Randall Voelker

Randall was an artist that happened to be a framer.  By trade, he was a carpenter in the Chicago land area.  

Back in the early 1970’s, Randall decided to become an entrepreneur and start creating custom frames.  He was a unique artist that would scour the Chicago area for particular timber from demolished buildings, farmhouses, and lumber yard (peculiar) wood.  He collected this wood and would repurpose it into these one-of-a-kind frames you see today.  He milled down each piece to make the frames.  In addition to this, he created all the other mediums that became part of the finished work:  metal wrappings, inlaid woods, and hand painted matting.

Randall never knew how he was going to frame a piece of work until he took it to his studio and “became inspired.”  His great attention to detail, as well as incorporating a feeling into each piece he framed, is what made the finished frame a piece of artwork all by itself

That is why the customer almost never was allowed to give him directions or ideas…. You just left your art work and had to wait for his creation.  This was the most exciting element of picking up your finished frame.  It was always exhilarating to see what Randall created.

He continued to come up with new and intriguing methods.  All of this was due to the passion he had for complementing your individual piece of artwork.

The receipt he gave you included the types of wood he used, as well as the matting materials/methods used. On the back of each frame he would etch his name and the year.

Personally, Randall was such an interesting person.  He had a gentle nature and warm demeanor.  He had a lifelong love of learning that he nurtured through reading.  He loved nature and animals.  His biggest affection was for old train steam engines.  He would go out to remote areas, with sophisticated recording equipment, and capture these train sounds on audio tape (in stereo, of course).  He spent many hours at the Illinois Railway Museum.  He also enjoyed playing his trumpet

Randall always looked forward to spending time with his clients- and he considered each one a friendship.  He had a kind, warm heart.  It was such a rare treat to be allowed into his studio.

Randall continued to create his masterpieces up until a month before his death (summer 2012), at the age of 85 years old.

His legacy is missed by many.