Wednesday, April 3

the art of framing: with an insider's look at J.Pocker in NYC

There is no doubt 
 framing is an art form.  
Too often my clients will invest in a valuable piece of art, yet neglect the importance of a good, quality frame.  When this happens the piece can seem stilted, or off.  While there are a plethora of bargain framers on many corners in NYC, it is refreshing to witness some of the "Old World" standards 
and considerations of a quality framer.  
In the design community, J.Pocker is well known as one of the 
most premiere custom design shops in town. 
I had the pleasure today to meet owner Robyn Pocker over a press talk in the shop, which is located in the bustling, centrally located neighborhood on 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City.  They also have locations in Greenwich, Westport, Bronxville and in the D&D building in NYC.  Robyn's enthusiasm for the art of framing was infectious as she pointed out much to consider when framing.  It was refreshing to see Robyn's  excitement about her family-owned company, which was started by her grandfather in 1926.  Since the "Roaring Twenties" the virtual "Who's Who" in NYC have brought their precious pieces here to be framed.   While visiting I perused the signed ledger going back generations, and showing glimpses of families like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers who once signed the book.   
Although quality is at the forefront of their work and they certainly have history on their side, J. Pocker has taken a contemporary approach to framing in order to keep up with the times.  They offer clients both high-end custom framing with an endless supply of options, as well as budget conscious framing while retaining these same principles and paying close attention to the finer points of archiving and proportions of the frame.   
Robyn generously offered to frame some art for me.  I selected two precious vintage prints I had picked up two years ago at the East Hampton Mulford Farm Antique Show from vendor, Lisa Whitney.  I became enamored with the hunt scene and family crest in these prints because they were hand painted in unusual colors for such regal works.  The pale coral and varying blues work perfectly in my vivid colored master bedroom painted with a shade of Pratt & Lambert's Tiffany blue.  However, because I am leading the busy life of a blogger and designer, the frames sat in my linen drawer untouched until now.  

Upon inspecting the pair of prints, Robyn immediately offered helpful aesthetic and practical tips on the appropriate framing.  She disappeared in the back of the office, and in a few short moments returned to show me the perfect matte, frame and glass chosen for my prints.  Because of their formal nature and my traditional master bedroom in New York City, she chose a regal giltwood ribbed frame that, although sophisticated, allows the art work to shine.  The frame is not too heavy, but rich, and feels as if it is from the same era as the prints.  It is the perfect frame because it  highlights the finer qualities of these scenes without overwhelming the prints. 
this photograph courtesy of Janet Tham of J.Pocker

my prints (above) before they were framed, and with matte options.  Since my walls are a vivid color, Robyn pointed out the idea to pull the paler, muted blue out of the prints to compliment and not compete with my paint color.
Here is Robyn advising me on which frame and matte to choose. 
You can find this photo and more of mine on instagram @tamarastephenson

Thank You J. Pocker 
for beautifully framing my antique prints,
and illustrating the value of good, quality and artistic framing.
this frame is gorgeous, don't you think?

I rushed home after picking them up 
and found the perfect spot on the wall to hang them
 J. Pocker sells other unique items, and these monogrammed 
antique prints were featured in last month's House Beautiful magazine

I love these cool, modern plexi-glass frames 
which come in many options 
from opaque, to textured and with either
rounded edges or straight

 this plexi-glass rounded frame has my attention,
and works well with the graphic art

this antique, traditional print is made to feel fresh and modern 
framed in a charcoal plexi-glass frame
the work of Mark Catesby
 J. Pocker also has quite a large collection of ready-framed pieces for sale, as well as rows of archival prints ready to be framed.  For the antique print enthusiast, it is interesting to note the shop has one of the largest collections of English born Naturalist and artist, Mark Catesby's works available.  Catesby made his mark on the art scene 100 years before John Audubon appeared.  (check out the story I wrote in Why In Design column about John Audubon last week).  I like Catesby's work and it somehow takes on a more contemporary feel than Audubon infused with crisp colors and distinct imagery.  



this photograph courtesy J. Pocker

they create beautiful custom mirrors too!
Thank You again J. Pocker for this generous gift
But, before you leave, there is one last bonus: 
a blog Give-A-Way!
my readers will have the opportunity to
win one of Pocker's beauties.  Stop back the first week of May for information
surrounding an exciting event I am helping to organize with the IFDA NY organization.  I am a new board member, and as you may know I help write the chapter's newsletter, brought the NY Chapter to Twitter and now I write the weekly blog as well.  Read about this exciting charity event taking place called Take A Seat where 25 designers here in NYC (me included) are refurbishing a chair, then after our magical touch, designer Jamie Drake will auction them off at the Lillian August showroom on May 16, with proceeds going to Hurricane Sandy victims. 
 Pocker has offered to give away this beautiful pair of framed Emerald chair prints (similar to the frame they used for my prints) to one of Nest by Tamara's readers.  We will announce details on how to enter to win the contest soon.  In the meantime, check out the IFDA post about the event.

Happy Nesting XO