An old friend emailed me from his home several hours away:
I hope that all is well.
I have a dumb engineer question for you that hopefully isn't downright insulting. I have a bunch of photos that I want to simply mount in black frames without matting and collage on a wall...all the kid stuff. The frames would be just thin black frames. They are available cheaply in many sizes, but...
The problem is that they do not seem to be readily available in the size I need = 10 X 13. Do you know anywhere to get these relatively cheaply? I've been hunting locally and on the internet and have not yet been successful. Hopefully you know of a source? It could get rather expensive to do a bunch of custom frames.
Hi M***, it's good to hear from you and see your kids and wife. Your question isn't at all dumb, engineer or not. The problem is 10x13 is not considered standard so you won't find it.
From a frame shop you're probably looking at around $35 each and that's with a pretty good quantity discount. I know this goes against your engineer-ness, but if you could use a variety of black frames, you could offer to let a framer pick a bunch of different black frames and then make your collage out of random black frames. It's a look you'll see in a lot of home magazines and a lot of homes. Plus, a framer might be willing to give you a better price since they get a chance to use up lots of materials that would otherwise be waste.