BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Laura’s Framing Place & Gallery at the Colonial Village Shopping Center off of Heatherdowns Boulevard allows customers the chance to protect and preserve their treasured artwork and family photos.
Upon walking into the shop, customers are greeted by owner Laura Osborne and her dog, Tory. Lining almost the entirety of one wall are hundreds of frame options to fit nearly every budget and style. Along the design table are different colors and types of matting.
Though the amount of choices can be, at times, overwhelming, Laura is a professional with nearly 40 years of experience in framing and can guide each customer to the right fit for their piece.
“A lot of times, people are afraid; they’ve never done this before,” Laura said. “I do like to educate people on why they are spending this much – I like to know where my money is going, too. Even helping to pick out a double mat – I’ll tell them if it doesn’t add anything to the piece. When I pick stuff out, I pick what I would put on it to show them.”
When building the framing package, several things must be considered. The exact size of a piece and how it is presented will affect the price. Each element used – from the type of frame to the mat to the glass – determines the price of a project.
Frames can come in various metal and wood materials and color options. Matting is determined based on the kind of art being displayed.
Acid-free matting doesn’t “burn” the paper and the cut edges will remain white, versus regular matting, which tends to yellow over time along the cut edges.
“When people bring in limited edition prints, where it’s signed and numbered, those you want to put on acid-free matting,” Laura said. “Old-time family photographs, I recommend conservation clear glass and acid-free matting because you don’t want to have a photograph like that directly against the glass.”
Due to her experience, Laura is able to guide customers through the process on what is necessary for each piece. She knows what photos require conservation glass, what pieces – like canvas – should have no glass, and the best use of plexiglass.
Laura assembles each piece, by hand, in the shop. She cuts the glass and matting and pieces the frame together for a perfect custom fit.
“Just assembling the pictures is my favorite part,” Laura said. “It’s kind of hard to pick from just a corner, but when it comes together and I know they’re going to like it, I think I’m doing a good job.”
Since she is able to do everything in the shop, Laura is also able to sell customers single pieces of the framing package. Occa-sionally, people might need a new piece of glass or updated matting, and Laura is able to do that in her shop. Everything is customized, specific to each piece that comes through the door.
“The best thing to do is bring your piece in and I can help you pick out what you want,” Laura said. “The prices vary on what you pick, and after we get the design, I show you a couple different ways to do it.”
Prior to the current 4400 Heatherdowns Blvd. location in the shopping plaza, Laura’s Framing had been in business for 23 years at a previous location, which had at one time been a dress shop. The alcoves in the old shop made for a great space to feature local artists.
Laura and her father, Deane Osborne, who had owned the old shop with her, chose to use those extra spaces as a gallery, making it Laura’s Framing Place & Gallery.
“When I first opened, I had several friends that I felt were good artists, and I opened a frame shop and gallery for the local unknowns,” Laura said.
The move to the new location in 2014 has required her to downsize slightly in the gallery part of the store, but Laura has lots of art pieces still on consignment in the shop.
The works range from photographs of the downtown area to watercolors to even abstract pieces.
“I have always had pieces on consignment,” Laura said. “I try to change stuff out and move it around.”
Sometimes, customers are trying to fill a certain space in their home and have an idea in mind, but no actual piece to feature. If their preferences differ from what is featured in the gallery, Laura tells them what websites to visit and order a print themselves. When their print is delivered, Laura is then able to help them frame the piece.
Interested customers can visit Laura’s shop at 4400 Heatherdowns Blvd. on Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. She can also be found at the Laura’s Framing Place page on Facebook or by phone at (419) 893-7263.