Q&A with Wyman Frame

Wyman Frame, a division of nonprofit Dale Rogers Training Center, manufactures custom picture frames while providing jobs and training opportunities for people with disabilities. Carla Folks, Certified Picture Framer (CPF), Professional Picture Framers Association, has framed for Wyman Frame since 2013.

Question: How do people with disabilities assist with the frame-making process?

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Julie and Dennis work together on a framing project.

Carla: We have trained many people in cutting moulding and glass. They also assemble frames, install hanging hardware and wrap them for delivery. Our individuals like seeing the stacks of things being done. They get to tell their friends, ‘I get to work on this. This is cool.’

Q: How do you pass along some of your framing expertise to those served at Wyman Frame?

A: It’s very adaptable. Sometimes what works for me, doesn’t work for them. It’s a matter of finding what works for each person, because we’re so unique and learn differently.

Q: What’s the difference between a ready-made frame and custom framing?

A: For ready-made, you are more or less on your own, and the quality of materials can drastically affect the condition of your artwork over time. Custom framing costs a little more, but using archival components can help ensure your items last as long as possible. Our expertise can help walk you through the process of choosing a mat and frame that will perfectly compliment the artwork and look terrific wherever you display it.

Q: What are some of the most unusual pieces you have ever framed?

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Wedding dress framed at Wyman Frame.

A: My favorite was framing a wedding dress. I’ve also framed items brought in by an elderly lady that her mother saved in the sinking of the Titanic. She had a menu, some jewelry and a book. It was very interesting hearing the story and seeing the items.

Learn more about Wyman Frame at WymanFrame.org, or visit them at 2502 N. Utah Ave., Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

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Framing needlework

The possibilities in framing are endless. You never really know what treasured item a customer will bring in to have transformed into a masterpiece—from a wedding dress to a collection of items to board games and beyond.

One piece of artwork that came in recently caught our attention: a portrait of a young woman. At first glance it looked like a painting, but upon taking another look, we discovered it was completely done in needlework. Those of you who have worked in this medium know it can take many hours to complete a piece. This particular design took our customer 14 months to finish. She used a tent stitch on needlepoint canvas with 81 colors of thread; overall, she made 196,000 stitches on this beautiful piece.

The process

The customer brought in the needlework rolled up and we found it was a little misshapen. We laid it out and picked mat and frame colors. Before we could start framing, we needed to straighten the canvas.

The first step was cutting a thick board for stretching and lacing the needlework. We used pushpins to pin the canvas in place.

Then we used a process called lacing to sew the edges on the back. This keeps the work stretched and in place without doing any damage to it.

Backside of needlework art showing lacing that is helping stretch out the canvas.

Heirloom artwork

Once we re-shaped the canvas, we removed the pins and resumed the typical framing process. The crew at Wyman Frame cut the mat and glass, assembled it and added backing.

The finished product was a beautiful frame that complimented the beloved work that will be an heirloom for our customer and her family. We have high respect for the amount of work that is put into each piece of needlework and will take great care in helping to make it a beautiful piece of art to be admired for many years.

Completed framed needlework.

Bring your family heirlooms, artwork and photographs to Wyman Frame for quality framing that meets your budget, and help provide jobs for people with disabilities at the same time.

Carla Folks works at Wyman Frame, a division of Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC). Carla has been a Certified Picture Framer since 1989 and has framed for DRTC for four years.

DRTC is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

Framing collections

Do you have a collection of pictures, buttons, pins, records, holiday cards, ornaments and/or odds and ends that belonged to someone in your family? Framing is a great way to display something with special meaning. If you’re not sure where to begin, bring them to us and we will offer some design ideas.

One customer came to Wyman Frame with a box full of rusty metal tools and other items that had been dug up around the old shade tree where his relative worked on cars and farm machinery.

We looked at samples and talked about what he had in mind, and came up with a final design that won First Place and Best in Show in the Creative Arts – Collections division at the 2016 Oklahoma State Fair.

Carla Folks works at Wyman Frame, a division of Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC). Carla has been a Certified Picture Framer since 1983 and has framed for DRTC for three years.

DRTC is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org