The Face behind the Front Door (6): Annette Polderman

Annette P_opt
You name it, Annette will frame it – antique or modern, any way you like, made to measure. She can make frames of wood, of aluminium, even frames covered with 22 carat gold leaf. One need not be an expert to see the difference between a gold leaf frame and one covered in metal leaf. The gold leaf has a beautiful lustre, whereas the metal leaf is comparatively dull.

Over a cup of coffee in the kitchen behind the shop I learned that there are two kinds of glass to protect the works of art. Floatglass, 2 mm thick, that is used most, and museum glass which is more expensive and has only 1% reflection. For very large frames Annette might use plexiglass. Among her clientele are private persons, companies, embassies and even museums.

“I was born on Frederikstraat. My father was a painter; he inspired me to take up the framemakers’ trade. In 1986 I started my first tiny shop at Frederikstraat. The wholesale dealer for framing materials was on Binckhorst. I went there on my bicycle and had to cycle back home with slats three metres long; that was quite an expedition. In my shop I cut them to the right size.

“In 1988 I moved my shop to Bankastraat (across from where we are now) and since 1996 we live and work in the building where we are now.”

Annette, her husband and her son live over the shop. “The former owners of the shop lived in the annex and when they left we bought the whole groundfloor. So we now live in a house that has 2 entrances and 2 stairwells. A bit of a nuisance at times, but also charming.

“My hobbies? I used to train dogs for a number of years and so I got to know quite a number of people in our neighbourhood. People still come and tell me when their dog has died …

“I am a member of the Archicapella Choir. We practise in ‘t Klokhuis and we perform in De Vredeskapel; the acoustics there are phenomenal and that helps! And for about ten years I was on the committee that organizes the Community Festival; that was a very nice job.

“Furthermore – but I would nog really call that a ‘hobby’- I do the administration and organisation of my husband’s (Hans Richel) restaurant ‘De Tapperij’ and that keeps me fairly busy.”

In the window of her shop hangs a large, empty frame. Annette told me that people come in, pose behind the frame making funny faces, while from the outside they take each other’s picture. And then they leave again without saying a word. Sometimes people make you wonder …

Do you have a lovely print tucked away in some drawer or did you inherit a painting with a frame you do not like? Why don’t you pop in and see Annette about it at Bankastraat 85.

24 January 2014, Josephine de Vijlder