Goldleaf Framemakers is a leading manufacturer of hand-carved, gilded, finished-corner picture frames. We have provided fine art services for galleries, museums, private collectors, and the hospitality industry since 1988. Read More…
Speaker 1 (00:12):
This is art in the raw today we have with us David Horowitz from the gold leaf frame shop. I’m your host and Kelly. Welcome David.
Speaker 2 (00:24):
Thank you. Yes, this is, uh, gold frame makers of Santa Fe. My father started this business back in 1988. I’m the, uh, sole proprietor at this point, cuz my father unfortunately is not with us anymore behind me. You can see, we specialize in making historic production picture frames. None of them are really old. They’re just made to look that way and we try to match all of our frames with the different periods, uh, that the art requires. So, so
Speaker 1 (00:51):
I was, I was checking out the website earlier and according to the website, you have 2000 samples.
Speaker 2 (00:58):
It’s POS yeah, that sounds right. Well, and one
Speaker 1 (01:01):
Of the, the unique things that, that you guys are known for is that you hand carve and Guild frames and it, you could come in for example, and reference a part of the world and era that you wanted that frame to be inspired by this. That
Speaker 2 (01:23):
Is that accurate? Yeah, well, sure, sure. Well, what we try to do with our frames is we try to pull them from examples as directly as we can. Like this frame here is a, uh, it’s a ping frame and the MECI family had commissioned a whole series of frames like this to be hung in the OFI in Florence. And, uh, as far as we know where the only people that have ever hand carved one of these on the side of the ocean, and you can see here that this is all a 22 carry gold on this frame. And, um,
Speaker 1 (01:54):
And this is all being done in house, which is kind of a rare thing as well. Isn’t it? A lot of carved one place and
Speaker 2 (02:02):
Like a really crazy thing like manufacturing in the United States. Mm-hmm , especially in 2020 is very difficult. Um, it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of skilled artisans to make these things. So yeah, all of these techniques have been passed down since like the Renaissance, basically like artist handbook. We make our own JSO. Um, we make our own clay. Most of the, the gold is sourced from Europe or China. There are some American gold beers. So in existence, uh, that, that’s what we drink. You wanna make sure that you’re drinking only the finest quality gold so that you don’t accidentally, you know, poison yourself. So,
Speaker 1 (02:42):
Right. So, so we’re having a drink to on art and the raw and, um, David has a gold leafed cocktail I’m at home. So I do not, I didn’t plan that ahead.
Speaker 2 (02:56):
Yeah, we should have Giled at it like earlier. When did I see you last week? I actually saw you as a real person, but
Speaker 1 (03:02):
You know, I was, I was reading earlier that apparently they were gold leafing cocktails back in the 16th century.
Speaker 2 (03:10):
Well, the techniques that we do, the, the technique that we do to actually apply the gold is, is called water gelding. Mm-hmm which most of the time, if you seen something Giled or if you’ve Giled something it’s it’s oil gilding, so you apply a size and it becomes tacky. And then you just stick the gold to the surface of it. This, what we’re doing here is we’re actually floating the gold on top of, um, like a pool of water. And as the water evaporates and dries, it’s reactivated the glue and the surface, and then the gold sticks to it. This is actually goes back as far as the Egyptians, uh, it’s a much trickier process and it allows us to do some things. Some of the things that make our frames as pretty as they are, is because of the fact that they’re water gelded and not oil gelded. And it’s basically not having that sticky glue layer in there to mess up everything we can, we can make everything shine a lot easier. So,
Speaker 1 (04:01):
So, so being in the gallery business, as long as I have framing has, has become something that I’ve become knowledgeable about on a certain level and more than that kind of excited about it. So I, I love not just selling a piece of artwork, but also getting to help a client frame am the piece. And not that I wanna frame it, but bringing it over to, um, gold leaf and, and talking to David and figuring out a great frame for it, cuz that’s kind of the final aspect. So they, they don’t just do the hand carved gilded frames over there. They will also make a standard black frame for, for my as well.
Speaker 2 (04:41):
Yeah. Cause as much, as much as it’s wonderful to adorn your frames and traditional to do it and gold, uh, the most important thing with a picture frame is to make sure that the art is protected and, and that’s protected like physically, if somebody was gonna walk into it or drop it, but also be, be it protected. Like archivally. So one of the thing, things that we take pride in here too, is also using like the highest quality of materials. So even if it’s an inexpensive frame that still means UV glass, it still means asset free rag, backing boards and stuff like that. So that your art won’t deteriorate, you know, and a lot of people too, they framing’s expensive. Like no matter how you, you cut it out of people say, oh, my aunt made this piece, you know, so it’s not worth anything.
Speaker 2 (05:26):
And I tell people all the time, since your aunt made the piece, it’s worth everything, it’s, it’s irreplaceable. The sentimental valuable, the sentimental value of it is, is, you know, far more important than the value of something that could be replaced. So we wanna protect whether it’s in yeah, an inexpensive frame, you know, as low as like, or $15, a foot to $1,500 a foot for a molding or a picture frame, depending on how you look at it. It’s just, you know, sure. In a lot of ways it costs what it costs. And we do, we do the best that we can cuz everybody, everybody has a, a budget restriction, you know, like never, well maybe once or twice does somebody come in here and say, I don’t care what it costs. I just wanna, you know, I’ve had people that, that talenting frame I was showing earlier.
Speaker 2 (06:12):
I had a wonderful woman come in and buy, uh, one of those frames in that size, hang in her house empty just cuz she loved the frame so much. Um oh, but that happened one time with one with one lady. So I grew up in this business too, a little bit of history on me. I grew up in this business. I’ve been back at Goldie FrameMaker for 10 years now it’s 2020. Right. um, and I started framing when I was 15 and I worked for other shops around town and, and have done kind of every aspect of this throughout my, my growing up escape for a few years. But uh, Santa Fe in particular and working with my wonderful family was what brought me back here. You multiple people in this building have here since I’ve been eight years old. So
Speaker 1 (07:00):
Which is kind of a rare, a very rare thing in this day and age, I think just working anywhere for, for that long.
Speaker 2 (07:07):
Right. And there’s so many times that like we could have given up and probably should have given up or, and didn’t, you know, this last year, this, this pandemic and stuff that happened too, was almost Revit for me and to speak on behalf of like, you know, my crew and stuff too. We really realized what it would be like to, to have to go on without doing all this crazy stuff on a day to day basis. You know, the frames that drive us crazy. I know like a lot of people, everything was closed down and we saw that window into the other world of what it would be like if we just, you know, had an easy job or just went and made money. Like mm-hmm I was like, why don’t I, why do I work so hard and make so little? And you know, I think that a lot of us artists and Zoe say the same, you know, well it’s for the art, right? It’s cuz we love it. It’s because this is what we do. This is what, you know, makes us us. And then we still think, but why it works so hard and make such little money and really
Speaker 1 (08:02):
Well. And that’s what this show is all about. Creative people doing things that they love to do. It’s
Speaker 2 (08:09):
Right. And, and I think that a lot of PE, you know, we just have to, we just have to do it. Um, mm-hmm I love the fact that this place is like a, you know, now it’s now it’s multi generat. Now it’s family tradition now it’s, you know, all this stuff, but uh, you know, Roland who will see in the back and stuff too. I mean, his kids are five and eight and I hope that when I’m, you know, 60 they’ll be my age. Does that make ? I think that actually makes sense. They’ll be about my age when I’m in my early sixties and hopefully they’re the ones in the back, you know, telling me, uh, telling me what’s going on. So yeah, I can be the old guy be the old guy someday knowing that there’s another generation out there. So,
Speaker 1 (08:51):
And, and your father, Marty, he, I mean, he literally wrote the book on gold leaf framing. I mean, right.
Speaker 2 (08:57):
Yeah. No intro to water. Actually. I had the copy. Let’s see. Can I walk frame? Probably. I just saw this was sitting on the, uh, sitting on the table earlier today. I’m like, oh, that’s cool. Why is, why is dad’s book at, um, introduction to watering? No, for years, this was it. This was knowledge that was pat as down from like master to apprentice and it was kept top secret and there was all this Hocus PO alchemy. Like you had to tap on the frame, you know, just write and listen for the sound of the substrate to make sure that it was time to burnish the frame and all this that just, he, he had to fight tooth the nail to get the information out, these old masters in New York. And he wanted to make sure that not only did, was it accessible for other people, but that we, that he, he actually went out and taught other people how to do that for years.
Speaker 2 (09:43):
So the whole, uh, sales angle on that too, if you wanna, well, if somebody’s making gold picture frames, like why would you just teach everybody else how to do it? Um, which is basically like you teach everybody else how hard it is so that they wanna do it and that they know how to sell it themselves. Like from a framing wholesaling standpoint, you know, whereas educating people to sell and design, using real picture frames, which is all other aspect of our business. That’s, that’s like a crucial part of it is understanding how these things are made and on our website. And you would reference that video before though, too. There’s a, there’s a, that goes through the whole process and we can go walk into the back and see the process in action.
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