Saving memories

by: Vern Uyetake, Mark Randall, a Lake Oswego resident and owner of Frame World in Beaverton, adds a small yellow frame within a thicker, black frame for added color. Randall said he has framed a variety of art through the years — from awards, records, books and portraits to pony tails, peapods and cheap finds from travels abroad. He’s framed 150 pieces of art for one family alone.

Houses are personalized spaces.

So what if you paint the interior walls in your house pink? And who's to judge if your spare bedroom became an overflow closet? The uniquely framed picture hung above your sofa? Yes, that was your gift to yourself when you bought the house. And you love it.

Lake Oswego resident Mark Randall, and owner of Frame World in Beaverton, said that picture frames could enhance, update or complete the art collection within a home.

And framing need not be an overwhelming process but an opportunity to let your masterpieces shine.

'Let's say someone inherits a whole bunch of art and (they have) brown pine 70s frames on them. (They) can update with new colors and mats,' Randall said.

The customized frame shop looks like a blend between an art classroom and a shop class in college. Hundreds of picture frame corners are attached to the walls for easy access. Finished framed pieces are in one area; projects yet to begin are in another. Large tables with pictures laid flat upon them are surrounded with framing and mat options.

Many of Randall's own art pieces - huge blown up newspaper spreads from other countries - decorate a back room. The front of the shop features a rotating display of art through The Cube Gallery.

A frame for everything

Randall said that no matter what needs to be framed - old records, needlepoint, the flyer from your first rock concert, a picture of your first car - he starts all projects the same way.

'I always ask, 'where is it going in your house?' That matters a lot, especially economically,' Randall said. 'A person who is going to spend $1,000 on a picture (frame) in their living room might want to spend $60 on their kids' poster in the bedroom.'

Then the conversation typically diverts to color, and later to style.

'When I know the price (range) I can then start picking things similar and start dropping the price if I have to,' Randall said.

Mat color and texture can change the look of a framed piece of art dramatically.

'I almost always use two mats. It just gives depth,' Randall said.

One woman just brought in a bunch of Aborigine art to be framed and decided on a black outer frame and a smaller, yellow frame stacked on the inside for 'added oomph,' Randall said.

Glass also can change the look of the framed artwork.

Randall said that plain glass is the least expensive choice, but there is often glare when viewing the artwork. Non-glare glass allows the art to be viewed from all angles without 'that mirror effect,' Randall said.

Acrylic is more pricey, he said, but lighter in weight. And UV glass protects the artwork from sun damage over time.

'It's something you do if you have signatures or it has sentimental value to it,' Randall said. 'You may have a poster you got in Europe and you're never going to Europe again and you want to protect (it) and you don't want it to fade.'

Framing mirrors is less complicated than framing artwork. When framing mirrors, anything goes.

'Mirrors are so neutral that (the frame) always works. If you (layer) two frames together it's not distracting from the art. You can just combine whatever you want,' Randall said.

Randall said that there's a trend in Oregon to frame things either in a black, wood frame or a frame with sleek lines and allow the natural wood to be on display.

'It's all about the beauty of the wood and simplicity for Northwest people,' Randall said. 'We sell the most of the very simple shapes, nothing ornate.'

Keeping the memory alive

Randall frames sentimental items, which can often be strange. What's the weirdest thing he's framed?

'A pony tail,' Randall said. 'A guy graduated from college and got a job and he had to cut his hair. His dad was really conservative, so the mother framed the pony tail for the dad.'

Once a group of friends were in Arizona, and a seedpod fell into the hot tub. One girl thought it was a snake at the time and was very scared. To remember the memory, they had the seedpod framed.

Oftentimes, it's the quirky, sentimental items that people just can't part with.

'There's a progression of framing that people go through,' Randall said.

He said he has changed and updated the same piece of art over the years for people.

'When you're a kid you'll tape a poster to a wall,' Randall said. 'That same Led Zeppelin poster that you really like you may put in a clip frame in college. Then when you're older you take it and put it in a black (frame) and put it in your movie room.'

Art purchased when traveling is a reminder of the trip and the memories you've made.

'Let's say you go to Greece and you get a $10 painting but you have a nice house. Frame it. It's a memory,' Randall said. 'It has nothing to do with the cost of the art in (many) situations. It's about the emotion.'

Frame World Inc. is located at 12240 SW Broadway in Beaverton.

For more information call 503-671-9336.