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"Art Factors" opens in Southeast

PHOTO BY RITA A. LEONARD - Bob Harris, owner of Art Factors Custom Frame Shop, which has just moved from S.W. Macadam Avenue to S.E. 13th in Sellwood, displays a sample of his archival and conservation framing. When Bob Harris, owner of “Art Factors Custom Frame Shop”, moved to Sellwood from across the river in March, he remarked, “It almost feels like coming home. I grew up in the Westmoreland area – my mom had antique stores on Milwaukie Avenue. "I learned how to frame in the old style, as an apprentice at Sellwood’s Black Knight Gallery when I was 18. I even remember Tom and Marcia Pry, previous owners of THE BEE.”

Harris was one of the first certified picture framers in Oregon, and he went on to join the Professional Picture Framers Guild. “I was hired at ‘Art Factors’ on S.W. Macadam Avenue in 1978, worked for a while at Gunnary’s, then became owner of Art Factors in 1997. I later bought out and combined both businesses.

“I’m now in my 37th year of picture framing, and I feel like it’s my calling. I have a lot of return customers, and have even framed for three generations of the same family.”

Harris loves his new location – 8624 S.E. 13th Avenue, the former location of The Divorce Shoppe.

“I love the neighborhood feeling here,” he says. “I think this old-style building I’m in now is the perfect fit for my sort of business. I moved from a 5,000-square-foot space to 1,250 square feet here, where there’s more room for my tools and picture molding samples.

“We focus on custom framing and fine arts, here – things like shadow boxes, and frames for needlepoint and cross-stitch work. Our main focus is on archival and conservation framing.”

The cheerful proprietor looks right at home among the many choices of decorative picture molding. Harris’s main tools are a double mitre saw, a table saw, and foot-pedal chopper.

He has a huge Christmas cactus growing in the front window, and a kid craft area nearby to entertain children while he talks with their parents. “I know kids love to have something to play with,” he says. “I'm expecting my third grandchild to be born in October.”

And as for adding personal touches to his new Sellwood space, “I plan to put some potted vine maples out in front of the store soon,” he continues. “I brought the front sign from my old business across the river. This building has the same type of vintage look to it.”

Art Factors is now open Tuesday through Friday, 9:30-5 pm, and 10-3 on Saturday. Closed Sunday. You can contact Harris at 503/245-3625, or via e-mail at: artfactors@comcast.net.