The Frame Shop – A Look Inside

 

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Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture; the name says it all – almost. Maine Art has an additional service that not all galleries offer; custom picture framing.  At the back of the sales counter sits our in-house frame shop. It is behind the scenes, yet a key part to complete your gallery experience. Every February, we thank our customers & celebrate the custom framing aspect of the gallery with a 25% off Custom Framing Sale. The time is now!

The custom framing aspect of the gallery works to support our artists and our customers. Only a few of our artists frame their own work. By having the frame shop at hand, we are able to assist them and our clients to find framing that enhances each piece, as well as the room it will soon call home.

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John Spain, circa 1991, at Kennedy Studios…soon to be Maine Art

John Spain, owner of the gallery, says, “When I purchased Kennedy Studios 25 years ago, framing was a large component of the business. Now, even though framing is only a part of what we do, it remains an invaluable convenience for our customers and artists alike.”

Though John understands the value of this service, it is Natalie Lane, the gallery manger, who is the brains and talent behind it.  With over twenty-four years experience, we are incredibly lucky to have her at the framing table.  For the last ten years, she has shared her amazing eye for design, her color sense, and skills in the Maine Art workshop. She is a master framer.

Natalie Lane, Custom Frame Manager

Natalie Lane, Gallery Manager

Many have used this service for new pieces of work which were purchased through the gallery. However, we offer custom framing for a myriad of cherished items and previously-owned artwork. Natalie’s ability and willingness to think “outside the frame” has changed heirlooms into works of art.

“My favorite items to frame are photos and correspondence from the past. Clients bring in bits of family history to preserve, so their story continues to touch future generations,” says Natalie. “I enjoy listening to the client and discovering the story behind whatever they’ve brought in. Knowing why it’s important to them is just as much a part of the process as finding the perfect frame.”

From ‘Hole in One’ score cards, a golf course map, and a flag from the hole, to a handmade christening gown that was passed through several generations, we can help you preserve it.

“I am always amazed at what people bring in, and have been truly blessed to see some fabulous pieces of family history,” says Lane as she lists off some of her favorites. “A Civil War Union cap with drumsticks, rocks and sediment samples from a mining vacation, a marriage proposal on a napkin, (she said yes!), a chef-signed menu from a favorite restaurant,vintage maps, wallpaper and upholstery scraps along with recipe cards from a grandmother. The list goes on. I even framed a hand painted tapestry of Hare Krishna’s Wedding.”

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Just when we think we have seen it all, someone comes in to challenge Natalie and her skills. “One of the most unique requests for me was a bathroom fixture with a plug. The customer just couldn’t part with it after renovations. It was part of a childhood memory of the home. Once framed, they hung it in the newly renovated bathroom; a perfect memory of the past. How fabulous is that?”

Due to the influx of work, Natalie has started to train Patrick Harrison, one of our year-round sales staff. There is just too much work for one woman to keep up with, especially in the summer. Patrick has agreed to spend part of his winter hours learning this trade.

Patrick Harrison

Patrick Harrison, Sales Associate and Framing Assistant

“Patrick has just begun his training. There is still a lot to cover, but he is taking to it very quickly. He is showing a real talent,” says Lane. “His art background is advantageous in understanding what type of artwork is before him. It is also key when looking at the design aspect.”

If you love, cherish or otherwise value it, it should be cared for. If framing is the best way to present or preserve it, we can help. Each individual work that comes before us is carefully considered as to how it should be handled. We frame original works along with limited edition gilcée prints, serigraphs, lithographs, textiles, needlework, pastels and anything else you can imagine. We use all acid-free materials and care for each item as if it were our own. We offer glazing selections that include UV protection for works to be framed under glass, including museum glass.

If you have questions or need ideas, feel free to contact Natalie directly at natalie@maine-art.com or call the gallery during business hours, 207-967-2803. Check the website for winter hours.

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