If you're in the mood for details, here they are:
I founded Art Etc. Picture Framing in 1987 in downtown Cleveland as a fine art picture framing studio. In 1999 I moved the whole shebang and what-the-heck expanded while we were in that 'transition phase' (read: chaos) to a double storefront on Murray Hill Road in Little Italy. We are housed in a nearly 100 year old building and we were thrilled to discover the intact original ornate tin ceiling. So we painted it gold and silver and green and is it ever beautiful, if I say so myself. Lots of folk' comment on it. Come in and tell me what you think about it and I'll tell you how we did it.
I am Edie and I have (as of this typing) 28 years of full-time hands-on experience and I am just now getting to know the rudiments of the intricacies of picture framing! My retired parents (Bob and Lois) help me part time here and do they help! My dad changes blades, filters and screens, fixes doorknobs, vacuums and light fixtures and my mom is brave enough to tackle computerized accounting and she fits frames as a break from number crunching. You are also likely to meet Debbie Caroscio here; she has nearly 25 years of full-time experience and I have yet to decide if she is a better designer or a better craftsperson! Her color sense is right on and her frames are silky smooth and rock solid. Once, I added up all the years of experience we all have at picture framing and it came to something like 67 years! Crazy! I have always said that I could teach anyone to frame competently within six months, but it truly takes a lifetime to master it. Sixty-seven years- THAT is almost a lifetime, yes?
Art Etc. is located in Little Italy, mere minutes away from The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights and the many tempting Italian restaurants for which this neighborhood is and continues to deserve to be famous! Little Italy is one of Cleveland's original intact neighborhoods, streets of dense unique homes, many boasting intricate masonry, treelawn sycamores, original ornate ironwork fences, artfully mixed with many small shops and galleries- including the renovated Murray Hill School which is now chockfull of former classrooms that have found a new life as artist's working studios! This is what makes an engaging and interesting strolling neighborhood! The merchants of Little Italy host tri-annual Art Walks- this is a fine 3-day event, many galleries are open late featuring special exhibits and streetside entertainment. Check my Specials Page for the dates of the next Art Walk. Any day is a fine day for a walk around Little Italy.
Parking is tight around here, but we have free, private parking available across the street from the shop. Free, on-street parking is also available for an hour at a time.
Our hours are Monday through Saturday 10-6. I make appointments for the evening and earlier morning hours and you are free to catch me here by chance in the evening, as well. We are closed major holidays, not including my birthday.
Well, I could really ramble on about the whys of picture framing. There is so much to like about it, for one. It is a lovely way to make a living and I get to meet the most interesting people and see beautiful works of art every day. I get to work with my hands and experience the satisfaction of creating something nice.
I am proud to be a member of the PPFA, the Professional Picture Framers Association and am conscientious (maybe a little obsessed as well) about keeping informed about the latest that technology has to contribute to the realm of preservation framing.
We do all of our work in-house and I supervise all of it. Did I mention that I am a CPF? That means Certified Picture Framer and this is a very different 'certification' from that which you see gracing the walls of chain stores. This certification is the only one offered by the Professional Picture Framers Association and is notoriously difficult to pass. We are one of the few shops in the region to be home to not one, but two CPF's; Debbie has had her certification for many years and has even augmented it with an advanced certification, the MCPF. Ask her about it when you stop in. I have been framing over half of my life (28 years framing, those of you good in math, get on it!) and I am constantly amazed to realize how much more there is to learn about this fascinating business
Do we have any specialties here? Yes and No and Neither! Art Etc. specializes in traditional framing techniques and design treatments as well as designs with a modern twist. We are pleased to be able to offer real gold leaf hand-finished frames (they are expensive, but look priceless!) historic reproductions and solid hardwood gallery/museum styles, as well as poster frames and open back (ready-made) frames. We have on display more frame samples than I care to admit and most are styles you won't see anywhere else especially in the chain stores. I like to show unique and unusual finishes and very up-to-date styles. In fact, I like to stay a step ahead- I want you to see it here first. I want framing to be as exciting and creative for you as it is for me and surrounding both of us with the best that worldwide frame manufacturers have to offer is a great way to start. A favorite customer of mine once commented upon a return to Art Etc. from overseas employment (and framing) "It's like coming to Framing Heaven!"
I also like to frame up sample pieces in some of these daring styles. I scour junk stores and antique stores and galleries for unusual prints and photos and drawings and frame them. Most are available for sale, too. I am free to take chances with this framing- big frames on tiny pieces, ornate frames on contemporary pieces- well, you get the idea, I get to misbehave! As I sit and type this, I am looking at an old, artfully streaked and striated beveled mirror in a distressed frame, a tray in the shape of a Matisse-type carved face framed with a tie-dyed border, a pair of mid-1800's black and white book plate prints of some really scary-looking fish with buttery yellow and orange-watercolor embellished mats, an early twentieth century Arts and Crafts style floral still life gouache framed in green on green, an small alphabet sampler framed in a four inch wide honker of a moulding, a small gold scrolly frame shadowbox with two old glittery beaded buttons and some folky-looking pen and ink British handmade greeting cards with trees. At any given time, I have a hundred or more of these goodies framed and on display for creative inspiration. They're worth a peek.
I hand wrap all my fabric mats and liners, this means no corner/miter seams for those of you as attuned to detail as I am. I don't need to mention the endless creative possibilities, do I? I can order luscious silk, crisp, traditional linen, splendid suedecloth, and breezy broadcloths. I have even been known to use YOUR drapery or upholstery fabric to put on a liner that I create for your artwork. Fun, huh?
I love to do traditionally elegant French mats- these are mats with subtle ink lines and watercolor washed panels, hand laid gold leaf and hand made marbled paper panels. These are as perfect for antique botanicals as they are for vintage ancestor photographs as they are for contemporary color family snapshots. Try it sometime and you will see what I mean.
I dabble in black and white photography and I am always thrilled to frame just that 'moment in time' image of yours printed in lush blacks and crisp whites on archival, fiber based paper. Is this a good time to mention the resurgence of black and white wedding photographs? The timeless look of these will continue to appeal to many generations to come.
We are very experienced in handling fine art: this includes using rag/archival mats, utilizing Japanese mulberry paper and wheat starch paste for reversible hinging of works of art on paper, non-invasive fastenings for valuable three-dimensional pieces.
We are well-versed in the many glazing choices available today- everything from the-now-very-affordable UV filtering glass to the-more-affordable-than-ever Anti-reflective glass (this stuff is simply amazing!) to acrylic (the generic name for Plexiglas.) We frame mirrors by the dozen and indeed have many here available for sale. We will also reframe your old beveled mirrors or order you a new one.
We have handled oversize pieces- and I am talking about the size of which may or may not fit through your front door! Large textiles look especially rich framed and displayed as the fine art that they are. There is something lush about the three-dimensional tactile quality of these pieces that is heightened by the formal presentation of a frame and glazing. 'Museum-style' is the phrase that comes to my mind.
We have been known to hand paint frames for Outsider artwork, utilize hand made Guatemalan paper for mat embellishments, hand dye wood frame fillets to match your artwork, and hand tint mats for an aged look. Neat, huh?
How can it be that I am just now getting around to mentioning needlework? I have been cross-stitching just about as long as I have been framing. I can't seem to have enough samplers in my life. And I admit that I am a fanatic about how these heirlooms are presented. I like to pay special tribute to a historically accurate reproduction with an appropriate frame and mounting as well as update the presentation of a derivative pieces. I have blocked hundreds of wopperjod needlepoints over the years, all look beautiful framed. I also offer archival mounting/stretching of needlework.
We are also adept at handling multiple piece jobs- we get into a nice mellow, meditative state by framing the same mission statement hundreds of times. Truly, I love it. Call Edie for prices.
Have I mentioned yet that I have a lot of moulding in stock? Yep, it's true. What this means to you is that we are thoroughly capable of meeting that deadline of your boss' or getting that wedding invitation framed in time. If I don't have to wait for materials to be delivered, then I can amaze even myself with speedy turnaround time. How often have you heard the words 'same day' and 'picture framing' in the same sentence? We also have an ever-changing selection of ready made frames. These are not discount store frames- these are leftovers of our regular custom made mouldings, that we cut and build in slower times into standard-ish sizes. There are some beauts on our frame racks as well as some real workhorses. I sometimes refer to these as open back frames. You have probably guessed by now that we can cut glass, backing and matting for these and no one will ever know that they were 'off the rack!' Sometimes when I get too may of these, I will put them on clearance. Check my Specials Page regularly for notice of these or get thyself on my mailing list. I have customers who save up artwork for these sales. They will bring in vintage family photos, small antique bookplate prints, artsy postcards, a child's drawing of a turtle, wedding photos, needlework, certificates and diplomas, Aunt Betty's charming rose watercolor, favorite holiday cards, antique jewelry and watches and coins, vintage hankies, baby booties, quilt squares and Iraqi money.