Beginning as a part of the original family picture framing business, Reed’s Custom Framing, the frame shop opened its doors in 1968, started by Micki Cavanah’s parents, Don and Lou Reed. During the early 1970’s there were very few gilders in the south. It seemed that gilding was becoming a dying art. However, through perseverance, Lou learned the craft of gilding and frame restoration. She passed along her knowledge to many others through the years, including her daughter and son-in-law, Micki and Mitchell Cavanah. For more than 30 years, Micki and Mitchell have continued the fine tradition of gilding (gold leafing) that came from such humble beginnings, even passing it on to their son, Reed Cavanah, and coordinating with other gilders and craftsmen from related fields to ensure the mutual preservation of the art form we've come to love, antique restoration & frame restoration.
Micki and Mitchell are long-time members of the prestigious Society of Gilders, of which Micki has previously served as Vice-President and currently serves on the board of trustees. Both are well-respected educators in the arts of restoration and gilding. As members of the Society of Gilders, we've had the privilege of working on famous sites all over the United States including the Louisiana State Museum, Chicago’s Glessner House, and memorials in Washington DC including the Iwo Jima Memorial and Marconi Memorial.
Among our proudest achievements are gilding the Athena statue in Nashville's Parthenon, as well as restoring frames for Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and several other master works exhibited in the Frist Center’s “Splendid Palette” in 2006. Besides the Parthenon and Frist Center, we've worked with virtually every museum and historic society in Middle Tennessee: Tennessee State Museum, Cheekwood Fine Arts Center, Vanderbilt University, Belle Meade Plantation, Two Rivers Mansion, Travelers Rest, and more. Other clients include Kentucky's Ashland and Whitehall Estates and Filson Club, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, architectural gilding services at The Schermerhorn Symphony Center and other historic sites all over the southeast. In recent years, Reed’s Gold Leaf Studios has expanded their services to include gilded glass signage.
Frames, designed and built specially to house the art within, so they deserve skillful preservation; this often involves structural work to keep them stable, recasts of missing or warped ornamentation, and refinishing (whether with gold leaf or another appropriate finish). We offer restoration for all manner of decorative objects in need of repair or stabilization. Whatever your budget, we can help ensure that your beloved pieces are with you and your family for generations to come.
We have extensive experience creating gilded walls, ceilings, and ornamental flourishes. These include work in Nashville's neoclassical Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Belle Meade Plantation, as well as Nashville's replica Parthenon; gilding the Athena statue of master sculptor Alan LeQuire is one of our greatest achievements as artisans. We offer many options for residential and commercial projects alike, and can provide some understated character using a wide variety of gold and other metallic leaf.
When it comes to catching the eye of passersby, nothing can compare to real gold. You can design your storefront to attract any sort of clientele, whether traditional or trendy, but even the best design can only take you so far. For centuries, gilding has set the high watermark for class and visibility. Thanks to the wide variety of precious metal leaf such as gold and palladium leaf and metallic leaf styles available, we can tailor our work to most budgets.
Known as Verre Églomisé, we've brought the age-old process of mirrormaking into modern decor with a few embellishments of our own. By reverse-gilding a glass surface, we can achieve unique designs, whether leaving them with a simple antique surface or integrating a work of art into the mirror itself. We can also put our framing concepts into practice by hand-building a frame to suit each individual mirror.
A classical tradition with a modern flavor, we've gone beyond our roots to offer truly custom picture framing. Whether you're interested in a simple float frame made to your exact specifications, a contemporary take on a tabernacle-style frame, or even something which expands upon the motifs in the art itself, we can design the perfect new home for your favorite piece. We're also available for all your traditional custom picture framing needs.
Our instructor, Micki Cavanah, teaches all facets of restoration and gilding. Classes are geared toward the individual student’s choice of subjects. Classes are one-on-one and dates can be scheduled according to your needs. Tuition is $450 per day, per student. Most classes are 2 to 3 days.
We are also a retailer of gold leaf and gilding supplies, shipping domestically. Contact us for pricing and availability.