Ray Street Custom Framing owner Michelle Robinson stuffs her store with one-of-a-kind picture holders. Cosset a canvas in Peruvian-leather or hand-forged metal mouldings ($40–$100/foot), or opt for a basic black-wood frame ($10/foot) to shelter a particularly eye-catching parking ticket. Prices vary, but $100 can usually get a basic 11”x14” frame with a single mat and glass, a 16”x20” frame with glass but no mat, or an imaginary frame with a zillion invisible mats. A trained artist herself, Robinson hosts a stop on the Ray at Night Art Walk on the second Saturday of every month, showcasing work by local artists that she has custom-framed.
The Art of Framing's skilled craftspeople protect and prolong the life of treasured paintings, photographs, and three-dimensional artifacts by encasing them behind thousands of frame designs. Outside of their standard framing services, technicians also stretch mats and fabrics; heat-mount delicate documents; and mend scratched, chipped, and shrink-rayed framework. More than merely preserving personal collections of photos and posters, The Art of Framing promotes the area's thriving art community, hosting a show once a year as well as selling local artists' work in the gift shop.
Seasoned shutterbug Sarah Kaggwa has traveled around the globe, snapping up photos of smiling faces and memorable moments. She extends her photography expertise toward portraits, wedding photos, and lifestyle shots, always striving to capture images that reveal subjects' personality and inner beauty. She collaborates with clients of all walks of life, from doting engaged couples to gurgling newborns.
Serious wine-drinkers are unlikely to choose a bottle based on its label, but they'll probably make an exception if the bottle comes from Etching Expressions. Bearing high-quality California wines and other fine liquids, their bottles are hand-etched with custom designs to celebrate holidays, mark family milestones, or serve as a corporate gift that'll be far more appreciated than a bronze statuette of the CEO. Artists sand-carve the bottles' smooth surfaces with photos, logos, and other imagery, complete with vibrant color.
Etching Expressions doesn't just serve oenophiles. Customers can also opt for liquor, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or even handsome beer growlers. Sheer organza bags, classic wood boxes, and other ornate gift-wrapping materials make these personalized bottles even more of a treat to unwrap.
After three years of running the business solo, fashion specialist Kyla recruited five seasoned media professionals named Kristina, Joanna, Kristen, Gary, and Dan, who now contribute to the creative melting pot. Kyla brings expertise from her studies in fashion photography, during which she mentored under the renowned Roxanne Lowit. Graphic designer Kristina embraces whimsy, comedy, and the surreal in her editorial features. Joanna projects her passion for art through creative, memorable portraits. Gary brings a fun-loving approach to his work, and Dan's landscape photography style comes to life with his portraits, while Kristen's natural gift for working with children and families shines through in her photos.
The photographers bring their talent to shoots for weddings, family portraits, newborn sessions, and modeling portfolios. They welcome clients to travel to scenic locales, including La Jolla Cove and Balboa Park.