Friday, December 9, 2011

Local profile - Elwyn and Neville Crawford

Aah...a creative couple who work together.  Gotta love that!  I mentioned that a beautifully framed photo or print always makes a fabulous gift so it's great to know that there is an established framing, manufacturing and restoring business run by professionals with an art background in the local area. By the way 'recherche' means 'elegant' or 'exquisite' - a fitting name for the couple and the business.
Name: Elwyn and Neville Crawford
Occupation: Designer picture framers, manufacturers and restorers.
In 2012, Elwyn will also be an art tutor at the Alphington Community Centre, introducing a course of Art Treats for those who've always wanted to seek out their creative side but maybe have not done so yet.

Lives/works: We live in Eltham where the house continues to be a work in progress, growing somewhat from the tiny weatherboard we purchased in 1969!

We established our business in Templestowe Village Shopping Centre in 1970.  The original business was an art and craft shop in which we stocked mostly with the work of art student friends. This was the time of purple velvet flares and embroidered cheesecloth tops.

It wasn't long however until we put in art and craft supplies and made our first picture frame.  For short periods of time we also enjoyed setting up shop in both Rosanna and Watsonia, but our most major move took place in 2008 to where we are now at 191b Heidelberg Road, Northcote.  This is just opposite the beautiful Yarra Bend Park near NMIT Fairfield.

As we are not in a shopping centre, it feels a bit different however we can, for the first time and to our very great delight, have a showroom as well as all of our machinery together on the one site.
Describe yourself/what you do: 
It's actually rather hard to describe all that we do because it is so varied.  First and foremost both of us are art trained and our work mostly comprises designing and making frames for all varieties of artwork, old documents or old photographs.

We copy and restore old photographs, we replicate or restore old picture frames and act as an advisory service for most things art related including large textiles and canvases. We are also currently producing new products for contemporary artworks and introducing our own styling of some really modern acrylic frames.

We used to have a bit of a saying 'no job too difficult' - well it pretty much still applies!

Best thing(s) about living in Melbourne's north-east:
The green spaces, the trees, the birds, and the neighbourhoods. In our street we started a local residents' association which has been functioning for many decades now.  Activities include street beautification, fire groups, an annual progressive dinner (always a highlight of each year) and at Christmas there is an informal gathering for carol singing timed early enough for the littlies in the street to participate.

Both Eltham Primary School and Eltham High school gave our boys some friends for life even though many of these characters are now scattered world-wide.

For more information:
Twitter:  @rechercheframer
Phone: 9486 1236 (after 10 a.m.) Tuesday - Saturday

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