Last week was my last day as a Joann’s employee and as a framer. No hard feelings or anything, but I was ready to move on after getting hired as a graphic designer. I was also anxious to have my weekends back. It was rather exhausting having only one day a week to do all the cleaning, art, and other errands that I needed to do.
While I’m not going to miss dealing with angry and impatient customers and some problematic management problems, I will miss working as a framer. Ever since I was hired at Magnum Press, I changed my availability drastically and my time in framing had dropped significantly. I loved working in the framing shop and the work came rather naturally. I enjoyed seeing all the different pieces that each customer would bring in! It ranged from children’s artwork, to watercolor prints, to 100-year-old birth certificates. It was a joy to talk to each person about where they got the piece and how it was made, and the history behind it.. I learned a lot from just the customers alone about art appreciation. I loved helping each person pick out their own individual frame and combination of mats. They may not have been super thrilled with the price at the end, but they always were happy to receive the finished framed piece.
My absolute favorite part of the whole position was actually getting to frame each piece. I’d already had some experience with framing from high school. I made my own mats for a time. Now, I learned how to frame a piece from start to finish. I love unwrapping the frame once its arrived and cleaning glass. You get to see how the whole piece will come together with the frame and the mats. I’ve learned some wonderful tricks to getting the pieces to fit together and to make things cooperate. Fun fact: you can use a little bit of lighter fluid to get almost anything off of glass.
For me, framing was just another way to express some creativity. It allowed me to get a little more hands-on with some hardware, rather than art supplies. I was able to work with blades, needles, a staple gun, a hammer and many other tools. It allowed me to be creative, while still doing something relatively mindless. It’s pretty easy to lose oneself in something like that. While my art allowed me to pursue a career and a hobby, framing allowed me to be more active in my work. I had to lift heavy pieces and my tools definitely bit me a few times. It was a much-appreciated break from an otherwise stressful job and it allowed me to see a different side of another art-making process.
I adored my time in the framing shop and I hope that I get to have another opportunity to work on something like that again. Framing made my experience much more bearable and I learned so much. I have a new appreciation for the art and the process that goes into framing. After all, it has been such a prevalent part of art history and of presentation of any art piece.