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.
Jadite Gallery has been finding homes for wall decor for more than 30 years. That includes common works such as paintings, photographs, diplomas, and mirrors, as well as less common wall-hangings such as shadow boxes, needlework, delicate pieces in need of conservation framing, and high-end interdimensional portals. In fact, unique orders are their specialty, and the designers on staff encourage clients to request a price quote no matter how strange they think their job might be. The artists are armed with more than 4,000 framing options and acid-free materials, and are also equipped to assist with canvas stretching and floating mounts.
A.I. Freidman's meticulously organized shelves and displays teem with equipment and supplies for artists of almost every medium. Pick your perfect paint wand, such as a set of four Princeton natural-bristle brushes ($2.88–$21.48) and dapple canvases with rich pigments such as Winton oil colors ($3.13–$9), whose blues are bolstered by cadmium and cobalt, and greens are enhanced with kryptonite. A 12-pack of charcoal ($7.49) creates soft lines and shadows, and an X-Acto standard knife chest's three handles and seventeen blades allow precise artistic slices ($29.59). For artists dabbling in the third dimension, a spectrum of polymer clays, such as a 30-color Sculpey sampler ($20.79), molds to any artistic aspiration, such as Technicolor busts of Spiro Agnew. In addition to art supplies, A.I. Freidman offers custom framing, tabletop frames, mementos, home furniture, and more.