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Been framing for 68 years! Anyone beat this ?

Keith L Hewitt

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I posted this on The Framers Forum aka The UK's Grumble ! 😆
Only 1 reply and still no one has answered my question " Is there a story here ? And "What questions would you like me to ask him? "

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I was chatting with Andreas Shiatis in Cyprus recently and asked him how long have you been framing.
68 years was his answer ....got me thinking, Is there a story here for one of the framing magazines, and also on here of course
:giggle:


Born July 9th 1940 he started when he was 12. His father George said after school you come to the workshop and help me, before you get any tea.
That was in 1952
His father grew from a frame shop into the leading distributor in Cyprus, today called George Shiatis & Son based in Nicosia
A few on this forum know him quite well as he became the distributor for many well known brands, Magnolia Morso, Colourmount etc.
He is quite a character - always chuckling and so friendly.
He tells of the 1974 invasion, by the Turkish army and how he had to bribe the soldiers to leave him alone whilst he removed as much as he could before his premises were left marooned in what today is Northern Cyprus or more correctly known as TNRC.( Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus)

Dare I relate that about 20 years ago I visited Cyprus and went through the NATO controlled check point to visit a customer in Northern Cyprus.
The following day I was with Andreas and after a great dinner he took me to a place where you could climb some wooden stairs and look down into a deserted road on Turkish side. Andreas gave me a short history lesson and then said " Dont you ever go to the Turkish side. If you do I will never buy from you ever again"
Of course I promise him never to go.
:lol:
And I haven't.

So my question is :-
Is 68 years framing a story ?
What questions would you like me to ask him?
Guess one is what changes have influenced you most. He is not tech savvy , but very street wise - No website, No Facebook, but i see has 8 connections on LinkedIn, including Tony Gallagher.
He has attended every Bologna show from when they started.

======================================================================================================
Thank you for reading .Do please give me some feed back.
 

Mike Labbe

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Impressive! Such a long career that has probably seen many changes to how framers handle and treat the things we frame.
 

Al B

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The most actual framing years I can come up with is about 62 years. My dad took me to the frame shop on the way home from the hospital in 1948. My playpen was kept behind the register because both of my parents worked there.
 

wpfay

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Would love to read his story, or better than that hear him tell it.
Dave Makielski is probably the only other Grumbler I know who has been in the business for 60+/- years. It was a family owned business and he started sweeping floors there at age 6 if I remember correctly. Dave (his Grumble name) is in his mid 60's now and is still in the business, though the family shop closed a few years back.
 

shayla

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Would love to read his story, or better than that hear him tell it.
Dave Makielski is probably the only other Grumbler I know who has been in the business for 60+/- years. It was a family owned business and he started sweeping floors there at age 6 if I remember correctly. Dave (his Grumble name) is in his mid 60's now and is still in the business, though the family shop closed a few years back.
This brought Dave to mind for me, too. Love 'family legacy' framing stories. :)
 
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Al B

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The most actual framing years I can come up with is about 62 years. My dad took me to the frame shop on the way home from the hospital in 1948. My playpen was kept behind the register because both of my parents worked there.
I must add to this that we probably should not have been doing this when we were. I honestly do not remember when I could not run a saw. I was always in my parents' shop -from birth, before I went to school, everyday after school, days off, etc. I took it over after Dad retired.
 

Al B

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I must add to this that we probably should not have been doing this when we were. I honestly do not remember when I could not run a saw. I was always in my parents' shop -from birth, before I went to school, everyday after school, days off, etc. I took it over after Dad retired.
I do remember at one point I got paid 40 cents an hour, and I had to save half of it.
 

RoboFramer

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Sounds like he is more of a supplier/distributor than a picture framer? How many years was he actually a framer as in taking and completing orders for all the sorts of stuff we all do, paper, fabric, three dimensional stuff etc etc?
 

Ylva

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I would like him to describe all the differences compared to now. But also things that stayed and didn’t change at all.
How was the workshop set up, how many employees? What “stuff” would customers bring in for framing? Did they do any object framing?
Where did they get their supplies? We’re there moulding companies? Did they do a lot of their own finish8ng?
What skills did they have that have now been lost and forgotten?
 

neilframer

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I've only been framing for 51 years now.
Still hands on and working full time.
I'm just a newbie compared to 68 years..:thumbsup:
 
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Keith L Hewitt

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Sounds like he is more of a supplier/distributor than a picture framer?
Robo - correct he started out a framer and became what I believe is the islands main distributor. But today still framing as its his first love.. Not full time. A useful skill when selling to framers
 

Keith L Hewitt

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I would like him to describe all the differences compared to now. But also things that stayed and didn’t change at all.
What skills did they have that have now been lost and forgotten?
Thanks Ylva - that's a big help. :thumbsup: I will put your questions to Andreas.
 

Al B

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I wonder what moulding companies he can remember. There are probably plenty more that I forgot - my mind being what it is.
These are a few I can remember.
American
Artcraft
Bendix
Capitol
Carolina
Eastern
Ivy
MTS
PB&H
Piedmont
Schiffman
Southwind
Zimmerman
 

Keith L Hewitt

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Al B

I
very much doubt he will remember any of theses as he is based in Cyprus in the Mediterranean. I know that 30 years ago he was importing mdgs from mfgs. in Holland and UK. Both since long gone. As he travels to the Bologna show every year I assume he buys directly form the Italian & Spanish factories, I just hope I can persuade him to tell me his story of the last 68 years :D
 
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wpfay

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Keith, t will be a great story, regardless. Please carry on.
 

triplechip

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Would love to read his story, or better than that hear him tell it.
Dave Makielski is probably the only other Grumbler I know who has been in the business for 60+/- years. It was a family owned business and he started sweeping floors there at age 6 if I remember correctly. Dave (his Grumble name) is in his mid 60's now and is still in the business, though the family shop closed a few years back.
Hi Wally,
Although not directly in the framing business, W.D. Quinn Saw Co has been a supplier to the local St. Louis framing businesses for well over 100 years. W.D. Quinn was my Great Grandfather. Our small family saw shop has enjoyed working with the picture framing industry as long as I can remember. I've been doing this for over 45 years now. My son Dan and daughter Erin are now well into the family business.

It's been a pleasure working with all the frame shops throughout the United States and abroad.

https://quinnsaw.com/cold-saw-blade-sharpening-company/
 

Ylva

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Well, being Dutch, I would like to know which suppliers he used!

Does he have any photos of “way back when”?

Thinking how framing is now and how I get my supplies. Pretty much everything is online. I assume he saw reps. How often did they visit? How often were there new products?

Was there something of a bestselling moulding? What did it look like?
 

Keith L Hewitt

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Ylva. One of his main suppliers was VADIA in Drachten. https://vadia.nl/ It was run by Phillip Kooke a very successful and innovative man. He employed 3 reps, who each owned a frame shop. They spent 3 days a week visiting framers, and the other 3 days at their frame shop which was run by their wives. As Phillip explained to me "Whenever my reps visit a framer they are always made welcome, because they fully understand what its like to be a framer. If the framer had a machine problem, they could often fix it or at least knew a man who could !
Being in Cyprus he would not have seen that many reps, but the ones who made the effort to travel there were richly rewarded,
I've put the same post onto the UK Grumble (aka The Framers Forum) but only had one reply which I will copy and paste here, as its a good read.
=======================================================================================================
From Tony Gallagher
Great post, Keith!
I first visited Andreas at G.Shiatis & Son in November of 1985, whilst returning from visiting framers in the Arabian Gulf whilst working for Magnolia Mouldings International. Andreas was our agent/distributor and I would tour the island with him visiting small frame shops taking orders for mouldings, framing equipment , mount board, accessories

I recall one particular year I sold £60, 000 ( USD 76,000 ) worth of 0178G (small coloured cushion) to the island's framers during the poster boom!
The Shiatis workshop in old Nicosia had changed little since the Turkish invasion and Andreas' father, George was still working away into his nineties. Andreas' mother used to appear with homemade cake and fruits.
I've lost count of the number of visits I made to the island, but had many happy times there and hope to revisit when and if things return to normal.
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I plan to visit Cyprus as soon as air travel resumes. I know it will have to be a face to face meeting with Andreas Shiatis to get his story. I just hope that Picture Framing Magazine and Art + Framing TODAY feature the story when its written 🤔 But I will post it here whatever the outcome.:thumbsup:
 

nikodeumus

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I would certainly be interested in reading about him.
As the saying goes "A photo says 1000 words".
Pictures of the old days, the workshop, tools used, finished frame projects, would be fantastic to see.
 
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Keith L Hewitt

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nikodemus Thanks, some good suggestions & I have made a note
And at the same time thought how many on here store pictures of completed jobs ready for some journalist to ask for them in 2088 - 68 years from now :faintthud:
 
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