Tuesday, July 14

Mats, Frames, Blood, Sweat & No-Tears

When I met Uncle Grumpy back in '76, he was transitioning from the photography business to the floor covering business.  One of his many ploys for winning the hearts of impressionable young women was to take photos of single flowers, sleeping puppies or brooding forests and inscribe a Bible verse on the bottom of the framed picture, then give it as a "friendship" gift.  It worked every time.  I got wise to his ways when I began making friends here in RVA and noticed the same scribbly handwriting on the nature pictures adorning their apartments, many times over.

He still has his framing toolkit and it was put to good use yesterday: 

Five years ago I bought a beautiful egg tempera print from Richard Toft http://www.toftstudio.com/  He had a booth at the 43rd Street Festival of the Arts and I would have liked to have taken all of his prints home with me.  Good thing I didn't because even this one, lonely print sat in the waiting to be framed station for a long time.

What spurred me on to finally frame it was the fact that I bought a second print from him just last May at the Arts in the Middle Show arts festival in Urbanna. http://www.artsinthemiddle.com/ Talking face-to-face with the artist and telling him how much I loved his work made me quite ashamed of not even having my first purchase up on the wall.

So, we pulled out the framing toolkit, all of my reclaimed mats and frames from the storage closet and set to work.  If you ever wonder why custom framing costs so much at the store don't give it a second thought; it's worth every penny because of the labor!

Only one mat worked for just one of the prints, out of my whole stash.  Needless to say, the "vanilla" mats are going to the donation center this week. 
7-15 Update:  Those frames are available at Thrifty Quaker as of this morning.

  We went to plan B for the print without a matching mat, using a smaller frame that suited the colors in the picture.  All we had to do was carefully square up the print with the frame and cut off the excess background paper.  Lots of careful measurements but minimal trimming.
 We had a perfect double mat for my original purchase, but cutting through the joined double mat board was more than I could manage without excess slicing and dicing of the mat.  Stand aside, Mr. Muscles to the rescue!

I think it turned out beautifully.  Uncle Grumpy made the frame years ago, from reclaimed wood.  It's a little rustic for this finely detailed print but they look beautiful together.  Hmmm, rustic and rough-edged matched up with detailed and beautiful, what does that remind me of???
Update 7-15:  Two more framings completed; one for an original painting I've had since about 1970!