January 13th, 2013

Happy New Year!

2012 was a rather trying year for most people. The divisive election, the economic issues, the gun violence and natural disasters really showed humanity at its very worst and, even among the darkness,  at its very best. I hope we will get more of it sorted out in 2013 and that the people we send to Washington will come together for the common good and not for the good of a priviledged few. Even the late billionaire insurance magnate W. Clement Stone used to say:Keep a positive mental attitude and you can do anything.

With that in mind, we have lots of new plans and initiatives coming this year and we will try to give you a heads-up throughout the year right here on this blog and on our Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/flaxartandframe). We are still figuring out how social media works and trying to find the time to keep you all posted. Thanks for your patience.

Before I forget, let me thank all our framing patrons for the past year (and years prior) for all your business. We could not have done it without you. You are the reason behind our success as framers: We truly appreciate every one of you who walks through our front door. We hope to remain worthy of your patronage and praise.

Early 20th C. Navajo Rug Shadowbox

One of our frequent framing clients, Bonnie Hawkins, brought in a very old Navajo weaving from the late 1800's or early 1900's that had belonged to her great-grandparents and grandparents. It was not in the best of shape, but Dana (our shop manager) designed a shadowbox treatment that would preserve it and keep it from further deterioration.

Below is a photo of the framed weaving, along with other photos supplied by Bonnie of the rug in use by her great grandmother and her grandfather (as a child):

Hawkins' Navajo Rug shadowbox 






 Grandpa Hawkins on rug as child

The frame is a Studio Moulding ST52020 Olea Coffee Brown shadowbox-depth moulding with Olivewood veneer on the face to give it a rustic look. We used plexiglass to safeguard the textile in case of breakage. The weaving was sewn down onto Crescent 87501 Vink Tweed Fabric matting. Glass size is 39 x 67".

Frame Designed and Executed by Dana L. Fisher, CPF

Photos supplied by Bonnie Hawkins, Esq. (with our thanks!)

Graduation Stole Shadowbox

You know those fancy scarves that get draped around the shoulders of people receiving advanced degrees in College? They are called "Stoles".  Here is one we framed in a shadowbox, recently, for a client at DePaul University:

Depaul Stole Shadowbox Depaul Stole Detail 1







  Depaul Stole Detail 2

 Depaul Stole Detail 3

The frame is an Engelsen 5125 Antique Gold Cap 3/4" wide by 1 1/4" tall. The shadowbox is Crescent 1606 Off White. For budgetary reasons, regular glass was used, though we recommend an anti-reflective glass like AR or Museum glass to minimize glare and reflection in deep showcases like shadowbox frames.

Frame designed and executed by Dana L. Fisher, CPF

Images by kind permission of S. Luna

Robin Ventura White Sox Jersey Shadowbox

R.Ventura Jersey Shadowbox 

If you are from Chicago, then you know how big a sports town it is. We have, among other things, two Major League baseball teams: The Chicago Cubs and The Chicago White Sox. I won't go into all the politics behind them, but suffice to say that the fans, here, are truly devoted (win or lose). Our client brought in an autographed jersey from former White Sox player Robin Ventura (now their manager!). A shadowbox in a black, white and gray motif (team colors) was in order here. The frame is a Studio Moulding 24701 shadowbox-depth moudling 1" wide and 1 7/8" tall. Under the lip of the frame was placed a Studio Moulding "Eon" F35 silver leafed fillet. Artglass Water White (anti-reflective glass) was used. The shadowbox mat is Crescent 9556 Tempest. Two autographed items were also inserted with risers behind them to help them hover over the jersey after it was sewn down.  Finished size is 38 x 32. Below are some details:

Ventura Jersey Detail 1 Ventura Jersey Detail 2






Ventura Jersey Detail 3 Ventura Jersey Detail 4








Ventura Jersey Detail 5  Ventura jersey Shadowbox Profile






Frame designed and executed by Dana L. Fisher, CPF

Images by kind permission of K. Krakora

 We the People Exhibition: Randy Martens

 One of our photographer clients, Randy Martens, has an exhibition that opened January 11th at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, in Chicago, in the Renaissance Court Gallery. It is titled " We the People". Over the years, Randy has specialized in photographing people from all walks of life in many countries. Randy (a fellow Illini!) has always brought in some of the most interesting shots of people that I can ever recall. After all, people are the most interesting thing in our lives

The exhibition runs from January 11th to February 24th. Randy will give a gallery talk on Thursday, January 31st, 2013, at 11 a.m. This exhibition has the sponsorship of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. We are proud and pleased to be Randy's framer.

Bookshelf Paintings: An Exhibition by Dmitry Samarov

Dmitry Samarov is one of those artists that found his talents while doing something else to earn a living. Specifically, he drove a cab for a long time. The son of Russian immigrants, he earned a living driving a cab and, while waiting for cab patrons, he took out a sketch book and started drawing the clients and people on the street.  His sketches in watercolor are impressionistic and whimsical. Dmitry has a great eye: He really gets it. We have done a fair amount of framing for him over the last several years and are pleased to tell you of his exhibition January 11th to March 1st, 2013 at the Harold Washington Public Library at 400 S. State Street here in Chicago.  He will also give an artist's talk on Saturday, January 19th at 2 p.m. in the Chicago Authors Room, 7th floor.  For more information, you can call 312-747-4800 or visit his website:  http://www.dmitrysamarov.com

OBAMA WINS! Framing Collage Shadowbox

                                 Obama Wins Shadowbox

One of our clients worked for the re-election of President Obama and brought in a collection of newspaper headlines from the results after election day. He and his significant other attended the election-night rally at McCormick Place in Chicago. He brought in passes from the event to incorporate into the shadowbox frame. This was a Christmas gift and we designed a multi-layer floating element shadowbox. Above is the result.  The four headlines shown at angles are all mounted on black acid-free mat board using a translucent tissue called Fusion 4000. It allows the black board color to obscure the printing on the back side of the newspapers that would, otherwise, show through if mounted on white board. Those 4 headlines are floating on foam board risers.  The central newspaper page is one layer up on a double-thick layer of foam board from the other 4 and the 2 rally passes are on a still-higher layer on a triple thick foam board riser. Glass used is True-Vu Conservation Clear u/v filtering glass. The frame is Gemini 3802 matte black with silver edges. 

Below are more details:

Obama Rally Passes  Obama Wins detail 1







  Obama Wins Detail 3






Frame designed and executed by Brian D. Flax, CPF

Images by kind permission of T. Bickford


Brian's Blog is our way of communicating to you, our valued framing clients (and prospective clients) what we are all about: Picture Framing and Framing-related services. That's all we do. Of the 66 years we have been in business, we have spent the last 22 of them as a framing company. Over all those years, we learned that the customer is king and customer service is everything. So, we focus on the thing that we do best: Being the most innovative, experienced, service-focused picture framer in all of downtown Chicago.

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