This year we are launching Tru Frameable Moments™, a sales-building initiative that showcases the possibilities custom framing offers to capture and preserve life’s most important events. For many customers, those moments might be stored in basements, attics, and at the back of closets and not in the best condition. Read on about a Tru Frameable Moment brought back to life for a client by Mira Bishop, past winner of the Tru Vue Framing Competition and director of custom framing at Boston-area Oliver Brothers Fine Art Restoration, the oldest fine art restoration company in the U.S. (Click here for more information)
Every piece our clients bring us is memorable to them, but there are those that represent special moments in their lives, and we appreciate having the privilege of preserving them. Because of our experience with restoration, it is especially gratifying when we can apply our expertise to a piece that has suffered damage and protect it for the long term.
One example of such a piece was brought to us by the mother of a young man who had the opportunity to meet R.W. Alley, one of the most prolific illustrators of the Paddington series and several other children’s books. While on vacation in France, our customer and her young son ran into the renowned artist. After speaking with them for a while, Mr. Alley took out a pad of paper and a pen, and began drawing a rendition of Paddington Bear especially for the young man.
He signed the drawing and presented it to our customer as gift. The moment was captured in two photos that show the illustrator in action with the boy looking on.
The drawing had been a family treasure for a while. Four years after the meeting took place the drawing still hadn’t been properly protected with framing or archival storage. During a holiday party, a drink was accidentally spilled on the drawing, resulting in blue stains and a buckling of the paper support. That unfortunate incident was a catalyst for the customer to call Oliver Brothers to see if something could be done to reverse the damage.
The drawing was carefully tested in our studio to see to what degree the blue stains could be removed. In addition to testing the stains, the black ink used to create the drawing was tested to check its water solubility and stability. Once we were confident that we could remove most, if not all, of the staining without damaging the artwork, the customer happily agreed to have us move forward with our treatment.
The paper support was treated by applying special cleaning agents to the affected areas, while simultaneously protecting the delicate black ink the artwork was made from. The buckling of the artwork was flattened and the acidic content of the paper was greatly reduced. The restoration treatment was a success as we were able to remove all of the staining and buckling without compromising the original drawing.
Once our customer saw the results of our restoration treatment, she happily agreed to have the drawing properly protected with an archival framing solution. She fell in love with the map-wrapped frames we showed her and selected one that featured the city of Lyon. The piece included the 9 3/4-inch-by-7 1/4-inch drawing and the two photos. We chose Museum Glass for its preservation glazing and clarity.
Though Oliver Brothers works with many high-end and historically significant pieces and collections, we recognize that restoration is not just for museums and collectible pieces of art. It can also reverse damage to personal treasures. Along with conservation-grade framing, we can prevent significant damage from occurring again so that the person in possession of the piece can enjoy it for years to come — and even pass it along to others.
Our client was thrilled, and we were happy to frame it properly so she and her son could enjoy the memory with the reassurance that it is well-protected.
Emphasize your expertise in restoration
If you are a custom framer who specializes in restoration, Tru Frameable Moments is an ideal fit for your business. Customers may not know the kinds of repair work that can be done to photographs, drawings and other pieces to revive their treasured moments from the past. Here are some ways you can talk about your restoration expertise.
- Focus on restoration work in your digital marketing. For example, make restoration the main topic of one of your monthly e-newsletters, and during that time, feature an example of your restoration work in weekly posts on social media. Show photos and tell the story of happy customers who have had pieces restored.
- Educate your customers on the possibilities restoration offers to capture their frameable moments, even if much time has passed. Include an overview of services on your website and link to it in e-newsletters and social media posts.
- Incorporate and have fun with your customers by holding a Tru Frameable Moment makeover contest, asking customers to submit photos and other pieces of art they would like to have restored. Offer free restoration and framing to the winner and a percent off to all who enter.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.