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NEW class ideas for WCAF

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Rob Markoff, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've started to type this a number of times but hit delete instead of submit. we'll see if this one makes it.

    I think the original topic of the thread could be helpful, but I have to address a number of things I believe are misconceptions concerning PPFA and how it operates.

    I wish everyone understood that there is no real hierarchy or chain of command. The PPFA is an organization governed by a group of volunteers participating in a series of committees. There are a number of policies in place designed to avoid favoritism or influence. For example, no member of the board may participate in competitions. No member of the board may accept payment from a PPFA organization. (We can teach, just not accept the honorarium that Rob uses for his yacht payment. Which OBTW wouldn't pay the monthly mooring fee.)

    When anything is to be decided or changed, from competition guidelines to award recipients, a committee reviews, and reviews and hashes out details until they are confident; then, that is forwarded to the board where it happens again. Many individuals contribute to the conversations and often try to play "devil's advocate" to make sure things are well vetted.

    When something like an annual award is given we want to make sure that the response is "yeah, I get that that person deserves that award." Anyone receiving an award should expect that the "negative" has been discussed and should feel honored that their receipt of the award was well vetted and they were determined to be worthy.

    As for education, I have nothing to do with, nor know anything about the WCAF offering, but with PPFA the one thing that seems missing from your discussion is resource allocation. PPFA by contract, time, and space has a limited number of "slots" in which to offer classes. I have not been on the education committee, but can envision how the process goes ... Lay out the slot schedule. Put Hugh Phibbs classes in because it's the only opportunity for framers to hear him. Fill with classes that aren't available anywhere else and can help certification/business survival. Eventually you get down to a few slots left and you have to decide what to fill them with.

    Now, let me talk a bit about Pat teaching a class. I like Pat. I brought pat to the New England chapter because she has valuable information that many of the members, that couldn't make it to national, could use.

    But, think about it. Nothing to do with the "value" of her class, but if you're down to one slot available, they are limited remember, and your choice is a subject not available anywhere else, or a subject that members can get on the show floor, what do you choose?

    It's a practical problem. How can the limited classroom space and time be maximized for members benefit. Frankly, IMO, all of the other arguments aside, Pat is too available in other venues and time to use a class slot for her.

    P.S. most of the committee chairs last year were women.
  2. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Isn't it time to close this thread before someone's keyboard explodes?
  3. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    I think it should stay, as a reminder of how counterproductive it is to be abusive/aggressive to peers.

    Perhaps some tact and professionalism can be considered in the future, to avoid a repeat.

  4. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Correction: we do not sponsor The Grumble.

  5. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Since my name keeps being brought up here I would like to make one last statement and then I hope everyone will drop this subject. Where I appreciate all the support from several people here on the G, there is no reason for it to become a back and forth debate on my suitability to teach classes. Anyone who has ever been to one of my classes will tell you that I don't even mention my company name, nor do I put up any signage with my company name on it. As Johnny stated, I teach technique in mounting all types of object art. I mention many companies on my DVD's and in my classes who have products which are useful in performing the different methods of mounting object art that I teach. Those companies haven't paid me to do so, it's just good information to help a framer know where they can get the products I am using in my current methods.

    Recently I was told that in order for my methods to be recommended, they must first be approved. So I asked, "approved by who"? It appears that it is now PPFA. OK, I can see that if there is going to be a go to organization for preservation and archival standards, PPFA is the best place to start. But then, if they are going to dictate to the industry what is or is not archival before it is marketed, or in my case demonstrated, they are risking the future development of products. No company would or should ever allow any organization to have control of what they can or cannot bring onto the market. So if PPFA is going to be the go to organization, as was suggested to me, those who are in charge of setting standards must first know what they are talking about before they can even begin to debate a method or product's suitability to the market. To my knowledge, not one member of the committee who is in charge of setting the PPFA standards has even come by to watch a demonstration during a show. If they have I am not aware of it. Nor have they ever called me to get information.

    From what I have been told there is nothing in the CPF or MCPF test that includes any of my methods. And, as was suggested, I do not have to go by guidelines that I know to be wrong, even if the committee has approved those guidelines. The guidelines that I use to decide if something is archival is whether is does harm, if it can be reversed, and archival products are being used to achieve the end results. Lastly, I let the industry decides what they will use of my demonstrations in their shops. My DVD's have evolved over the last 6 years, and many changes have been made to give framers more choices, especially when mounting jerseys. There is no one on the planet that has more research and information on the use of tagging tools to mount fabric art than I do, and yet when the guidelines were set, the authors saw no reason to consult with me before they wrote the guidelines for the industry to go by. No shop will ever use all of what I teach, but most will use some, and there are thousands of framers who will back me up about that.

    Please don't misunderstand me. If any organization should be in charge of setting standards, it should be PPFA. But, if they are going to be in charge, then it must be without bias. With that being said, I am going to take myself out of the running of class consideration for the PPFA conference. It isn't worth the upset it has caused. I will continue to be available for chapter meetings and events.

    As I said before, being on the class list to teach at the big event wasn't about selling more kits. It was about the respect as an educator from the organization that I have given so much to. I don't need a class to be approved. I already have the approval of thousands of framers and they will always be my guide to the future of my company.

    Now, can we please go back to the subject.

    I think a good class would be on how to keep a shop organized, finding ways to deal with all the scraps, fall out pieces, leftover moulding and moulding samples. It could also include tool storage and working in smaller work areas, and showroom frame and mat displays where space is an issue.
  6. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    On the original topic of class ideas for WCAF, in this thread we have enjoyed a lively discussion of how proprietary classes ought to be presented, and whether they ought to be allowed at all.

    The National Conference/ WCAF organizers provide for proprietary classes from all companies that wish to sponsor their own. The sponsors pay the expenses and present whatever course content they want to present. Those who register to attend such a class may have to pay a fee, generally a small one, or perhaps the class would be free of charge. In any case, all companies are welcome to invest their money and take their chances.

    On the other hand, PPFA has always prohibited proprietary classes - officially, at least. Here is one member who seems to agree with the principle:
    Of course, it would be unwise for any trade association to recommend or condemn any methods or materials, or to recommend or condemn any specific brands.

    So, the standard PPFA speaker contract specifies that the course content must be "...void of any commercialism including suggestive references to your services, company services or any company and product."

    The PPFA policy has not been enforced lately, in order for PPFA chapters to provide interesting and informative presentations, even though they are considered by some to be proprietary. Should the long-established PPFA policy be enforced, or should it be changed to a more liberal policy encouraging more proprietary classes? If the trade association were to change its policy, would that be viewed as a nod in favor of the companies allowed to present their classes?
  7. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Another good class might be an open forum where the attendees can bring in their ideas on design and time saving tips to share with other framers. PPFA could have the framers who want to present something, submit their entry in advance and then let them do the presentation during the class. From what I have seen, there are a lot of good ideas out there that could be very useful to all frame shops.
  8. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    We did this sort of thing at a chapter meeting a couple years ago. We asked for framers to volunteer in advance to present something in five minutes or less. It could be a time-saving tip, and new product they had found or a neat design trick. The informal time limit reduced the pressure on those who didn’t consider themselves “teachers” and kept things moving along nicely. We also got a number of impromptu tips from the audience. It was a nice opportunity for sharing.

    We also made it a potluck meal and asked people to bring a homemade dish. It was a fun, low-pressure and very low-cost meeting.
  9. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    jim, I think you have some assumptions and drawn some conclusions I don't agree with. I don't think this is the thread or maybe even the forum for this particular discussion though.

    I would love to wind the qustion back to whether peopel are interested in business/sales classes and what kind? I have reps tell me all the time that framers need "thus and such," but when we've tried to hold "business' like topics at the chapter level they are sparcely attended.

    I know Jay G gets a great attendence at his "Pricing" classes, but I have this suspicion that that is as much a celebrity/show/experience as it is a training class? ?
  10. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We've done something similar and it is always well recieved at the chapter level. Could it work at the convention?

    Would people sign up for it?
  11. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    It's a decision for the Education Committee, and I'm not a member so this is purely my personal opinion. I think it's best on a local level with a smaller group. Otherwise it could get out of hand quickly. In addition I think people look for the "meatier" classes at the convention that they can't get locally. Just my off-the-cuff thoughts.
  12. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Seems to me that the PPFA's biggest concern should be getting new members, and retaining the ones they have by providing relevant benefits.

    Now, as I am not currently an active member, my ideas probably don't count for much, but I've never once heard anyone from PPFA ask, nor have I heard it discussed in this very open forum, "What can the PPFA can do to grow its membership?"

    A lot of the focus seems to be about making rules for people to follow. Instead, why not ask, "What can we do that will make people want to join the PPFA, and want to be involved in its activities?" And of those who left, "Why did you leave, and what would it take to get you to come back?"
  13. i-m-chickie

    i-m-chickie SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Stopped reading this thread awhile ago. I DO believe it was started as a result to the positive enthusiasm so many of us experienced after going to Vegas this year. Wansn't it?!?!?

    Great classes, great networking, positive outlooks for the new year. And a 'whaddaya think we can do for next year to make it greater?'

    Now, it's beyond less than flattering. Not even gonna comment on THAT.

    Well, I tried to read it today as there are many commenting that I respect...I just can't.

    Classes at Vegas. I take 'em, will take 'em again. And I pay for them when I have too. No problem the money has gotta come from somewhere.

    I do believe framers teaching framers is a great thing, especially when they are running busy framing businesses themselves. Just saying, they don't need to teach; they do it cause they care about the biz...and the yacht payment. :p

    Love ya'll.
  14. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Again, wrong place. But, there is a membership committee that asks exactly those things of of past and future members.

    David, The "panel' we did attempted to be sort of this at the 2011 convention. It worked OK, but I think you hit on the right "tone."

    The question that needs to be answered is "What can be offered that can't or hasn't been offered some other way?"

    The insurance class, the lighting class, and the glass enclosure glasses are good examples of that.
  15. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Cliff, I think if you put the notice out far enough in advance and ask for shops to submit in advance, meaning that to partisipate, they just have to present their ideas to PPFA in advance to be signed up as a presenter. You might get many who would share ideas that the industry would never see otherwise. And it might also bring in new members if they felt that they were being included and could be part of the education process. I've found that I learn more and get more ideas from talking to other framers who are out there in the trenches, than from anywhere else. The attendees would not have to present if they didn't want to, and the presenters could have a chance to show their stuff when they otherwise would never get the chance to. There is a lot of talent out there that could be very useful to the industry. I think a class like that would be very well attended.
  16. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sorry Rob, I know you were looking for ideas, but I may steal this one ;) and submit it.

    We'll see if it fits with what the ed committee is trying to do next year.
  17. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Oh great -now YOU want to kill my golden goose too. NO BOAT RIDE FOR YOU.

    I think it is a great idea - we too did it on the chapter level (with a vendor providing food) and it was a very fun, successful meeting.

    Several years ago I submitted to the PPFA that as a "trade association" - some of the education needed to reflect what I called, "Life Skills". Techniques that would/could be applied not only to the aspect of the business, but could cross over to general everyday life as well.

    Please note: These are NOT topics that I have proposed that I teach, though I do have a Delegating and Supervising Class that has been presented and was well received.

    Topics like:

    Negotiating Skills
    Leasing Skills
    Delegating and Supervising
    Writing an Employee Handbook
    Your Business Insurance Needs
    Shop Safety
    Exit Strategies- getting your business ready to sell - selling or passing on your business

    I also would like a "return to the basics" series like one on "Mixing (Hinging) Adhesives and Hinging Techniques" -

    I had dinner with Jake Salik who own TALAS a great resource: http://www.talasonline.com/ (Full disclosure - Alan Yafee who owns Peterboro Matboard was also there and I think he picked up the check.) I told him that I though it would be great for the PPFA to begin a dialog/relationship with TALAS (in a sponsored class) that would show/discuss 10-15 items in the TALAS catalog that might be very useful in a frameshop. TALAS primarily services the conservation industry and there are MANY things they sell that framers might not know about.

    At our PPFA Chapter meeting we also had a "how it's made" event where we viewed videos that showed the process of making things we used in our shops. A highlight was one of metal moulding being made. Full disclosure - Barbara and I toured the Cardinal Aluminum Plant where Designer Moulding was made. They definitely offered us something to drink and maybe bought us lunch. - BUT the video we showed was furnished by Nielsen Moulding.

    I also recently toured the Peterboro Matboard plant - which was fascinating. Full disclosure - Alan did buy me lunch (as he offers to anyone who comes to tour the plant). I am sure that many framers would enjoy seeing how matboard is made - especially since some of the equipment is ancient and some of it extremely modern.

    I also toured the Guardian Glass plant with the PPFA. Full disclosure - it was an advisory committee meeting and they did fly us there and provide lodging and meals. We watched silica being loaded into the kiln at one end and lites of glass being packaged at the other. A very informative tour.

    Would a presentation (sponsored?) of how something is made be of interest?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2013
  18. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Having a pot-luck of food and of framing hints, tips and problem solving works great on many levels
    locally...... but getting that three-bean salad, and lasagna on the airplane.... kind of doesn't work.

    Locally it seems to be the magic to get the old(er) and the newbies out and together

    They young kids come for the food.... the older for the food and the chance to show off their

    What happens is that everyone has a great time. And the older get a renewed faith in the young,
    and the kids find out that the old farts aren't concrete (all mixed up and set for life). They all find
    creative ideas from the other age group, and there occurs friendships that keep extending.

    I think Paul is totally on button about Jay Goltz on pricing, Bob Carter on buying etc..... it's like
    Jennifer Love Hewitt..... more hype than reality, but there really is some meat there.

    But let the only PHd in the room teach the classes.... and they would get canceled for not enough
    attendance. Let Molly Masteller Kravaninski teach gold leaf, and you can close up the shop.

    I over heard someone say they didn't take the gold leafing class this year because it wasn't Marty
    Horowitz. :kaffeetrinker_2: Marty never taught the class.... his main leaf did, and still does... he just doesn't
    work for Marty anymore.

    I think it was the same woman on the cruise that told her girlfriends that she didn't like eating
    in the main dining hall, because she never seemed to get enough, and had to go get a burger
    later . . . :faintthud:

    So, how does PPFA get new members, and how do they market new speakers to build new
    Celebrities? I'd like a mounting class based on reality.... but all we seem to get is Kris and
    Cool Tack or Seal.
  19. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Ok, I just thought of a class that PPFA should teach... and I would attend.

    Ethical running (and use of PPFA funds) of a chapter.
  20. BayFramer

    BayFramer Grumbler in Training

  21. The Wavy Framer

    The Wavy Framer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I would find this VERY interesting... love that type of information. However, it's not likely I would take a WCAF or PPFA class on the subject. I would much rather there be a video presentation at a booth of such a manufacturer. Or maybe a separate room with a large screen that showed several different videos from different manufacturers through out the day :)
  22. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Excellent article Bay Framer!
  23. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    How about if there were a "PPFA Members Only" lounge with things like drinks, coffee, internet access and a video player showing these kinds of videos on a continuous loop?
  24. DarthFramer

    DarthFramer CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Great Idea!

    Rob, Great idea! This is a wonderful idea.:thumbsup:
    Type of membership bonus that people look for today. Like a rewards for membership!
    I don't even think the drinks and coffee would have to be "free" - honor system of "normal" prices.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  25. The Wavy Framer

    The Wavy Framer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The "member only" idea is BRILLIANT!

    And if coffee and snacks are provided free to members by the sponsors, there may be a membership rush.... ;)

    Seriously, I believe there is enormous potential here. Not only for "How it is Made" segments, but also "How to" clips on some of the basics.....

    Neilsen videos on "How it is made" and "How to assemble metal frames". Basic, yes.... but how many framers have asked what side of the corner angle and back plate show outward?

    The making of Museum glass and a segment on cleaning it.

    How Underpinners are made and a video on using the different models

    The list could be long..... just need the manufacturers to produce the videos.
  26. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    Throw in Chickies Pancake Breakfast, Scarfy photo booth and you got a deal.
  27. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    Guess there wouldn't be any $5-for-8oz Cokes?
  28. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Where did you find a coke that cheap Ellen?

    Rob, we talked about this back in the Renaissance Hotel
    at PMA08.... at that time, there was already free Wifi in
    the halls, but the refreshments weren't. It was the Hotel
    that nexed the idea.....

    But making it a membership drive would justify having the
    drinks and snacks available the whole day.....
  29. preservator

    preservator SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Tip sessions are one of the most popular events at the AIC convention.

  30. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Isn't that the national Mohel Convention? :)

    Be sure to tip your waiters, I'll be here all week................

    Sorry, couldn't resist. Jewish humor...just can't get enough :)
  31. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    PMA did this for many years at the PMA photo show. It was called the Executive Lounge. Soda, coffee and chips were free and there was a nice lady checking your badge for admittance.

    It was a great rendezvous place.

    Membership has its privileges.

    It's a nice idea but I'm not sure it would be a driver for membership.

  32. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You don't need to give away drinks. A VIP place to relax is always popular, and a screen with vids is included in any room of this type I've ever been in. When the draw isn't food it's usually celebrity, and if the framing celebrities donated an hour to be in there it would draw attention. Jim Miller in the VIP lounge 2 to 3PM! The CEO of SupporingVendor from 5 to 5:30!
  33. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The New York Show used to have a Grumbler's lounge. I met Bill there back in the day.
  34. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    ooh ooh ooh! Mista Kotta -

    How about offering vendors the opportunity to provide the "snacks" with their "logo/label" on the products? I see this done with water bottles all the time - why not on a box of cookies or bag of some other equally unhealthy snack?
  35. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    People enjoying a snack in next years PMA/PPFA VIP Lounge:

  36. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    A VIP pass that could be bought might work.... like the VIP lounge pass you can buy at airports might work.
  37. HB

    HB SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Lounge & how its made - great idea
  38. Acrylic Queen

    Acrylic Queen CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I would love to teach a class on "What framers should know about acrylic and don't" I would like to have the class run about 45 minutes and be offered maybe three times during the show. I don't need to promote my product, but I would like to have framers informed about types of acrylic, and even not acrylic such as the short paper I just did on the differences between acrylic & polycarbonate. I'd like to show framers some helpful hangers for objects, not just footballs, but quilts and puppets. We do very custom things for framers on a daily basis for whatever strange project they are working on. Again, I don't need to promote my company but these ideas are available. I would love to have those taking the class bring an object or idea and we can brainstorm how to hold that object in a frame with the least amount of work and almost magic hinging or hanging devices. It's a lot of fun and at least twice a week someone calls me just for advise on what to do with that thing they are trying to hold in a frame. We fabricate VERY large acrylic frames and I would like to tell frames how they can use the acrylic boxes with moulding. I have told the powers that be, that I am available to teach such a class, but have been told the "we'll keep you in mind" so I continue to help as many frames as I can one at a time. I'm here to help. When I say very large acrylic frames, I mean like 78" X 109" X 4", yes that big.
  39. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Whalll little missy.... them is a BEEG frame for such a small woman. :thumbsup:

    You nailed me to the wall almost 20 years ago..... and I'd take that class
    again in a heart beat.

    BTW: I started painting that stick...... I might actually finish that box
    this next year.... LOL
  40. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I would be veeeeerrrry interested in this. I would love to know more of acrylic. properties and limitations and all that fun stuff. This gets my vote!
  41. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I keep forgetting to answer this with a couple of comments:

    I like the idea of a return to basics series.
    I like the idea of a sponsored class on Talas or University Products items.
    Marc Bluestone taught an excellent class on selling a business. Maybe he could be enticed back?
    Shop safety would be a great class.

    I would be careful on employee handbooks. Every state is different and the laws are complicated. Ours was written by a labor attornery. Most states have Chambers of Commerce or Employee Associations that offer template handbooks that you can modify. This way you can be sure that you include all that is legally necessary with the correct language. Earned vacation time, for instance, is quite complex in California. (The links that I provide above are only for California.) Bear in mind, that in California at least, you are not required to have a handbook, but if you have one it must include what is legally necessary and must be up to date. Along this line are employment posters or books, safety manuals that satisfy OSHA, Need to Know binders that include MSDS sheets for every single thing you can possibly imagine, and so on. In CA it is endless.
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