Monday, February 20, 2012

Meet Chris Yates: Framing Design Specialist

Does the thought of picking out mats and frames for your artwork fill you with dread? Are you overwhelmed by the choices and unsure of how to present your work to showcase the art? Sweat no more! At Colorado Frames, we are thrilled to have Chris Yates back on board after a five year hiatus to finish her degree and be at home with her baby. 

A St. Louis, MO native, Chris moved to Fort Collins with her husband nine years ago to attend Colorado State University and study landscape architecture. Back in St. Louis, she had worked as an apprentice to a custom woodworker and then as a custom framer.  “I got the job at the frame shop because of my experience with woodworking tools,” Chris explains. “During my time with Art Mart, I was trained in design, mat cutting, fitting, cutting and joining frames – all phases of framing.”

Chris started working for Colorado Frame Manufacturing soon after moving here. Her previous experience in frame design and woodworking enabled her to fit in right away. “Back then, we were still milling our own lumber and I enjoyed working with the machinery.”

Chris is passionate about design. “Whether it’s a place, a space, an object, I am always looking at the design and trying to learn something about its functionality or aesthetic. I am always educating myself, in fact, my motto is ‘if you don’t learn something every day, then it’s a waste of a day!’”.

She is also passionate about… power tools! “I’ve always loved them,” she smiles. “Even as a little kid, I was always trying to do things myself, take things apart, put them back together. I still love the challenge of doing what might be traditionally thought of as ‘male’: plumbing, carpentry, laying tile. Again, the design element excites me – and then making that design work…”

Outside of Colorado Frames, Chris enjoys time spent hiking, biking, backpacking and camping in Colorado and Wyoming with her family.

When Fine Print Imaging bought Colorado Frames, we knew we wanted to provide the community with excellent design and frames at affordable prices – using the same philosophy that made Fine Print one of the top fine art printers in the country. And we knew we needed a top notch frame designer, who also understood the importance of customer service. In walked Chris, looking to re-enter the work force. The rest, as they say, is history.

So how do you decide on the perfect frame? According to Chris, “The frame should be an extension of the art, and should really not be the first thing you notice. The perfect design enhances the art and draws the eye to the artist’s intended focal point. You can achieve that a number of ways – with color, scale and texture.”

Additionally, the customer’s personal taste, d├ęcor, and budget all come into play when designing a piece. “Because we work with a lot of artists, many of the pieces I design are going into art shows – so in that case, we have to add that into the equation. You don’t want your framing to look out of place in the venue.” So communication becomes an important tool when coming up with the right design.

A person who thrives on diversity, Chris says one of her favorite aspects about working for Colorado Frames is the variety of artwork she works with, as well as the many different tasks that fill her days – from working with a customer on a frame design to cutting mats and glass to sewing a Bronco’s jersey in a shadowbox – every day brings new challenges!