Monday, November 23, 2015

Introducing the Artisans at the Annex.

Since we are in the art and framing business at the Studio Shop, it is often the artists and the designers who get all of the attention. In this post I would like to take a moment to introduce and pay tribute to the artisans who work behind the scenes at the Annex with their craftsmanship and commitment to aesthetics. Most of the Annex staff come from a background in the arts, whether formally trained or self taught, they all are passionate about good design and creativity. These folks include Gary Mohan, framing manager; Steve Stowell, woodshop; Micah Paul, craftsman and designer extraordinare; Flora Demars-Owens, retail manager; Katrina Magowan, art consultant, designer and framer; Andrew Marshall, art handler, stock clerk and framer; and myself, Carl Martin, I do the paperwork, manage the website and try to insure that the Annex runs smoothly enabling everyone to perform their best. One other person that deserves mention here is Mike Lang, an independent framer who has partnered with the Studio Shop for almost three decades. We have a great team here and I am extremely grateful to be working with all of them.
If you're curious where the cutting edge of picture frame design is, well it is here with designer and framer Micah Paul. He has added technology into the picture frame world introducing micro-processors, lights and sound tracks to his already intricate designs.  Here is Micah's tire tread frame designed around a movie poster for the Quentin Tarantino film Death Proof. It is lit from behind to recapture the ambience of a movie theater lobby with back lit movie posters.
 We currently have three Micah Paul frames on display at the Annex, the Death Proof frame, the skull frame and the amazing handmade motorcycle chain frame made for a vintage Peugeot motorcycle poster.

Cowboy memorabilia frame
 by Gary Mohan
Gary Mohan, framing manager at the Annex is a consummate craftsman with almost 30 years experience in the picture frame industry. Many of you already know him from working at the design
table with custom projects designing frames for memorabilia frames, tapestries, family photos and fine artwork.

Mike Lang is an independent picture frame artisan who as worked with the Studio Shop for over 25 years. Both Lang and Paul were featured in our Studio Shop Art of the Frame Show. Lang imbues his work with a love for wood and creative whimsy, especially as displayed in the spring leg tables at the Annex. Here he is pictured in his studio next to his rustic Lone Star frame, named for the 5 pointed metal star on the frame. All the wood and hardware are reclaimed and a testament to Lang's creative vision.  

Flora Demars-Owens has been with The Studio Shop over four years as an amazing frame designer. She has well over a decade of experience as a frame designer in LA and SF and has recently expanded her creative touch to curating the home design offerings at the Annex. Some of her selections include an etched glass martini shaker. Even cocktail artisans need fine tools.

Beautifully crafted photo frames of inlaid wood, awesome colors and natural wood, too.
Steve Stowell builds every frame for the Studio Shop with precision cutting in the saw room and wood finishing for custom jobs and repairs. Steve is also a talented photographer having spent several years a as a wedding photographer and now focusing on landscape and location photos. Some of his work was displayed in the Annex windows earlier this year. 
Many of you may already know Katrina Magowan at the Studio Shop where she wears many hats as art consultant and frame designer. Her training at Cal Arts in Southern California has honed her artistic skills in painting and aesthetics. She spends a day or more at the Annex each week contributing to frame production and designing. She also collaborated with Micah on one of his designs that is being entered in a design competition in Las Vegas. More on that later.
Andrew, our art handler, delivery driver, installer, man of many skills is also a marvelous painter. Three of his paintings are in the Annex windows in October, November, realistic renderings of Lego pirates.
At this time of Thanksgiving we at the Studio Shop are very thankful for all of the creative individuals who contribute their enthusiasm and dedication to make it a wonderful place to work and be surrounded by art.