March 26, 2013

NYC Day 2.5: Framed Again

When I was in NYC for the Scalamandré Lenox launch party at Bloomingdales, I had a conversation with a lovely woman, but I didn’t get her name. A day or two later, I received an e-mail from a PR gal with whom I’ve communicated for several years, and she said that one of her clients had met a blogger from Baltimore at the Scalamandré party. Putting two and two together, they realized that it was me!NYC2 (32)

The woman I met was Robyn Pocker, third-generation owner of J. Pocker Framing in NYC. Pocker has been in business since 1926, and both Robyn’s father and grandfather ran the store. She’s got all of the old ledgers showing who their customers were and what they paid – and whether the piece was going to their townhouse or their country house.

Generally, I don’t give a lot of consideration to framing. Either the pieces I have are inherited and have already been framed, or they’re just pictures I’ve taken, and I put them into simple frames.

But spending time at Pocker made me realize that there’s an art to framing. As an exercise in this art, Robyn invited me to bring along a piece I wanted to have framed. After some consideration, I realized that the piece I wanted to frame was one of the chromolithographs I blogged about a few weeks ago, which was part of my late father’s collection.

I packed the piece carefully and took it to New York with me, being super cautious not to bend the package. At Pocker, we unwrapped the print, and I was so pleased when Pascal, the framer, put on his conservators’ gloves to handle the piece.

Pascal started the process by selecting some mats to show off the print, and because of the Oriental nature of the print, he selected some mats in a raw silk. After a process of elimination, we chose an olive green silk mat, which emphasized the vase and made it the focal point. The cream mat was lovely, but we all agreed that the green one was the ideal.

Then Pascal brought over a selection of frames.

He took into consideration things that wouldn’t have occurred to me, like the highlights and lowlights in the print, the background, the Asian nature of the vase and more.

We tried various frames with the various mats until we arrived at a combination that was pleasing to the eye and complimentary to the work on paper.  Here are some of the final options.

And here are the two finalists.
You will have to wait a few weeks, along with me, to see the final product. I will take a day and go to NYC to pick it up. I can’t wait! This will be a piece that I treasure for two reasons: it once belonged to my late father, and because of the kindness of everyone at Pocker!
 

Thanks so much to Robyn Pocker and her staff at J. Pocker Framing for spending time with me and showing me the process of having a work of art custom framed, and to Liza Morten from Blitzer & Co. for helping get this together. For more information on J. Pocker Framing, check out their website, here, and their blog, which is full of great information.

19 comments:

  1. Wow. Wow. hmm has Antique Roadshow ever visited Baltimore????

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  2. I'm guessing the one on the left; the gilt highlight picks up the ochre yellows of the vase. Unless of course you're going to have the other dragon bowl framed too, in which case it would be the red lined frame. Just sayin'.

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  3. Love your header, so whimsical! Great blog post!

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  4. Hi Meg, Framing is almost as important as the work of art itself. Over years of working with my talented framer we have developed a wonderful way of arriving at the "perfect frame" for each work....it usually takes me at least an hour to get to where I want to go in my decision process. The proper matting --color, size, French mat, gilt edge mat, etc. makes or breaks a piece. Great post.
    Mary

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    1. I will be looking at frames in a new light after this!

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  5. I'm so glad you're having the yellow piece framed! Can't wait to see it finished.

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    1. My mum chose the yellow print. It's stunning!

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  6. What a wonderful post Meg, very informative. We were always taught the frame was as important as the artwork because it had the power to negate the beauty of what was being framed. I love the options he shared and his insight about the highlights and lowlights, that part would have completely escaped me. Can't wait to see the one you picked, I'm also guessing the one on the left.

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    1. It was sych a great education and so personalized!

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  7. This was soo interesting! I know you are so thankful you met Robyn Pocker + I certainly am. (I have been taught the frame can make or break a piece of art) I know you will treasure this piece; framed beautifully xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. Robyn was just a complete delight. I am fortunate to have met her.

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  8. Fun to see a piece of art framed, it's like seeing a face with different wigs on it.
    I just got a piece framed, and the framer varied the width of the mat (wider on the bottom, slightly wider on one side) to draw the eye to the center of interest. Quite surprising to me, actually, but I think it works.

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    1. That was another thing I learned... about the width and size of the mat.

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  9. While not the exclusive vendor, J. Pocker did a lot of framing for Parish-Hadley when I worked there in the 1980s, so I am sure their client list is indeed a long and notable one.

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    1. And probably still doing work for similar firms.

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  10. Meg I love the piece from your Father and am so glad you are having it custom framed.
    I worked in fine art frame design for many years with the art galleries I was associated with and it makes all the difference.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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