The artisans at Express Frames preserve photos, artwork, and mementos with more than 2,000 custom and archival frames by brands such as Larson-Juhl and Roma Moulding. They cut mats with a precise, computerized process, and offer more than 10 types of glass—including nonreflective glass, museum-quality glass, and Plexiglas. The art in the shop dances off framed mirrors by Uttermost, and staffers display signed Steiner Sports prints of athletes hitting homeruns or successfully untangling a whole bunch of Christmas lights.
For over 40 years, the curatorial staff of Artist Frame Gallery have been stocking fine display items, art prints, and custom framing materials. A decade ago, interior designer Tena Mancini took over the seasoned establishment, and her keen eye for lively décor has informed the shop ever since. Tena stocks over 4,000 kinds of moulding, which can be used to enshrine unframed art, a fresh diploma, or the first draft of your novel. Influenced by Mancini's professional background, the gallery's diplomats can pay complimentary house- and office-calls to helpfully opine on framing and décor choices.
Whether you're locking eyes with one of his tiger portraits or attending his pencil-drawing class, one can't help but ask: how does Jerry Winick find the time? His own artwork alone is an exercise in patience, as his pencil drawings can take up to three months to finish. They capture animal faces and Brooklyn streets with striking detail and clarity, so much so that people often believe they're looking at photographs. But, in addition to sketching out these award-winning snapshots, Jerry also runs Pencilworks Studio, a venue for burgeoning artists to mingle and learn.
Here, he leads classes in his chosen medium—pencil—for both children and adults. His personalized instructions help students reproduce a photo on paper, all without tracing or resorting to the Xerox machine they've hidden under their shirt. The studio hosts other workshops as well, helmed by Jerry's daughter Michelle and other professional artists. Depending on their area of expertise, instructors can teach guests how to work with watercolors or experiment with different cartooning techniques. Michelle also arranges birthday painting parties for kids, which supply enough materials for everyone to make an original piece. The staff can even travel to offices and oversee team-building art exercises that yield a collaborative painting.
At any given time, more than 200 pieces of unfinished ceramics can be found on the shelves at Brushes & Bisque. Though the pieces will soon find use as coffee mugs, dinner plates, and jewelry boxes, they still require a final glaze before they can hold treats or treasures. During classes for kids and adults, painters work with provided tools and materials to coat the pieces with an artistic touch.
In addition to pottery painting, Brushes & Bisque offers clay classes, also with provided tools and materials. Kids’ clay classes cover the basics of coiling, pinching, and glazing, and adult pottery classes equip sculptors with a pottery wheel.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece a few days later.