About this class

This is an online course suitable for beginner level framers, but may benefit everyone in the framing business, regardless of the level of experience. The course will focus on creating a successful framing business based on tips and tricks from the globally renowned framing expert James Miller.

Video transcript

People want to hang all kinds of things on the wall, because that’s the best way to enjoy them. Picture framing is essential for the presentation and preservation of artwork, photographs, three-dimensional objects, personal memorabilia, hobby collections – you name it. The framer’s work is not only essential, but it’s also gratifying to design and construct unique, beautiful, durable framing that fulfills the needs of our appreciative customers.  


Professional framers come from every realm of education and experience, and many of us have enjoyed previous careers in other industries.  For example, I began framing after more than two decades of industrial engineering and sales following college. 

In college I took up calligraphy in hopes of improving my handwriting. That didn’t work, but I got hooked on the art of beautiful, hand-written lettering styles. So, after college and throughout my first career, I practiced my calligraphy as a hobby and, over time, it grew into a small business.  Some of the resolutions, certificates, and other calligraphic works I created had to be framed, so I got acquainted with the framers in my neighborhood. In 1988, I decided to start my own framing business.

At the start, I had no framing experience or training, so I had to learn the fundamentals very quickly. I began studying all the books and articles I could find on framing and operating a small business.  I started going to trade shows and taking classroom courses presented by the experts. We didn't have professional-quality educational videos available in those days. 

Eventually I was able to earn all of the three framing credentials available for framers; Guild Commended Framer (GCF), sponsored by the Fine Art Trade Guild in the UK; Certified Picture Framer (CPF), and Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF), sponsored by the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) in America.

Over the years I’ve written a lot of articles for Picture Framing Magazine, I’ve published a couple of instructional framing books, and I’ve been teaching for about twenty years now.  But I still attend the trade shows and take the classes and study the framing publications. This continuing framing education helped my framing business thrive for 28 years.  I sold it just a few years ago but now, as a consultant, learning new skills and adding to my body of knowledge still keeps me excited about picture framing.


Consumers and businesses appreciate the professional expertise, the broad selection, and the unlimited creativity found in a custom framing shop.  As framers, we provide all the products and services that our customers want and need to decorate their homes and offices with things they can enjoy looking at every day. 

It’s important for us to do our work properly, because people value the things they hang on their walls, and professional framing can endure for decades. Our grandchildren might get to enjoy today’s custom framing.  So, as you finish a frame and put your name on the dust cover, keep in mind that the work you’re doing is important.

There’s plenty of variety in picture framing. A framing business can be small or large, serving a local community or a large metropolitan area. Framing businesses for consumers are often found in retail store fronts, but some framers work quite successfully at home. Commercial framers sometimes occupy industrial buildings and may employ several types of framing specialists.  

Even with these differences, framing businesses have a lot in common. We all use the same kinds of tools, although some are more sophisticated than others.  For example, frame miters can be cut using a primitive hand saw with a miter box. Or, an electric, foot-operated, double-miter saw can provide greater accuracy and higher production capacity.  Still, they all make sawdust. 

The frame corners can be joined together using a simple miter vice and brads with a hammer and nail-set.  Or, a dovetail-routing machine with special inserts, or a pneumatic underpinner can eliminate the nail holes and get the job done faster.  The frame corners all need glue, though.

Large or small, simple or sophisticated, framing businesses all rely on the expertise of the people doing the work.  Framing might always be a labor-intensive business. And as with all industries, framing technology continues to improve, and retail marketing continues to evolve. For most of us, the internet and social media have replaced the local telephone directory.

Another fellow from Ohio, a writer and radio personality named Ralph W. Sockman, once said, “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder”. Think about that. The more we know, the more we realize how much knowledge remains to be discovered. So, no matter how long we’ve been framing and no matter how much we already know, we still have a lot to learn about running a business, about working with customers, and about technical framing skills.

I hope you’ll join us online and enjoy watching our educational videos for framers, brought to you by the ArtGlass Framing  Academy.

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James Miller

ArtGlass Framer

James Miller is not only framer but educator on a global scale. Miller specialise in preservation framing, which means that both technique and materials are in huge importance. 
Also being an author of two successful books on professional framing, Miller is one of the most acknowledged framing specialist around the world. Now he has teamed up with GroGlass to provide an online course to invite framers aim for excellence. 

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