As I press on with completing the Wainwrights in Colour project my time is mostly taken up with finishing the sketches, working on the content of the book or, if I am lucky a day out on the fells to recharge the brain cells with a dose of fresh air. Followers of the Facebook page are able to get a brief glimpse of my outings via my regular photographic posts.
There are occasions though when my time in the studio has to be devoted for other things. Despite the fact that my photography website is not currently online I still receive regular requests to supply prints of my work for customers many of which have contacted me after seeing images on social media. Most of these are simply a case of producing prints on demand and shipping them off to the customer. However, every now and then the request for a framed print comes in which as long as it is either a local delivery or collection in person I am happy to do. So it was on Tuesday, a request for a leaving present required at short notice. Surprisingly this came through this website even though the stock of images on display is limited. Thankfully the image of Teesdale Light met the required criteria for the gift so I put the wheels in motion to get a copy printed and framed. Fortunately I have a good contact locally who prints the images for me and usually at very short notice and this morning the paints and brushes were put to one side to make room for a bit of framing. This is a task which I don’t actually see as a chore as it makes a welcome break to the routine. After all, when I had the gallery, framing was a major aspect of the services we offered and consequently here in the studio I have all the professional equipment to achieve the best results.
I actually enjoy the full process of framing an item whether it is an original painting or photograph, from choosing the mount and frame to compliment the work, cutting the mount aperture, making the frame and then constructing the whole product.
The cutting of the mount is quite a simple task, given the right equipment. A neat proportionate aperture that sits neatly around the image which these days is often in an off white or cream colour in a tint that brings out the colours of the image and co-ordinates between the print and the actual frame. Too often in galleries and at craft fairs I see these mounts as being ill-fitting to the presented work which can spoil the overall effect. From there on to the frame. I personally prefer the real wood frames, the manufactured plastic mouldings available these days can look quite convincing but I still opt for the traditional wood as I find it easier to work with and join. As for the glazing of the frame there are options, either glass or acrylic. Both have advantages and disadvantages, glass is heavier but it doesn’t bow, is cheaper and is more scratch resistant so that’s the one I use in all my work. Of course it is more fragile but that is why I prefer the personal collection or local delivery options for my framed work.
Once the mount is cut, the frame made, the glass cut and perfectly cleaned then the components can be assembled and fully sealed. Even after all this time I still find a great deal of satisfaction in this process and of course seeing the end result ready to hand over to the customer when hopefully my efforts will be met with approval.
There is something very pleasing about producing a work such as this from the initial taking of the photograph right through to the fully framed work. I appreciate that I am in such a fortunate position to be able to personally complete this whole process for customers but I like to think it gives the new owner of the work a full connection to my artwork and images.
To me, good artwork or photography should be shown off to it’s full potential, cutting corners by using supermarket or Ikea “off the shelf” frames can be a false economy (I can spot a Ribba frame a mile off). It is much better for artists and photographers to strike up a good working relationship with a professional local framer, they may be surprised at the difference the end result will be without breaking the bank.
In the meantime, it is back to the easel.