Before the archivists of Art and Framing Gallery begin a project, they slip on pairs of cotton gloves. By sheathing their hands, they guard against fingerprints and finger-paints. Their dedication to museum-quality workmanship shines through each project, whether it's a same-day framing job or a standard three- to seven-day order.
In Art and Framing Gallery's showrooms, walls display more than 3,000 frame samples and acre upon acre of mats. Ready-made framed mirrors and artwork also share this space, which connects to in-house workshops. Here, craftsmen cut custom glass and piece together each project. They skillfully preserve artwork and portraits and excel with projects that require special care. They encase delicate antiques in UV-protective glass and display sports jerseys in cases that ward off wrinkling and grass stains.
After apprenticing with master framers in Yorkshire and London, Heba Elbanna opened Tresorie, where she designs custom frames that archive cherished memories and reflect her clients' unique tastes. Drawing on nine years of French matting experience, she carefully applies transparent watercolor washes and hand-inked lines around matted works of art. This technique, which first arose in the late 18th century, was nearly quelled by the Industrial Revolution, a time of great societal change when the rise of precise machinery made hands obsolete. Fortunately, 20th-century artists revived the French matting technique, and today Heba often incorporates the classic designs into the framing of modern art pieces as well as contemporary photographs.
When she isn't painting delicate lines, Heba and her staff source frames from Larsen-Juhl and Roma Moulding, which come in styles ranging from slim and minimalistic to wide and ornate. Staffers can protect photographs and prints with simple, clear glass as well as museum quality, UV-resistant glass that reduces glare from grouchy portraits. In addition to cutting single, double, and multi-windowed mats, Heba also displays three-dimensional pieces—such as antique pipes and fans—inside specially designed frames. Customers can view Heba's handiwork on her online gallery and peruse samples of her French matting.
At Right Angle, owner Pablo Godoy and his staff of skilled artisans complete each framing project in-house at one of three locations. They use museum-quality materials such as anti-reflective glass, Bainbridge cotton, and acid-free mat-boards. Using moulding styles by Larson-Juhl, the shop provides handsome settings for everything from treasured paintings to family heirlooms such as your grandpa's favorite chair.
As the recession deepened, Metro Art & Frame owner Bo Okuyan found that demand never slackened for one market of art collectors: parents. Mr. Okuyan's business savvy caught the attention of the New York Times' Michael Winerip in 2010, who noted that a steady supply of finger paintings and crafts had caused Bo to rethink his definition of art. “All kids are artists, that’s how we look at it now,” he said. Whether upgrading fridge-hung stick-figure portraits to a permanent gallery or framing a more traditionally priceless painting, Mr. Okuyan and his staff begin with a complimentary consultation, tailoring each project to fit home or office aesthetics and personal style. Metro Art & Frame's acid-free mats center photographs, oil paintings, or post-modern puddles of spilled milk in an ornate, gold-leafed frame or elegant black one. Five types of glass and two flavors of plexiglass guard sensitive paintings from light damage with UV protection, and the shop's selection of contemporary and classic prints lets patrons fill in the gaps in their home galleries.
A part of the Big Apple Art Gallery family, Bob's Frame Shop boasts a fully ensured, skilled staff that custom frames items of all dimensions right in the studio. Their services range from basic framing—which comes in a choice of 8,000 different styles—to specialty shadow boxes, which immortalize 3-D memorabilia such as a graduation cap or a treasured sports jersey belonging to the hockey-obsessed family dog. The experts outline pictures with cotton, linen, and silk mats, which are sliced with a computerized mat cutter for shapes and letters contoured to precise specifications. Delivery to the surrounding neighborhood is available, and the accommodating establishment welcomes customers seven days a week.
For more than 20 years, the professional photographers at Charlie's Angels Photography have worked to capture images that not only preserve memories but also incorporate artistic touches. Their digital galleries boast shots from larger occasions such as weddings and runway shows to private events such as boudoir and portrait sessions. Their staff also includes professional makeup artists, who can prep subjects for shoots or gussy up complexions before weddings or high-school-graduation re-enactments.