Visualization: see what your frame will look like!

We’ve all seen it happen: you want to paint a room in your house, so you go down to the paint store and pick out a bunch of color chips. Then you get home, hold the chips up to the wall, and settle on a color. Later, when the paint job is done, sometimes you realize that the effect of a whole wall of a particular color is quite different than that of a small color chip!

A similar thing can happen in custom framing. The traditional frame design process involves selecting corner samples of mats and mouldings, placing them against the artwork, and trying to imagine what the finished result might look like. Most of the time this works fairly well, but sometimes the effect of a whole frame of a given pattern is different than you may have imagined from the corner sample.

Another thing that can happen is to be undecided between two or more design options: “Will this look better with the black frame or the gold frame?”. Again, it can be challenging to imagine the different options and come to a decision.

Baldwin Hill Art & Framing has a solution for the 21st century: Frame Design Visualization. Using modern computer technology we can now simulate what a complete frame design is going to look like before the frame is built!

Here’s how it works: a camera mounted over the design counter takes a picture of your artwork, along with mat and moulding samples under consideration. With a few clicks of the mouse, we pick out the mats and moulding we want to use.

The software then displays an image of the finished frame design. Changing mats, mouldings, mat borders, even opening shapes takes just a few clicks of the mouse. We can even show up to four designs side-by-side for you to choose from!

While this system is not perfect–lighting effects in the camera mean that this is not for choosing between shades of white, for example–it is great for other aspects of the decision.  Choice of frame colors or widths, mat border widths, and what color to put on top in a double mat can now be resolved with a simple side by side comparison.  This system makes for quicker decisions and more confidence in your final choice, especially for customers that have a hard time seeing it without seeing.

This system is also useful when designing frames for the long distance customer, or the busy but opinionated partner who is unable to come to the shop. We use the visualization system to mock up multiple candidate designs and then either email them or print them out for the customer to take home for further discussion and approval. The customer then either chooses the design they like or propose changes. Eventually we arrive at a design that we and the customer know they’re going to love!

Frame Of The Week: Ship Under Glass

Two view of the glass painting. Click to enlarge.

Photographs do not do justice to this magnificent piece.  This is actually two paintings in one frame.  The big ship in the foreground is actually a reverse painting on glass.  Behind it is another background painting on a board.  We framed this with a protective piece of glass in front and spaced the background painting 3/8″ back from the glass painting to give a 3-D effect.  The whole thing is framed in a lovely dark shadowbox moulding that complements the ship nicely!

Bring us your treasure and we’ll make it look stunning too!


Frame Of The Week: A Little Patriots Spirit!

Even before the New England Patriots won the AFC championship, we had a feeling they’d have a very good year!  At the same time, we always wanted to have a framed jersey example in the shop, but full-sized jerseys are rather large and would take up too much of our limited display space.  We found this baby Tom Brady jersey and framed it up the same as we would a big one; even the moulding is left over from a jersey framing job!

Whoever your favorite team is, bring us your sports memorabilia!  We can transform it into a wonderful display piece for your home!

Frame Of The Week: Brothers In Arms

Just in time for Veterans Day, we present our most recent military memorabilia project.  The Brown Elementary School in Natick is named for Harold and Howard Brown, two brothers from West Natick who served in World War II and paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom.  The brothers’ medals and decorations were donated to the school, and Baldwin Hill Art & Framing was chosen to present them in a manner befitting their sacrifice.  We thought it would be fitting to include photographs of the brothers to give a human face to these badges of honor.  Each brother is depicted beneath his Purple Heart, and the other decorations are arranged around this in a tasteful black shadowbox.  The finished size is about 24″x18″.

You, too, can honor the military hero in your own life.  A display like this can be a wonderful gift or memorial to showcase a proud military career!

Frame Of The Week – “Ten Ten Ten”

Today’s vocabulary word is “decagon”, which is a 10-sided regular polygon.

Our latest creation shows what we can do with multi-sided frames!  This year is the 10th anniversary of Natick Artists Open Studios.  We built a prototype 10-sided frame and showed it to a number of Open Studios artists; one of them (David Kahn) realized that this was the perfect showcase for his own 10-sided creation!

This piece is called “Ten Ten Ten”.  It consists of ten photographs, each of ten items, and each photo is repeated ten times spiraling in towards the center.  It will be on display at the Morse Institute Library in Natick through October.  This print will be available in a signed, limited edition for $300 unframed, $700 in a rectangular frame with a 10-sided mat opening, and $900 in the special 10-sided frame.

Frame of the week – Parasol!

This antique parasol may have seen better days, but it has a lot of sentimental value for its owner.  At Baldwin Hill Art & Framing, we treasure your items as much as you do!

We set the parasol at a stylish angle in a black shadowbox, then capped it with a lovely silver floral-patterned moulding.  The backing is a Peterboro silkscreen patterned mat, which is repeated on the inner sides of the shadowbox.  The shaft is attached to the backer in two places with monofilament line, and the fabric is stitched down in a few strategic places as well.

Bring us your treasure and let us work our magic on it!


Frame Of The Week – Triangle!

At Baldwin Hill Art & Framing, we’re not just a bunch of squares!  In fact, you might say that we have all of your angles covered.

I picked up this piece of fantasy art at a science fiction convention a few years ago.  It’s acrylic on canvas, painted gallery-wrap style on a traingular stretcher.  We built the frame out of some leftover floater moulding so as not to cover any of the edges.

To build this frame we had to miter the mouldings at a 60-degree angle, which most moulding saws or choppers are not capable of doing.  As you can see we pulled it off, but we’re not saying how…

We don’t just stop at three or four sides either.  We can make frames with three, four, five, or more sides to complement projects of any shape!

Frame Of The Week – Saturday Evening Post

Business has been a bit slow lately.  While we much rather prefer to be busy, a slow period lets us catch up on those things we’d been meaning to get around to for some time.  This is an example.

A fellow framer emailed me a picture of this Saturday Evening Post cover, which I found quite amusing.  It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally a customer comes in and by the time we’ve come up with just the right design it seems as though nearly every corner sample in the shop is strewn across the design counter.  This cover, by Stevan Dohanos, captures such a moment in a whimsical manner.

We located a copy of the actual magazine on eBay, and that is what we have framed here.  The whole magazine is set into a sink mat, and then the double mat is placed over that (Peterboro silkscreen top mat, Crescent gold bottom mat).  No adhesives at all touch the magazine, making this mounting 100% reversible.  This lovely design will be in our store window through the end of August, 2011.  Come on down and see for yourself!

Frame Of The Week – Art Deco

We were playing around with mat designs and decided that this stepped-corner design had a nice Art Deco feel to it.  We paired it with this lovely print and frame.  The mat itself is a black-core white mat.  Black-core mats produce a black outline when cut on the bevel.  This produces a visual break between the mat and the image that is subtler than a double-mat design.



Frame Of The Week – Made In America!

Don't Tread On MeWhen this  reproduction of the iconic “Don’t Tread On Me” flag from the American Revolution came into our shop, we decided that it needed a handsome treatment befitting its dignity and history.  All of the materials in this frame were American-made.  The lovely maple shadowbox moulding was made by Vermont Hardwoods.  We decided to mount the flag on a lightly-textured Crescent mat (made in Wheeling, Illinois).  The piece is glazed using Tru-Vue Conservation Clear glass (made in Faribault, Minnesota).

The flag itself was attached to the backing with fabric fasteners in strategic places, and the lower lanyard was stitched to the backing.

Bring us your American icon and let us help you display it proudly!