Field Trip: Framers’ Workshop, Brookline.
Over the summer, I wrote a blog post about one of my favorite artists: the amazing Charley Harper. I bragged about finally getting my hands on an original print at an auction. Since then, I’ve had it tucked away, and waited for the chance to get it framed. Having worked in custom picture framing for years, I know how ridiculously expensive it can be, and I wasn’t expecting to be able to afford it anytime soon.
A couple of weeks ago, Andrew reminded me of a DIY frame shop that a co-worker of his went to for inexpensive framing. I was a little bit wary, because in my experience, cheap equals poor quality and poor selection. However, I decided to check it out. So, with an open mind and my good friend, Katie, I made the drive “over the bridge” to the Framers’ Workshop in Brookline.
We were immediately greeted as soon as we walked in the door, and escorted to a service counter for custom framing help. It’s a big shop, divided into three main rooms: the front “store” with ready-made frames, matting, etc.; the custom framing counter with countless moldings, mat samples, and plenty of space to lay out your posters and prints; and the DIY workroom with separate stations set up with all the necessary paraphernalia required for framing a picture.
Our first stop was the custom framing counter, where Ben helped us pick out the right mat, glass, and frame for our artwork. The Framer’s Workshop offers DIY and full custom services. You can bring a piece of art in, order a mat/frame combo, and they do it for you, or you can do the assembling yourself. It all depends on your time-frame, how much you want spend, and your confidence in your framing skills.
Both Katie and I chose the DIY option. I brought the Charley Harper print along, and Katie had two pieces to do–an original Shepard Fairey and a super cute “California Quail” print by local artist, Katherine Hughes. So, once we made our selections for materials, we moved into the workroom while we waited for the frames, mats, and glass to be cut for us.
Once everything was ready, we attached the mats, cleaned the glass, slapped the frames on, and the whole shebang was done! Since I was familiar with the process, I talked Katie through it. However, for those who don’t know matting from foamcore—not to worry—there are a number of clerks milling around who are available to help you out.
All in all, I was completely impressed with my experience at the Framers’ Workshop. The quality and selection of materials, the guidance and helpfulness of the staff, and the clean and relaxed atmosphere were all above average. After a couple of well-spent hours, Katie and I both left with beautifully framed artwork, and we can’t wait to go back!!