Custom Frame Services cellebrates twenty years serving the art community in Dayton, Ohio

Custom Frame Services at the corner of Wayne Ave. & Johnson St. in Dayton, Ohio

Custom Frame Services at the corner of Wayne Ave. & Johnson St. in Dayton, Ohio

Well, it was twenty years ago this month that we declared the official start of business for Custom Frame Services, Inc. figuring “what better day to embark on such a journey”; April Fool’s Day 1993. The plan put in place was to deliver quality, innovative and aesthetically true presentation for artwork and collectables in the Dayton community.
Starting with a matte cutter and a corner vise, a $425 paycheck, a 1000 business cards and precious little else materially, Custom Frame Services was born. We stated that “Presentation Is Essential to Art”. Family, friends, colleagues and the community at large supported and encouraged my wife Sherri and me as we set forth on this great adventure. The idea was to provide a service of greater value than cost to the community and to exceed expectations whenever possible. We have strived to create an art form in the treatment and display of artwork and artifacts.
It has been an honor to serve this community in this fashion. Our gratitude is overwhelming to all of you, our community, for valuing and helping us with this vision. We at Custom Frame Services, Inc. will continue to provide the best possible quality and workmanship on your behalf. Together we can create a legacy through art that will affect generations.
Thank You.
David & Sherri Crowell

April 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Uncategorized | No comment

Photography by Francis Schanberger

Congratulations to Francis Schanberger!

We are excited to showcase this local artist. This piece is on display through January at Custom Frame Services.

Hairy Cemetery Nut
“Hairy Cemetery Nut”
20″ x 16″
Gold / Palladium Toned Vandyke Brown Print

From the Artist:

In the springtime, sometimes the least noticeable things can be a humbling force of nature. Since my move to Ohio from the more sinus friendly climate of the California coast, I noticed that in late March and early April my nose would itch, my eyes water, and incessant sneezing would commence. I began to collect parts of trees that had fallen to the ground or were hanging from branches within reach of my outstretched hands. Instead of my eyes, my sinuses were suggesting a future photographic project.

Like the naturalists of the 19th century who used photography to record their botanical specimens, I use the parts of trees I collect on walks (or lately find in the produce section of a supermarket), scanning them into the computer to make a negative and printing them in the historical Van Dyke Brown process. Using Kozo Unryu Japanese paper, the intensity of the brown color and the interaction of the swirling paper fibers provide the unexpected to an image so grounded in the scientific. The final image alludes to the dreamy, somnambulant state of observation I find myself in early April under the influence of pollen and antihistamines.

You can see more of his work at

November 16, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Uncategorized | No comment

Let’s build the Dayton art community together!

We want to display your art! Bring your business card (or fill out a card we’ll provide) and drop it into our “Free Framing” fish bowl. Once every 3 months we’ll draw names out of the fish bowl to choose the local artist we will display in our shop for 3 months.

The artwork must be no larger than 20 inches X 20 inches. We will provide a selection of materials to work with and present the artwork at no cost to you. After the display period, the framed piece will be returned to the artist. If the piece is purchased while on display, the artist will receive 100% of the sale and the buyer will pick up the artwork after the display period.

We are excited about this great opportunity, we hope you are too!

Framing Opportunity

The first drawing will be November 1, 2012.

October 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Dayton Business, Framing, local business | No comment

Seaming & Nipping Glass

Seaming glass actually strengthens the structure of the pane. Seaming refers to grinding the edge of the glass, relieving the sharp angle along the edge of the pane. Nipping the glass is essentially the same as seaming except it relieves the corner of the pane.

The strength of glass relates directly with the integrity of its surface tension. Creating a radius or chamfer along the edge or at the corner of a pane of glass transfers the shock of impact past the edge and across the surface of the glass greatly reducing the likelihood of fracturing the pane.

This also makes the glass safer to handle, because it is stronger and less likely to cut the person handling it.

September 6, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Framing | No comment

Inventive Ideas for Framing

This old family photo needed a unique frame.  Custom Frame Services decided to create a barn wood frame from scratch. Dave Crowell, our founder, carved out the wood and milled out the center of the wood for the photograph to fit perfectly inside!

Barn Wood Frame

Various non-traditional materials can be used to present artwork. We do our best to choose the material that best fits your art, as well as the best shape, color, and texture.

There are also many ways to re-use and recycle materials and older frames to make them fit your personal style. If you have any ideas but need some help, bring them into Custom Frame Services! We would love to help your creative process.

just to get you thinking, here are some links that might inspire you:

Eclectic Staircase of Salon style framing

Window Framing


August 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Barn Wood, Framing | No comment

Framing with Fillets (not the meat)

A  fillet is a small piece of moulding which fits inside a larger frame used for decorative purposes. It customizes the frame even more to the detail and tone of the artwork.

Detail of frame with fillet

Here is a detail of the fillet working with the frame and artwork

Example of Fillet

Framing for the subtleties already in the artwork can be challenging but rewarding

August 30, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Framing | No comment

Framing Tips on Foxing

Foxing is a term describing the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper. while the exact cause of the fungal growth is uncertain, it is best to avoid humidity and acidic papers or mats on the piece.  While looking through your old vintage artworks, if you find discoloration of any kind bring them into Custom Frame Services and we will do our best to repair what we can and preserve the piece carefully.

For more information on foxing, mildew, and restoration of artwork please visit these links.

Foxing and Mildew Information

Photo restoration information

Foxing on Old Photo

The circles show where the foxing has started to damage the piece

August 30, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Foxing, Framing | No comment

Outside of Framing

We love our jobs as framers but we always love a new challenge. This Summer we were able to use our talents to help local theater company Free Shakespeare. They are performing Merchant of Venice and we had fun decorating three skulls for their props.

Free Shakespeare Props

The Silver, Lead, and Gold leafed skulls

Summer Tour 2012
July 19: Blommel Park, South Park, Dayton
July 20, 21, 22: ArtStreet, University of Dayton
July 26: Tower Park, Ft Thomas, Kentucky
July 27, 28, 29: Antioch College Amphitheatre, Yellow Springs
August 2: Rosewood Arts Centre, Kettering
August 3, 4, 5: Newcom Park, Oregon District, Dayton
August 9: Blommel Park, South Park, Dayton
August 10, 11, 12: Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, Dayton

All performances begin at 7:00 pm.
Bring folding chairs and blankets.
All performances free of charge and open to all.
(Free-will offering will be taken.)


July 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm | local business | No comment

Our Beginnings

Custom Frame Services began in 1993 at the home of David and Sherri Crowell on Holly Avenue in Dayton, Ohio.  David began with the concept of presenting picture framing as an art form. With the focus on boundaries and transitions, function and style, the frame works together with the art to create a complete and balanced piece.

Starting with a four hundred and fifty dollar paycheck, a mat-cutter and a miter saw; a frame shop was born. By 1995 the business had grown in the home, taking up the front room, half of the basement, two bedrooms and the upstairs hallway. It became clear more space was needed for the thriving spirit of this business.

In January of the following year the company moved to its current location, the corner of Wayne Ave. and Johnson St. in the Historic South Park District of Dayton, Ohio. This was a prime location due to its accessibility to the highway and convenience to the downtown area. Members of the neighborhood association encouraged the opening of the new local business.

For the past twenty years the company has been working with artists, art enthusiasts and collectors, with the support of the art and professional communities to promote the fine art of picture framing. We continue to strive to create balanced works, considering structure and style, presenting and preserving art and artifacts.


June 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Framing | No comment

Specialty Work in June 2012

Innovative solutions for a variety of challenges

June 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Framing | No comment

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