Meet Our Custom Framers!

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We’re shining a spotlight on some of our store’s unsung heroes: the Framing Department. Our framers do most of their hard work out of sight, in the frame shop, and we want to let everyone know how good they are! All of our skilled framers have the training and the talent to preserve and display your artwork, memorabilia, textiles, and documents to their best effect. Each frame that leaves Merion Art gets their personal attention and care. Below, you’ll find their biographies, as well as a special framed piece by each of our talented custom framers. Check out our front window this month to see their frames in person, and make sure to stop in and see our newly renovated framing counter!

Elaine Jacobs-

Elaine is an artist, designer, crafts person, and creative problem solver. She received a BA from Moore College of Art and Design with a Major in Illustration. She has been custom framing professionally since 2012 and has been with Merion Art and Repro for three years, with two of those years as Framing Manager. Her favorite part of framing is getting to see so many different works of art, heirlooms, photos, and significant historical pieces throughout her day. She loves the creative process of working with her clients, listening to their needs and helping them create a truly unique and memorable design. She also specializes in preservation: not only will your art look great, it’ll be enjoyed for many years to come!

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For her specialty piece Elaine chose to use a mirror in an unconventional way. She says “I came across the print I chose for the framing window during Women’s Month and enjoyed its simple sentiment of each day doing what you set yourself out to do. I always wanted to make a combo mirror and print frame and thought an inspirational quote would be perfect for that. I pictured a frame like this going in a women’s dorm, office, or in my own studio, and wanted the overall look to be playful, colorful, and just generally fun to look at. I chose two frames that picked up different the colors in the print that I thought complimented each other best. The small light blue inside moulding reflects the floral design around the print’s text, and the larger outside frame pops the bright green highlights in the print while adding it’s own fluidity and funky look with it’s wavy design. To make the print center focus and separate these two very different and special frames. I used a simple mirror to go in-between the mouldings and act as a matting, but the mirror is also a tool used to reflect the place it’s located and the person who’s reading the quote at the time. ”

Rebecca Saatdjian-

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Rebecca brings 40 years of combined framing and art experience to Merion, and has been with us for 6 years. She is a graduate from Drexel University with B.S. in graphic design and studied illustration at Hussian School of art. She has worked in custom framing for many years, constantly learning new techniques because it is something she truly loves to do. In her spare time, she does mixed media assemblage art, illustration, woodworking and is currently experimenting in costume design. A Francophone by birth, as her parents were born and raised in France, she has knowledge of European art coupled with the skill to design and frame high end works of art. She is more than happy to help you design, preserve and display your most treasured works.

From Rebecca: “Having been in the framing industry for many years, I have been fortunate to see many trends come and go, and come back again, which is the reason I chose the owl etching to frame. Owls were popular in the 70’s and seem to have made a comeback on Pinterest and in other sites. Even the bright colors of the 60’s and 70’s are popular again, so I really wanted to merge some traditional elements, like the wood frame into some of our newer brighter mats. A filet also always adds elegance to any design as well. We used the clearest non reflective glass available, which is museum glass, and since it is an older print, I wanted to use the highest quality acid free mats and backing material available.”

Rory Yates-

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Rory is the newest framer to enter into the Merion Art Family. He has been framing for close to three years, and has learned a lot going into this career path. His framing style makes sure to factor in the style of the piece and the opinions of the client, and he always seeks to inject a little bit of something into the design to make each piece feel unique and one of a kind.

About his specialty piece, Rory says “I chose the mat combination to mirror the forest environment. The bottom dark green for the foliage of the trees, the more moss colored green for Yoda’s skin and the grass, the gray and brown mat was to bring out the bark of the trees, and the top mat was to bring out the light in the back of the forest and to break up all the colors I used. The bamboo frame was used to make the style more Japanese (with Yoda being a samurai) and to unify the bark-looking mat and the trees in the picture. Call it cheesy, but the mats and frame I chose puts a smile on my face for how well the combination ties together. And the museum glass that is used truly helps the colors pop.”

Andrew Paul-

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Andrew is a landscape and wildlife photographer from the Main Line area in Pennsylvania and holds a BA from the Tyler School of Art. He has been involved in custom framing for about 5 years. He loves to travel and always brings his camera with him, wherever he goes. He truly believes that nature is art and in his work he has trained his eye to find it and bring the viewer an ethereal experience. He loves color, patterns, textures, and reflections, and tries to incorporate all of these into his framing.

Andrew says, “This particular composition depicts a sunny autumn morning in the forest and was taken at Hawk Mountain near Kutztown. I chose a nice smoky gray mat to accent the sun’s rays through the trees with a marigold underneath to pick up the brilliant colors on the leaves. The dark bronze-colored fillet and distressed wood frame really bring home the natural, organic atmosphere of the piece”.

Susan Rains-

Susan has over thirteen years of experience as a custom picture framer. Starting as a salesperson, she worked her way through all aspects of production and management before leaving full-time employment at Merion to pursue interior design. She works at Merion on Saturdays or Sundays and spends her weekdays as owner and interior designer at Susan Rains Design. Her favorite things about custom framing are the fantastic customers who brighten her day with beautiful art and excellent conversation. In the studio, she enjoys working with her hands to build and assemble the framing. When she’s not designing, she loves spending time in the outdoors with her husband and son. You can reach her at 267-606-0408. Visit her on the web at susanrainsdesign.com

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When asked how she designed her piece, she said “To decide how I should frame this collection of pictures and fabric samples from a recent family room project, I revisited my design concept. When designing the room, my goal was to find harmony between his preference for contemporary lines and her love of traditional styles. The frame I chose has a midcentury modern feel with a gold accent to recall the buffet, hardware, and light fixture in the room. The matting is velvet, calling to mind the richness of traditional upholstery and drapes. The rough textured fillet was chosen to become an organic detail, much like the rooms details that were intended to bring nature inside.

Michael Isakov-

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Michael, an artist and certified framer/designer, has worked for Merion Art and Repro for more than 11 years. With attention to detail gained from a diverse background of international architectural and engineering experience, he brings form and composition to customers’ framed artwork. His expertise in calligraphy and gold-leaf applications adds another dimension to this talented individual.

For his piece, Michael says “My twin grandsons, Sam and Luke, celebrated their Bar Mitzvah with the theme “SNL- Saturday Night Live”. Sam’s invitation color was green and Luke’s blue; I alternated the colors for the “Double Trouble” signature drink sign. The frame color, I chose to match the contents of the drink.”

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