Art framing art
Story and photos by Lori C. Adler
Located inside Moondeer and Friends Gallery in Boulder Junction, Susan Miller-Crane operates a small framing shop. Main Street Framing offers custom framing services for artwork found in the gallery as well as items brought in by residents, visitors, and other artists.
Susan grew up in the Milwaukee area in a family of artists. Though an artist in her own right, Susan learned framing because she wanted a way to contribute and enhance her family’s artwork. Thirty years ago, she managed a gallery in Milwaukee and learned the framing business there. Over time, as various members of her family migrated to the Northwoods, she soon followed.
About eight years ago, Susan began working as an assistant to Jennifer Arnett Musson, who operated the frame shop in Moondeer and Friends Gallery at the time. After a couple of years, however, the opportunity arose to buy out the exiting frame shop, and Main Street Framing was born. That was five years ago, and the framing business could not be a better fit for Susan.
Referring to framing as “an extension of the artwork,” Susan feels a little talent is needed to create the perfect frame. “You have to be artistic,” she explains, and it is this artistic talent that has made Susan’s work popular among locals and visitors alike. Not only does she offer custom framing, but Susan makes her own frames, specializing in birch bark, barn wood, and twig-embellished frames. She enjoys wood working as well as design and color choices, and Susan works hard to find the perfect match to the artwork she is framing.
A lot goes into the creation of the frame. From building to finishing, providing just the right color and texture is what makes Susan’s frames so special. Yet, while there is a great deal of work involved, Susan feels it’s important to keep her prices reasonable, explaining that her handmade frames are often less expensive than the manufactured ones she also carries in her shop. Wanting to help local artists, she often makes special deals on quantities of frames because she knows it gets expensive for them, especially for those artists just starting out. It’s easy to see that Susan enjoys her work, and when asked about it, she simply responds, “I just love it.”
Susan can be found at the gallery during the summer season every Sunday and Monday. Other times are by chance or by appointment. In addition to custom framing, Susan also stocks a variety of ready-made mats, frames, and glass in standard sizes.