Studio Seven Arts, voted Best Art Gallery of 2011 by Diablo magazine's readers, is bedecked in one-of-a-kind fine art, handcrafted jewelry, and eclectic crafts, fostering an inspiring backdrop to their custom-framing services. The staff members curate a collection of American art pieces, including locally made creations, displaying handcrafted fine jewelry and skillfully made crafts that can be both functional and decorative—much like a scarecrow in a sundress. The gallery’s in-house framing artisans draw upon 25 years of experience to build custom frames for such treasures as paintings, photos, diplomas, and mirrors of any shape or size. Frames can be outfitted with wood to match any room’s décor, and with a variety of glass options that can block the bleaching effects of sunlight and scribblings of pets who feel they ought to be in all the family photos.
Over the past 25 years, Cheap Pete’s framers have honed their technique to a science, creating high-quality framing for any type of artwork, document, or object. Four Bay Area locations stock a huge selection of ready-made frames, including environmentally friendly options crafted from sustainably harvested pine or bamboo. Collage frames display a multitude of photos, showcasing favorite family memories or charting the development of a tiny infant into an adult-size infant. Customers can also create DIY frames with a large selection of framing tools and supplies.
Cheap Pete’s custom-framing services give customers the choice of more than 300 styles of mouldings, five types of glass, and a rainbow of mat colors. Shadowboxes display three-dimensional objects such as sports jerseys, matchbox cars, or exhibitionistic human beings. The shop also stretches canvases onto canvas bars, readying them to be hung at home or on the walls of a gallery.
Artistic Edge celebrates art in all its forms with a selection of more than 1,000 custom frame options as well as creative classes. During two-hour art classes for preteen Picassos, held Saturdays at 10 a.m., veteran elementary-school art teacher Linda Howell leads students ages 6–11 through a different project each week. The sessions, which include materials, may cover a range of traditional techniques such as drawing, painting, sculpture, or swaddling skyscrapers in orange fabric.
The dedicated framers at Artistic Expert Picture Framing protect artwork, personal photographs, and mementos with a vast array of shapes and moldings that prepare them for display. The framers walk customers through the creative, and often confusing, process, consulting with clients before custom-sizing the frame or shadow box to fit paintings or war medals of any size. Conservation grade materials, such as acid-free archival paper and UV-protecting glass, ensure timeless treasures keep guarded against fading and bleeding.
Since the shop opened in 1974, Frame-O-Rama's team has mastered all sorts of techniques to preserve family photos, works of art, and other frame-able objects. "We've framed ceremonial objects such as christening gowns and shoes, and African walking sticks. My personal favorite was a signed Willie Mays baseball with a signed and mounted print of him playing stickball back in Brooklyn," Frame-O-Rama manager Matt Miller said in an interview with SFGate.
See below for more details on their various techniques.
The archival specialists at Willow Glen Art & Frame have occupied the same Lincoln Avenue storefront for more than 35 years, and their dedication to the craft remains evident in the way they eschew standard gallery framing techniques in favor of fully customized picture frames. Knowing that each unhung canvas that enters their store is someone’s precious heirloom or priceless work of art, the framers take care to consult with customers before suggesting wood, metal, or acrylic styles to best complement the object. Every one-of-a-kind frame comes into being with the assistance of computer-guided mat-cutting technology and glass that protects against harsh UV waves, ensuring that still-life paintings of grapes do not dry into raisins over the years.