Creative mix has framer hooked
DAILY GRIND Figuring out how best to present and preserve everything from art to sports memorabilia to war medals is the perfect combination of creativity and practicality for Jo Herbert. Reporter Joe Dawson stopped by her Newmarket workshop to find out h
Jo Herbert has framed some funny stuff.
While a fair amount of her work is taken up by the usual degrees and diplomas, the Frame by Frame picture framer has also put a border around her fair share of the weird and wonderful.
Whether it’s a guitar played and signed by 80s rock god Jon Bon Jovi, a scrap of paper signed by legendary US baseballer Babe Ruth (valued between $8000 and $10,000) or a limited edition print worth thousands, there are plenty of challenges in her job.
But ‘‘where there’s a will there’s a way’’ and the Kingsland resident is able to utilise her artistic eye and hands-on skills to solve the trickiest problems.
While picture framing was never her chosen desti- nation, Miss Herbert says her artistic background was always going to push her in a creative direction.
‘‘I could never do an office job,’’ she says. ‘‘I couldn’t think of anything worse.’’
She probably didn’t need to worry about becoming a desk jockey.
After starting a fine arts degree and eventually finishing with a bachelor of design majoring in photography, a career in pen-pushing was always unlikely.
‘‘I kind of just fell into it,’’ she says of becoming a framer.
‘‘I had a job doing art finishing and the business had a framing part. The boss asked if I wanted to learn and taught me on the job.
‘‘It’s not something I had thought of but that’s where it started and I’m stoked with it because it works so well with my photography.’’
It’s also an opportunity to share her skills with those who need them.
‘‘I think having a design background helps, having that practical and creative side. A lot of people don’t have the vision so they rely on me to pull things out which might look good.
‘‘You have to be able to picture it and have a vision for a specific artwork, what style is going to suit different artworks and what colour combinations will work. An eye for that kind of thing is definitely important.’’
Helping people preserve or present their special belongings is a privilege.
‘‘You always get to hear the story behind the piece and that’s what makes it really interesting.’’
That might mean learning the story of bravery that goes with an old war medal, or reliving someone’s glory days.
‘‘I was thinking about this lady who used to be a Rolling Stones groupie and she came in with all these posters for gigs. She was telling me how she and her sister used to be groupies and go and party with the band after their concerts, and her sister had kissed Mick Jagger somewhere along the way.
‘‘It’s the people that make it really interesting for sure.
‘‘Obviously the piece is special to the person, otherwise they wouldn’t be in here getting it framed, and you are making it special and making it last so it obviously has that kind of value to it.’’
Framed up: Jo Herbert enjoys learning the stories behind the pieces she frames.