I was born and raised near Pittsburgh in the small college town of Indiana, Pennsylvania. I studied printmaking, painting and art history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a BFA in 1991. If you’d like to see some of my artwork, visit my online gallery at www.art.setlock.com.
I moved to the City of Pittsburgh shortly after graduating, and lived there for many years. For a short time I managed a small art gallery then took my first picture framing job at a craft store in 1992. By 2000, I was managing a frameshop in the Pittsburgh suburbs. I was fascinated (and still am…) by the impact presentation has on artwork. I was looking for a way to expand on my interests in picture frames and woodworking. I read an article in a framing trade magazine about the framemaker Hal Kuehne (grandson of Max Kuehne, one of the great 20th century American framemakers), and I asked myself “how hard can that be?” I was inspired to buy some basswood, a set of cheap carving gouges and some gold leaf. I learned just how hard it can be (and why good gouges are worth the price…), but I was pleased with the results, and I’ve been at it ever since.
My boss at the time, Ed Krugh, owner of the Framesmith, was supportive and willing to try marketing hand-made frames. From 2000 to 2006 I made frames in the basement woodshop of the Squirrel Hill store, at first only occasionally, eventually nearly full time. In 2007 I moved my small framemaking business into my home, then in 2008 moved with my family to beautiful Ithaca, NY. My friends at the Framesmith continued to sell my frames, and I began offering my frames through shops in the Fingerlakes area.
By 2009, the economy had crashed, and the market for handmade frames was pretty bleak. Admittedly, they are a luxury item. My business has been mothballed since 2012 or so. Frames and framemaking is still a passion of mine, but no longer my vocation.
In 2017, my family and I moved back to Pittsburgh. It’s great to be home.