Newham business owner shares his career change from resurfacing roads to constructing works of art
Thursday 22nd June, 2023
Richard Czako spent 40 years resurfacing roads – now he helps to construct works of art.
He and wife Lisa set up R&L Framing just over three years ago after a change of career and circumstances created the perfect opportunity to start a new business.
Lisa had been running her successful picture framing firm in Truro Pannier Market for nearly 20 years when her former picture framer decided to semi-retire.
Husband Richard, who had worked in the road construction industry for most of his life, decided he could use his building skills in a whole new way.
He started off by making a few frames for the market shop before taking on bigger and better designs.
The production side of the business then moved into a unit in Heron Way, Newham. Last year, the couple moved out of Truro Pannier Market and opened a shop in the former Truro Glass Centre in Tabernacle Street.
R&L Framing, along with its city centre shop - called All About Frames - has built up a reputation as the go-to place for local artists to have their work perfectly presented, ready for display.
Richard and Lisa also take on personal projects from customers who want photographs, pictures, mementos and more framed.
“I absolutely love it,” said Richard, who has developed a passion for his new-found career. “I’ve had a few really big moments since I’ve been doing this where I’ve been watching customers cry tears of joy when they see the finished results.
“It can be humbling at times.”
Richard says some of the projects he takes on can be quite emotional, with people asking him to frame treasured keepsakes or pictures from lost loved ones.
“There’s one thing I’ve learnt through doing this – there’s always a story behind whatever’s out in front of me,” said Richard. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a scribble on a bit of paper or the most expensive piece of art around, it means something to someone.
“That’s the bit that really lifts your day.”
Richard and Lisa’s shop stocks a wide variety of picture frames with a choice of traditional and modern styles, including metallic finishes made from recycled polystyrene and sustainably sourced bare woods.
Their Newham-based bespoke framing service can cut, stain, mount and finish using a number of techniques. The couple also have a photography strand to their business, called Truro Imaging.
A recent investment in new equipment has boosted this area, as well as the
bespoke framing service. R&L Framing now has an airless paint spraying machine to provide the perfect finish for their commissions.
“We can offer, film developing, ID photos, canvas printing, art card printing, new high-end art printing, Giclee printing on several types of art paper, video transfers, photo restoration and more,” said Richard, now a skilled framer.
“I’ve never been afraid to try something new,” he added. “Anything that people want framed, even if I’ve never done it before, I’ll give it a go.”