Framed Art Phenomena: Furthur Frames, Denver CO
This weeks edition of Framed Art Phenomena highlights the frame works done by the talented crew over at Furthur Frames in Denver, CO. Corey, Kat, and Amber have taken the basic task of picture framing and elevated it into an art form. Their frame ups function as a joint collaboration with the artist’s piece; highlighting and enhancing the image with amazing synergistic results. We thank Corey for spending some time in sitting down with us in sharing their work and giving us a bit of a ‘behind the scenes’ look at what goes on in the craftwork done over at Furthur Frames. So without furthur ado (pun intended) :):
411posters: Tell us about the origins of Furthur Frames and how long have you been open?
Corey at Furthur Frames: I’ve worked as a picture framer in Denver for 13 years, the first 10 primarily working with fine art. I started as a chopper, cutting and joining the actual frames. In my free time I started putting designs together for my own prints which caught the eye of my boss, who decided I should work the front counter with the clients. I really got into doing unique designs that stepped outside of the ordinary approach. Over the next several years, I’d made my way around the shop and immersed myself in every facet of the trade that I could think of. My boss and his wife were very giving and encouraged me a lot. Eventually I felt I needed something more and put together Furthur Frames. After ten years of working with almost exclusively fine art, it’s been fun to apply everything I do to my favorite art form, rock art.
411posters: How many people work in your shop, and what is each person’s specialty?
Corey: We have three people on staff at the shop. Myself, my wife Kat, and our friend Amber. When we started out I was doing everything but the bookkeeping myself. That lasted for about a year and a half before we needed some help keeping the production moving as I was spending more of my time at the design table every day, so we hired Amber. Amber’s parents owned the frame shop I started in so she’s got framing in her blood. It’s also nice that she understands exactly what I’m after when she’s working on one of my designs. She also knows every facet of the job and can jump in anywhere as needed. Aside from being a mom to a very active 15-month old boy, my wife Kat makes sure everything is square with the books and keeps me focused on doing what I do. Without her we wouldn’t have gotten very far as a business.
411posters.com: What do you feel your main goal is when you receive a frame commission from a customer?
Corey: The customer’s satisfaction. We want to give the client the very best product we can for the money they’re wanting to spend.
411posters: What are some of the key factors/criteria you look for when choosing an appropriate design for any given piece?
Corey: Budget is usually the first factor. There’s no question that some of the materials at our disposal can get expensive. I try to keep the design from wandering too far from the desired budgetary expectations. It doesn’t do well to show a client something they love but is beyond reach financially.
On the aesthetic side, I like to think we’re creating an echo of the art. We’re highlighting any number of facets in the art to balance it visually for the client. The style of the print, the imagery, the band it’s for, the artist that created it, color palette, textures, the client’s personal decor, etc. I feel we’ve done our job well if the harmonies of the framing and art are so well balanced that your eye passes right to the subject matter and everything becomes one. There’s also something to be said for giving one’s framing the unique feel that is individual to each client and divining what’s best for them. People frame things for lots of different reasons.
411posters: Do you consider your work to be an art form?
Corey: Absolutely. I think most anything in life can be approached as an art form.
411posters: What’s the best part of your job, and your least favorite?
Corey: We have the pleasure of handling and framing some of the rarest, coolest posters and prints that are out there. As a poster collector myself, it’s a thrill to see such a huge array of prints on a daily basis, from the oldest vintage rarities to prints so fresh you can still smell the ink. You never know what you’re going to see. I don’t really tire of looking at art in general, but posters definitely get me going. I also dig hearing the personal connections people have to their prints. Sometimes the simplest thing has the most profound personal meaning for someone. It’s exciting to channel that kind of energy into a project. I don’t really have anything I dislike about what we do. I enjoy pretty much every part of the process. It’s a great sense of personal satisfaction to see a design come together in a finished product.
411posters: What do you feel are some of your shop’s best works? What pieces did you find challenging?
Corey: Malleus’ Sleep print we did recently is definitely a highlight. Kozik’s Green Lady, Emek’s Phish print and his x-ray Queens Of The Stone Age, Tyler Stout’s Thing poster, Rick Griffin’s flying eyeball, Todd Slater’s Neil Young, Jeff Wood’s Mindbender, Josh Keyes’ Thunder. All of these had some little extra touch for sure. The ticket stub project we did for a Deadhead client of ours was another one of our more complicated pieces, involving over 200 ticket stubs arranged in a multilevel pedestal shadowbox. We do a lot of work for artist Kurt Redeker who’s designs often use LEDs and can get pretty elaborate. Amber would probably note the custom cut quadruple mat on Richard Biffle’s Furthur print as a very challenging project. I thought she was going to kill me for that design, but she did an amazing job on it.
411posters: What are some of your favorite artists that you enjoy framing?
Corey: I personally identify most with the psychedelic stuff. Rick Griffin, VIctor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, Jeff Wood, Chuck Sperry, Emek, Malleus, Michael Everett, Ken Taylor, Dave Hunter to name a few, but I could be here all day naming my favorite artists. There are a ton of incredibly gifted artists out there and you never know who’s got the next gem coming out.
411posters: Any last thoughts?
Corey: Thanks to everyone who’s been digging on our work over the last couple of years. It’s a real pleasure to do something we love and see so many people get so much from it. Your encouragement has helped us grow on many levels.
Furthur Frames (L-R): Amber, Corey, Gibson, and Kat.
Behind the Scenes look at Furthur Frames:
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Furthur Frames Website
Furthur Frames Facebook