Great art deserves the perfect frame

May 5—LEWISBURG — The art of picture framing combines creative skills with technical knowledge — something Lori Toll has mastered since she began framing for clients as a home business after her move to Lewisburg in 2006.

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., she moved around a while before settling in the Valley, "a very welcoming place for me and my husband," she said. "I like the area, and everything about it."

When she moved to the Valley, she thought it would be best to develop a part-time job and work from home. Over the years she learned how to frame portraits, learning a lot from Owen Mahon of the Open Door Gallery at 430 Market Street. "I eventually took over the business from him," Toll said.

Sora Custom Framing and Gallery, located in Suite 106 at the Creamery Building, 130 Buffalo Rd., displays the work of local artists, she said.

"We have commissioned some pieces to sell. But that part of the business has slowed down, I think because of the location change. There's a lot more foot traffic on Market Street."

At Sora, people are walking in with pictures to frame. The new location includes a workspace "where we do our sawing and our joining of frames, cutting of glass."

Typically the work is collaborative, Toll noted.

"A customer comes in and might want a walnut frame. If they come in and say they don't know what they want, I try to pick their brains and find out what they might be looking for, or the color that is in the art. Is it contemporary art? Is it an oil painting? Watercolor? and we go on from there."

Right now, she is doing a collage and putting it all together. "We've framed some flags, burial flags. What people are looking for, we can accommodate," she said.

"At the end of the process, I'm waiting for the client to come and pick it up and see how much they love it," she said. "The best feeling is when it is finished and it looks the way they wanted it."

Toll is starting to hold classes for children and adults. The first was an adult class about stained glass pieces. "We'd like to do more of that."

Sora Framing is open from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. and closed on Tuesdays. The gallery's website — — offers much more information.

Toll said she was assisted by the Bucknell Small Business Development Center (SBDC). "They helped when I had some technical sessions about our website."

"The SBDC helped Lori (and Rick) Toll, passionate local entrepreneurs, build their dream business SORA, with assistance in industry research, business planning, financial projections, and a relocation grand-opening celebration," said Denny Hummer, assistant director of business Incubation at SBDC.

"The SBDC also assisted in helping develop a strong digital presence to ensure success in serving the Lewisburg community," Hummer said. "It was a privilege to work with the Tolls," he said.