Framing is an art at the Framing Corner

The Framing Corner shop manager Dan-O Snarr strikes a pose Thursday afternoon. Snarr already had worked at the shop for 10 years when his sister bought the business in 2011.

It’s not hard to find a picture frame to hang a photo on the wall — cheap, generic frames made of plastic, pressboard and cardboard are available at nearly every big-box department store.

But that type of product isn’t good enough for Dawn Winder and Dan-O Snarr, the respective owner and manager of The Framing Corner in Idaho Falls. For them, crafting the perfect frame is as much an art and labor of love as the pieces of art or sentimental material memorialized inside a frame.

“When a customer brings their artwork into me, I look at it and see how I can add to it to make it the best I possibly can,” Snarr said. “If I can do something artistic with the frame — that’s the fun part of the job. I constantly tell people my job is to play with art all day.”

Snarr has worked at the business for 10 years, but he didn’t become the manager until Winder, his sister, bought it in 2011. She thought the shop was a good fit for her family.

When the business started, Snarr said it focused on framing posters or pictures for individual customers. Today, a good segment of its clientele are other businesses, as well as collectors and local artists interested in matching a frame to their artwork.

Suzanna Gordon, of Rigby, collects eclectic prints and Victorian-era art, some of which are 130 years old.

“The reason I go to (The Framing Corner) is because they know how to preserve and protect artworks, putting them behind glass so they won’t disintegrate,” Gordon said. “They do really amazing work and it’s affordable.”

The Framing Corner offers a large variety of frames, a majority of which are cut and custom built on-site. Additionally, the shop offers matte cutting for artists and digital printing services, as well as assistance for customers who want to decorate their homes with frame mouldings.

“It isn’t very often that someone comes in and asks us for something we can’t do,” Winder said. “We can almost always figure out a way to get a project done for a customer.”

Frames come in a number of materials and styles. They range in size to fit a wallet photo or a poster larger than a door frame. Prices run from $2 per linear-inch to $80 per linear-inch, depending on the materials and size requested. Some projects can be completed the same day, but most are finished within 10 business days.

The most difficult and rewarding piece the shop framed, Snarr said, was an original Rembrandt sketch. It needed to be handled very carefully to preserve its value.

“The owner never told us what it was worth … but we had to be very careful, it was an intense project,” Snarr said.