BY BARB BERGGOETZ
Michael Friesel at Framemakers says he’s seen it all—from the whimsical and unusual to the solemn and touching.
People come through the doors of Framemakers at 314 W. Kirkwood carrying items of all types, sizes, and shapes—and they want them all artfully arranged and framed, says the long-time store manager. Guitars, old family handkerchiefs and broaches, marathon medals, 18th century pistols, old shoes, a tennis racket and ball, military and sports uniforms, a Little 500 bicycle frame—even shackles from Alcatraz. The shop has framed them all.
Customers want keepsakes, mementos, awards, and precious family treasures to be displayed so they and others can see them—and traditional square frames with matted images don’t always accommodate them, says Friesel, who has worked at the shop since 1983.
“You can fill frames with things that mean something to you and display things that would normally be in drawers,” he says. “We want to make something you can hang on the wall and every time you look at it, you’ll love it.”
Advances in framing allow Friesel and the Framemakers’ staff to brainstorm creative options. They often use shadow boxes, allowing for a deeper space to display objects. Some items can be suspended so they appear to float, generating an unusual look, and frames can be stacked together to create even more depth.
Friesel says the use of ultraviolet filtered glass helps protect keepsakes from light and gradual fading. The shop uses mounting procedures that won’t damage photos or other objects, allowing the process to be easily reversed if a customer wants to remove an item.
Typically, Friesel says, customers come in with objects to be framed, but they don’t really know how they’d like it to be done. They pick out frames and colors they want to highlight and leave the arranging to the staff. “I can take any group of things and make them work in a dozen different ways,” says Friesel. “We’re only limited by our imaginations.”