Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Why framing is so important....

Okay, so I'm bais when it comes to framing, but it really can make or break your artwork.

According to the experts, the personalization and decoration of a working or living space can encourage feelings of relaxation and satisfaction with our surroundings, fostering an atmosphere of pride and productivity. The addition of a few personal pictures, mirrors, or other framed objects on a wall can make the difference between a house and a home, or can turn a bland and anonymous office space into a comfortable and inviting environment.

Choosing a frame which is out-of-keeping with the subject being framed is a costly mistake. Each and every time you look at that picture, you will see it's not quite right, or it could be improved, not how lovely the completed framed artwork is and how you enjoy looking at it every day.

A good framer will happily assist you to find the best framing opitions for your artwork, which will bring out the best in each image or item. Factors such as the environment which the frame will hang and the type of artwork will be taken into account, and each framed peice of art will be protected by the frame and hopefully provide you with years of enjoyment.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Canvas Stretching......

I recently had a customer bring in a rather large canvas which was bought whilst on holiday, transported home rolled up and now required stretching, so it could be hung in her home.

As the canvas was over six foot in length, I commissioned special stretcher bars to be made, which would provide enough support for such a large size canvas. The stretchers included two support bars to ensure the correct support when the canvas was pulled taut.

The canvas had a beautiful gold leaf finish and was a very striking image of a Buddha's head. Quite a statement piece!!

I completed the stretching of the canvas and the customer had to transport the finished item home by van, but seemed very pleased with the end result!

So what will you bring back from your holidays?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Health check-ups for your art

Time flies and the summer is disappearing fast. Does any of your art and frames require attention?

Some of the artwork you bought years ago may not have been framed with conservation-quality materials and may be showing signs of fading and/or discoloration from acid-migration.
Perhaps some of your mounts and frames looked great in the 1980’s, but now royal blue and grey aren’t as popular as they once were.

Some things to consider:

· Bring your art that you love to the workshop, if it needs a little help – mounts faded or discoloured, frame marked or out-dated, or that just needs freshening up.

· Dig out that picture you got in Barcelona on your city break from under the bed and get it framed and up on your wall. You can’t enjoy it if it’s not up.

· If you are not sure that your framed artwork was conservation framed, bring it in for me to evaluate.

· If you have artwork many years ago and it no longer suits your tastes or environment, maybe you should search for a new picture that you love today.

· If you need help with displaying your art for maximum enjoyment, call me for help – I offer framing assessments at your home or office, to help you get the correct picture, framed correctly in the environment where it will be displayed.

So, you don’t have to have it all figured out. I am happy to perform a no-obligation evaluation of your art to determine what it needs.

After all: Life is too short to live with bad art!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Caring for your artwork

As a picture framer, I like to promote how you can care for your artwork, be it a photograph of granny or a Banksy original.

I am a member of the Fine Art Trade Guild and they have guidelines to help you care for your art. Shared with you today so you can ensure you’re caring for your art……

Avoid Heat
Ideally pictures should not be hung above radiators. Extreme or rapid changes in temperature cause paper and wood to dry out and adhesives to fail

Beware damp
Damp can cause pictures to ripple. If the ripples touch the glass, the picture might stick and be hard to remove. Damp also encourages fungal growth - likely to show as brown stains. Conservation framing can slow these effects, but it is always best to avoid hanging framed pictures in humid conditions. Allow six months before hanging pictures on newly plastered walls

Eye-level display
Remember most pictures are designed to be viewed at eye-level. When hanging a group of pictures of different sizes align the top edges. Groups of pictures need not be hung in symmetrical patterns, but they should follow some sort of overall design. Try arranging them on the floor first

Hang securely
Use two hooks on the wall, each set about a quarter of the way in from either side of the picture. Check that the cord, wire or other hanger you use is designed to support the weight of your artwork. Where safety is critical, in children's bedrooms, for example, ask your framer about security fittings and glazing
A gentle clean
Dust frames or treat with a soft brush, rather than risk applying water or cleaning fluids. Don't use cleaning fluids or water on the varnished surface of oil paintings; again dust carefully. If cleaning fluids have to be used on the glass, apply them to a duster first (rather than spraying the glass directly); take care not to let the fluids touch the frame

Regular checks
If you find any evidence of discolouration, unsightly brown dots, small insects under the glass or that the brown paper tape sealing the back of the frame has come unstuck, return the frame to the framer. Check for corroding picture wire or weak or loosening cord. The varnish on oil paintings will gradually discolour, especially if the picture hangs in smoky or polluted conditions. It should be replaced as it dirties. Oil paintings stretched over wooden bars may sag over time and the bars can make a slight imprint on the front of the canvas. Take the picture back to your framer for tightening or re-stretching. The Fine Art Trade Guild recommends inspection every five years

Out of the light
Try not to hang pictures directly opposite large windows as sunlight fades colours and discolours paper. Special UV-coated glass can help to slow this down. The Fine Art Trade Guild has set industry-wide standards for printing and framing materials. Ask your framer about the ways in which you can preserve your artwork for the long-term

Handle with care
When carrying and transporting a picture, grasp the frame firmly on both sides. If you have to store pictures, make sure they are stacked vertically and the right way up. When stacking pictures, stand them 'glass to glass' so that the hangers do not damage the frames

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Now this is Fabulous!! The Art Handling Olympics!

I found this article in the New York Times and it made me smile. What a fabulous and funny idea :)

It seems from the photos that everybody is having a wonderful time and enjoying the competition. I wonder if the Art Handlers of England would welcome a similar event with such fun and gusto?

Clink on the link for the great article : http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/arts/design/23handlers.html

Sunday, 28 March 2010

My little helper, erm... kind of !!!

So it’s the weekend and I’m thinking it’s about time I photographed my growing stock of handmade reclaimed frames, so I can list them for sale and find them loving homes.

I have moved house since last photographing a batch of frames, and therefore had to spend a bit of time trying to find a good location in the afternoon light. On settling down, sorting out my camera, frame stands, frames, etc, I set to work, inspired and ready to photograph at least ten frames and get them listed by the close of the weekend.

HOWEVER…..I was then joined by my little helper, whom, on seeing the camera, took the opportunity to have a few portrait shots done!! Now I was trying to capture the loveliness of the little white frame, but it got slightly over shadowed by the kitty! After a few shots, he then got up and sat ON the frame, ensuring he was not going to be cut out of the photos!! Cheeky little monkey….

I moved the frame to the window sill on the end, as it was only way it was going to be captured without a little furry friend :)

So in failing light, I got one photo of a partially sat-on white reclaimed frame to list for sale!!! Hope you like it….if you do you can buy it here: http://www.myehive.com/Product.aspx?ProductId=1827
P.S. Sorry, kitty not for sale!!!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Selling Online

I’m not sure if you have ever sold anything online before, I certainly had tried a couple of sales on EBay, but nothing too crazy, however I have been testing the water with online handmade/craft sites and think I’m finally ready to jump in.

When I started to make a range of handmade reclaimed picture frames, I wasn’t really sure how the promote and market them, and focused initially on my first idea, of storing them in a box (!) and then using them to sell at craft fairs. All well and good, and attending and selling at fairs is great fun, but I now have many boxes in my home, and the craft fairs tend to be periodic in nature.
So I started thinking: What can I do with my frames to showcase and sell in between fairs?

Well, I had a little snoop around the internet and was amazed at the possible outlets for my handmade products. There are so many craft sites and online selling sites dedicated to promotion and sales of handmade lovely stuff. After carefully review of many sites, I set up two shops last year to test to water with my frames, one on http://etsy.com/ and the other on http://www.myehive.com/.

Who and why? Firstly Etsy.com, which is a massive worldwide, established website, stuffed full of stunning craftsmanship, ranging from handmade glass, furniture, jewellery, clothes and many beautiful designs to woo you into parting with your money. All the products are handmade and showcased and sold by the makers and designers. Etsy is an American site and sells in Dollars, but it has a nice contemporary feel and is easy to use. However it is heavy subscribed and I wasn’t sure that my little frames would be found and loved in such a vast marketplace.

So that leads me onto MyEhive.com. This site is relatively new and it is run here in England. As it was new when I found it, I now have become one of the more established sellers on the site. Again it’s very easy to use and provides me with a great, cost effective way to sell my reclaimed frames to everybody. I am able to list up each frame, providing a description, how is made, and what it’s made from. To back this up, I tend to provide two or three images of each frame so the viewer can see the product clearly and hopefully fall in love with it :)
This site covers Europe only, which can appeal if you want to keep postage costs down or if your items are fragile.

I am also able to work on commissions and then list them for payment through these sites, which is very useful. The sites also have forums and blogs, so you can become part of an online selling community, which is a good resource, and MyEhive even have meet-ups once a month if you want to have a coffee and meet other sellers.

All the frames I make are individual and unique, so to be able to list each one separately is fabulous. I have found online selling very enjoyable and beneficial and this year I will be listing and selling even more reclaimed frames on my online shops :)

Please check out my two online shops http://emeraldreclaimedframes.myehive.com/ and http://www.etsy.com/shop/emeraldframes and let me know what you think :)

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Mirror Mirror on the wall......

So who’s the fairest of them all?
Did you know that you can get a mirror custom made by your local picture framer?

It actually quite a good option to consider, as there is much greater flexibility in your choice of not just frame, but also the mirror glass itself.

Firstly, you may not be aware, but mirror glass can come in different thickness (normally the larger the mirror, the thicker the glass should be for safety) it can just be flat mirror glass (normally slightly cheaper), or it can have a bevelled edge.
Bevelled mirrors are available in a wide selection of standard sizes, and if you are in need of a very specific size, maybe to fit exactly into a tight space, you can get a mirror custom-made to any size down to the last millimetre. (However, this option can be more costly than selecting a standard size pre-made mirror!!!)

And so, to think about the frame, mirrors do tend to be heavy, especially if they are large, so normal you need a strong frame to surround them. Many people will choose quite a large ‘feature frame’ with a strong colour or detail to the frame. If you select to get a mirror made at your local framers, you can frame it in any of the framing samples that you could frame any picture in.
I recently framed a large mirror for a client, using the same frame that she had already framed all the pictures that hung in the same room. By choosing this frame for her mirror too it created cohesion in the room and a stunning result. This is often a favourite of interior designers, and can be a good idea if you want something a little different in your home.

So why settle for a framed mirror from John Lewis or Habitat, which you can see in any house on any street?
Step outside the box, for the same money could get something that makes a statement, is truly unique to you and your home, and costs a similar price?
Check out your local framer and see who’s the fairest of them all?


At my workshop, as a Guild Commended Framer, I have high standards to meet for every order that I complete. As a member of the Fine Art Trade Guild, I will assist every customer to find the best frame to enhance their artwork for the appropriate level of conservation for each piece. I only use acid natural materials for all my framing work, and I offer a selection of glass options such as reflection control and conservation clear glass for perfect viewing, and the option of a UV filter to help protect your work from sun damage.
My bespoke framing service includes a friendly consultation by appointment, to ensure the optimum choice is made for anything you might want to hang, be it for photographs, posters, original paintings, needlework, medals or sentimental keepsakes and treasures. With over five years framing experience and a focus on providing my customers with a frame to enhance their artwork, I ensure my framed products are always produced to the best standard.

So to meet the standards that I provide, despite just being a picture framer(!), for my commission work I following the Fine Art Trade Guild’s standards of framing and use my qualification as a guild framer to ensure I am providing the best and most appropriate framing solution to each piece of work that I complete. For more information on the Fine Art Trade guild check out : http://www.fineart.co.uk/

Monday, 25 January 2010

Better late then never.....

So it’s fast approaching the end of January and I am super busy. As part of my goals this year, I will be blogging more frequently!!
I have had such a busy end of year, that on checking, I haven't updated a blog since November (which is terrible!!) Christmas, of course is a busy time for us all, and life as a framer is no exception. I had lots of wonderful people who visited me to buy works of art for Christmas presents, to get treasured pictures and photographs framed as gifts, and many commissions that were wanted up on walls before Christmas arrived.
I had a lady who had a collection of photos, dating back to cover four generations of her family. She wanted them framing in a periodic collection, and hanging in time for Christmas, so that her extended family could enjoy them during their visit for Christmas lunch.
My collection of reclaimed picture frames proved popular too. The ideal handmade gift to use as stocking fillers!! I attended many events and craft fairs in December and my frames sold like hot cakes. I hope they all went to happy homes :)
So onward and upwards into 2010 I guess. The New Year is proving popular for framed mirrors, maybe people or transforming their homes as a New Year resolution?
I have lots of ideas and projects to focus on and plan to share these with you as my year progresses, so I promise to blog more frequently and look forward you following my adventures.