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We are more than your average frameshop. Whether you have a $150,000 original, your child's latest fingerpainting, or a print you picked up on your last trip, we will take great care of you!
While conservationsometimes called archival or preservationpicture framing is the main staple in our shop, we also offer more budget-minded services that are hard to beat. Everything from simply mounting a poster on foamboard to complex services are available.
Second generation framer, Andrew Lenz, Jr., responsible for overseeing the operations of our custom picture framing department, cut his first mat in 1979 at the age of 12 under the tutelage of his uncle Jerry Lenz. A perfectionist by nature, Andrew sets the standard for quality for all the framers in our shop. There's a reason that, as the oldest frameshop in the Monterey Bay Area, we're still framing. There isn't a whole lot that we haven't seen.
The American Institute for Conservation revised one of their brochures "Caring for Works of Art on Paper" in 2000 to include three modifications recommended by Andrew. See Andrew's definitions of conservation terms.Andrew has written articles for picture framing trade magazines, educating other framers.
One gentleman came in with a $25,000 signed Ansel Adams photograph and left saying he was going around to frameshops in the area asking for advice and getting a "feel" for their work. A few days later he was back. We were quite pleased to get the order!
We once framed an original newspaper from 1800 with George Washington's obituary and then someone else's handbill announcing the start of the Civil War. We framed a signed Joe Montana game jersey. A $23,000 original Thomas Kinkade sketch. The first known Marilyn Monroe autograph. Work for museums including the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. Perhaps more precious, we've framed innumerable sets of a children's handprints. We regularly work with fine art conservators for the times when an art piece requires restoration or special processes.
One of our customers, having prior experience with other framing services, had the following to say, "I don't know what you do, but your mats are perfect." It's nice to be appreciated! Read what some of our customers have to say about us.
For years we had one customer who drove over an hourpassing many frameshopsto have us do her framing. Not only that, she would say, "I love your work, just pick out what you think is the best." We regularly see customers from Aptos, Soquel, Scotts Valley, Capitola, Watsonville, and elsewhere in Santa Cruz County.
Many shops in the area have changed ownership, so while a business itself may have been around for a 10-30 years, you may not really know how long the owner has been framing. Lenz Arts continues to be operated by the same family since the beginning in 1968there's no question of dedication or experience.
Framing is a craft. Even if you order the exact same matboard and exact same style frame from another shop, what you get will not be the same level of quality you'll come to expect from Lenz Arts. Don't know what makes a good frame job? Learn how to tell quality framing.
Andrew at one of our design counters.
We are unique in that we stock a huge inventory of picture frame mouldings: over 30,000 feet in our warehouse. This gives us precise control over the quality of the frames we make. Unlike most other shops, which order frames already cut to size, we can quickly recut the side of a frame if it doesn't meet our high standards.
At the design counter, our frame moulding samples are 33% longer than the industry standard, making it a lot easier for you to visualize the finished product.
We also have thousands of matboards on hand for those "while-you-wait" orders or that you otherwise need in a hurry. And you don't have to compromise selection!
You set the pace. We don't demand our designers to "speed up" the design process. If it takes two hours for you and our designer to select the perfect match for your picture, it takes two hours.
And when doing the final assembly for your order, if we have to take it apart ten times to make sure it's perfect, it comes apart ten times.
Creativity & Services
If you want to frame a metallic-painted dried-out lizard, or that family heirloom pillow cover, we can do it! Want to incorporate the bridesmaid's fabric into your wedding invitation framing? No problem. Because, as the oldest frameshop in the Santa Cruz Area, we have done it. (And, yes, we're serious about the lizard!)
When we went hunting for a computerized mat cutter for our shop, we weren't impressed by fancy cuts and wild corners. We spent the extra money to make sure it would cut simple mats, just rectangle and ovals, to our quality standardsperfect. So while our cutter does very creative cuts on demand, you are assured of the highest quality for even for an "average-Joe" mat. Plus we keep it calibrated to make sure it maintains our exacting quality standards.
Our 50"x100" mounting press awaits small or oversized projects: a six-foot map of California, oversized courtroom presentations, or just simply posters. It's not unusual for us to do orders for other frameshops without our capabilities.
Feel free to peruse a few examples of our work.
We offer good value every day. With us, you needn't worry about finding a coupon to get a "sale price" on our custom framing serviceswe don't offer coupons. We don't mark up the price only to discount it down to a reasonable level, as do some shops. One woman brought her order to us because our price was only a little higher than another shop's "Half Price Sale"!
Our designers are not on commission so their goal will provide what's best for you, not to sell you something that may not fit your picture.
If you don't have the budget for a completely custom order, we can work with you to get the very best result your budget allows. We stock over a thousand wood ready-made frames in standard and even some nonstandard sizes. To construct your own size picture frame consider our Nielsen & Bainbridge's metal sectional Framekitsat least 40% off of manufacturer's list price!from 8" to 40" in one inch increments in nine metallic styles: Matte Black, Anodic (Shiny) Black, (Painted) Black, Silver, and Gold.
We had a couple come in with a picture we had framed in the mid-1970s. The artwork had slipped in the mat. We fixed it. Free. That's us in a nutshell.