Moving the Workshop
It’s moving time again. Every two years it seems like. It’s been fifteen years since starting this latest framing experience. I started picture framing in 1982. More of a chop and join situation, running several shops and store fronts with my mom and brother.
After a short stint working for a few other framing companies, I realized I wanted to paint more, so retiring from framing I went home and began to paint. Then the first show comes along and I needed frames. Of course there was no way to afford them. I built them in my garage, and then the night of the show was a success. At least, I think everyone loved the frames. I started getting calls the next day from artists asking if I would make them frames. Being just out of the starting gate on selling paintings I needed the cash, so I agreed.
After a few posts on Facebook by these artists, sharing their paintings in my frames, I was back in the framing world.
I am not even sure the year I started sharing shop space with Michael Graham, but I believe it has been about eight years or so. I met Michael at our local church where we served together in the youth program. I remember stopping by one day at his home, and there in the front yard a couple of high schoolers were sanding away on some custom made furniture on his lawn while he was spraying and staining the rest of the furniture on his driveway. I had to laugh because I had just left my house where the fifteen frames I had just clayed were drying in my front yard. I felt sorry for both our neighbors.
A year later we found ourselves in a shop together, but we remained separate companies. He was building a variety of things, and building some frames when I got too busy with the framing. I was growing fast at the time, with the plein air movement and the academic movement both gaining strength. I couldn't handle the growth so Mike learned to do frames, which was a natural step, his wife Heather being a painter. We both grew and moved and grew and moved again, always being separate businesses—Mike as Masterworks, and I always just kept my name.
But it's time we separate shops, which brings up the question, “Oh no, are you still friends?” Of course. It’s just the right time to separate our shop spaces. We still could do projects together and rely on each other when needed, but with separate shop spaces it will be good to see where we can go without the influence of the other. So, nothing really changed. If you’re wondering, I am still friends with Mike and support Masterworks, and all the great work they do. Both of us are excited to explore where this will take us.