Timeless Reflections Reopens in Calais at a New Location

Photo: Larry and Marlys Guillette working a frame for a customer. (Photo by Jarod Farn-Guillette).

By Jarod Farn-Guillette

 In an era when many services and professions embrace technology and computerization, custom picture framing and matting comes off as an odd skill to practice. That being said, not everything can be done with a line of computer code and electrons through silicone. Larry and Marlys Guillette, the owners of Timeless Reflections, a custom picture frame, matting and art conservation and sales studio, have been at it since 1992. According the Larry, the impetuous to get into the business arose from a need “to frame my wife's artwork, that's all.” Marlys, an active visual artist, working in oil-paints and raku pottery, was not satisfied with the level of quality of other framers in the area and required conservation level professionalism when it came to providing a framed view of her works. With that in mind, starting in the early 1990's they purchased a matt cutter and ordered moulding supplies and worked out of the back of their house. As in any small town, word spread fast and soon other artists were knocking on the door, with similar needs and complaints –  desperate for quality framing and matting services.  After a couple years the demand outstripped their capacity to operate out of their house and in 1996 they opened as a storefront downtown, at 105 Main Street, now home to the candy shop. It was there that Timeless Reflections grew and expanded. With much success and demand they moved to Water Street in Eastport, purchasing the Berman Mall building. During this time though, while Marlys was too busy helping other artists and collectors preserve their finest works and also average persons holding on to precious family memories, her own art career had stalled. After several successful years in Eastport and a hectic schedule running the shop and owning a building, she and Larry decided it was time for a break and closed shop.

 

Perhaps many have driven by the former American Legion building, curious about the activity going on inside the building. Well, 105 Calais Ave, an interesting address considering Timeless Reflections' first Calais location, is home again to a speciality service, more commonly found in larger cities. When asked about what their typical clients look like, Larry responded, “We have framed for some big names and museums, in say New York and San Francisco, even Eastport, etc, but I'd say a bulk of our work is just local people with family photos or pieces they want to keep.” Any one who remembers how the legion's interior used to be would be pleasantly surprised to see what the renovations have yielded. Set in a bright interior with an open layout, the shop feels less like a workshop and more like a home. With art hanging on the walls, an eclectic mix of unique antique furnitures, one being a former Federal Judge’s conference table, with the in-house designed and engineered tables and tools, the customer can appreciate their work is in good hands with a tasteful and sharp eye. One unique feature is the moulding storage system designed and built by Larry himself. Using rain-gutters, the kind found on the edge of a roof, a long shelving system allows for easy access and close storage, and is situated right under the cutting bench.  To any woodworking tool junkie or enthusiast, the cutting system is also impressive. Designed and built in Denmark by Morso, a foot-pedal powered chop with razor sharp blades accurately slices through the frame moulding with surgical precision and cleanliness. Currently the shop is open by appointment only, or “when our flag is out.” A formal opening is planned for the end of March or early April, and after that regular hours will be held. Whether you're an artist, a museum director, or someone with an old photo of grandma in her wedding dress looking to hang it above the mantle piece, there is a frame for you. Not just limited to framing and matting, Larry and Marlys are also developing techniques for displaying and preserving double sided objects, as well they can produce museum display cubes and frames for 3-D objects. When driving by, keep your eye out for their open sign or call them at 454-3432 to schedule an appointment. With the closure of Gallery 207 on Main Street, the shop provides a much needed cultural and economic boost to Calais: one-third art gallery, two-thirds frame shop. Stop by, look at a painting, get something framed, enrich your life.