of frames from six different suppliers, Joe introduces artwork to new habitats that shelter the pieces from harmful UV rays and hostile eye contact. Archival-quality mats from Peterboro and Crescent give diplomas or photographs the space they need, and four grades of glass or acrylic glazing protect wandering fingers from sticky globs of paint. Joe can also showcase his talents with large-format framing for epic Led Zeppelin posters or blown-up versions of Robert Plant's braces-laden middle school photo.
Glamour Shots made its name as a place where women could be transformed into models and immortalized in photographs. Though makeup, hair, and wardrobe services are still available with each session, Glamour Shots now offers portraiture for individuals of any gender as well as families, children, and houseplants. Unique personalities shine in Glamour Shots?s galleries, which depict everything from children with airbrushed angel wings to women clad in lingerie. Digital images can be transformed into a number of prints and products, including wall art and graduation announcements. Glamour Shots guarantees clients? satisfaction or it will retake portraits without a session fee or exchange poses for a small additional fee within 14 days.