Behind the Painting – Custom Stretchers from Brickyard Enterprises

 

Ann & Mike

In the spirit of First Lives, we here at Maine Art are taking a bit of time to recognize a behind-the-scenes source that has just recently come to our attention. Brickyard Enterprises is located in Ferrisburgh, Vermont in the beautiful Champlain Valley. They are a small company run by Mike Poskas and his wife, Ann. They also live about a half-mile from Rebecca Kinkead. Mike and Rebecca’s husband, Jamey, hunt together. One day, during a rabbit hunt, Jamey tossed a very random idea his way.

“When Jamey asked about making stretchers for Rebecca’s canvases, Mike was all in,” says his wife, Ann. “Then he promptly came home, and together we researched what a stretcher was and how to make one!”

Four months later, the Poskas’ new three-car garage was transformed into a high-end woodworking shop, which they call “the barn.” That was now four years ago. Even though Mike is busy flying as a pilot for a commercial airline, the duo has kept the business going.  Orders were thriving and soon Ann left corporate America to focus on Brickyard. She doesn’t stop at the business end though. The couple splits the duties in the wood shop, as well.

“Mike does all the major cutting, but I put everything through the joiner. Then we work the table saw and the shapers for the profile together,” says Ann. “He does the precision cuts – that pilot’s attention to exact detail comes in handy. He also handles anything too dangerous for me to do alone.”

With five shapers, four are dedicated to the tongue and groove work. Ann handles four of them without issue. She also puts the smaller stretchers together. The larger pieces require a cross-bracing; this is where Mike is needed again.

“I stretch the canvases and do most of the delivery,” says Ann. “We have over forty artists, twenty of them are regulars. I deliver all over New England and we ship to as far away as Florida.”

Van-photo

Everything at Brickyard Enterprises is custom ordered and made by hand with locally sourced basswood. They keep no inventory in stock and make each piece to the exact specifications of the artist, offering both stretchers and panels in a variety of sizes.

“We have never advertised. It has been word of mouth since we started and we are more than busy. It has always been a fun business and has come to be something we love to do,” says Ann.

Word of mouth is exactly what led a second one of our artists to Brickyard. Craig Mooney and Rebecca Kinkead have worked in galleries together for a few years.  When Rebecca committed to an exclusive deal with Brickyard, she immediately called Craig to let him know how fabulous their work was. It wasn’t long before Craig was on board, as well.

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Not only does Brickyard produce custom stretchers and panels, they have added fine art transportation to their list of services, and transport to all of New England. They have also begun stretching completed works for collectors and artists. It’s important to have high quality materials supporting the beautiful work that hangs on our walls and yours. Our artists take this part of their process very seriously, and it’s all the better when we can keep it local.

For more information on Brickyard Enterprises, visit their website and check them out on Facebook.

Brickyard Enterprises Brickyard Enterprises Facebook Page

To see both Craig Mooney and Rebecca Kinkead’s work please visit our galleries in Kennebunk; Maine Art Shows, at 10 Chase Hill Road and Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, at 14 Western Avenue. You can also view our complete collections of their works on their Artist Pages and read more about them on our Blog by clicking the links below.

Rebecca Kinkead at Maine Art and Rebecca Kinkead an Inside Look

Craig Mooney at Maine Art and Craig Mooney an Inside Look

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