Sterling Art Services

The Island of Misfit Frames

by Chris Barnett

When we chose to have a blog post on our site, we knew that we’d need to stay current with content — yet the timing since the last post indicates the way in which busy days have wings, and we find ourselves with best of intentions but the idea so far not well realized.  However, one oft-discussed shop issue came up at this morning’s staff meeting:  what to do with old/reject/mistake frames, and I’ll strike while the issue is forefront in my mind.

Yes, we make mistakes, who doesn’t?  When a collective group of humans working together in a frame shop build and figure dimensions on many different components many times in a day, it’s bound to happen.  Couple that with perfectly good (or at least marginally good) frames left behind from reframing jobs where the customers don’t want the old frame, and you have corners of the shop easily filling up articles such as depicted in the image above.  Over the years, many of these sorts of frames have gone to SCRAP, a terrific organization which helps us to repurpose not only these frames without a home, but other byproducts of our industry such as acrylic, matboard, and foamboard offcuts.  We also hold on to some frames in hope that they will find use in our active donation work to support various Bay Area arts, educational, and other organizations–or maybe be an answer to someone’s “art emergency” where a frame on the quick is the only answer.  Still, they accumulate…

So the short of it:  we’re curious if there are artists or other individuals out there, such as yourself, who might appreciate having us contact you periodically about available frames which you might be able to use.  For some frames, we might ask to negotiate with you to arrive at a deeply discounted price, or charge for mounting your artwork into the frame, though sometimes we can make them outright giveaways.  First and foremost, though, we’d like to think of it as a win-win situation for someone who needs a frame, and who can help us thoughtfully repurpose materials.

So if you have interest in being on a Sterling email list for such a purpose, kindly contact us by sending an email to misfits “at”  We’ll then periodically let you know about the goodies in our racks , nooks, and crannies, which might just work for your next art or home decorating project!

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