Picture Framing News

We started this page in May 2021 to highlight recent customer work, new services and new products as they happen. Until now this information had been published on Facebook (and will continue there) but as not everyone has Facebook we have added this page to our website. When time permits (we are usually hard pressed keeping up with framing!) we may add some of the older news items that still have a topical interest.

21 September 2021

One of our customers brought to us a round glass disc onto which an artist onto had applied an abstract artwork. Originally the glass disc, which is 459mm in diameter, had been enclosed in a very thin round grey metal frame from which it had been suspended by a wire in front of a window.

The first thought was to source a ready made round frame of the exact size needed. However, although round ready made frames do exist, I discovered they are not available in the exact size I needed, either as a wooden or a metal frame. Next I sought a framer who could make a bespoke round frame. There are very few such framers in the UK and I could only find a handful of them.

Estimated costs were of the order of a few hundred pounds and of course I discussed this with my client. To my surprise my client suggested I make square frame to hold the glass disc. This could be done by routing out a small channel under the lip of each side of the frame, such that when the frame was assembled the glass disc with be secured by the routed channels. The channels, only 2mm deep, themselves would be hidden by the face of the frame.

This was a remarkable idea and we were both excited imagining how the finished work would look, much better than a boring thin round metal frame! For routing the channels a Dremel machine would be ideal. In thirty years of framing I have never needed to use such a machine, but my customer had one that I could borrow for the task!

This was new and exciting and I looked forward to doing this. Firstly channels 2mm deep were routed under the lip of each side of frame. The only concern I had would be at the stage of assembling the four sides of the frame and glass disc. The entire assembly would need to be held within the underpinner while the mitres were being secured by wedges. I was concerned that in the operation of the underpinner some harm might come to the glass disc - but it didn't!

You can see the finished result below. The frame and round glass disc has been photographed against a white background so that the construction can be clearly seen with out a distracting background. As you can see we used a simple black frame for the task, and while the back and inner edges of frames are normally bare wood we painted those parts black to match the rest of the frame.

21 September 2021

Posting photos of myself is something I very rarely do. However, I made an exception in this case to show off the t-shirt my friend sent to me from France.

He happened to visit a shop in Montmorillon where the slogan on this t-shirt caught his eye. So here I am, 'Out of the Frame' and into my new t-shirt. Thanks Nigel, it's very appropriate!

Untitled photo

6 September 2021

Recently we framed 20 original pen and ink artworks for Cathy MacLeod. They illustrate scenes from her homeland in Papua New Guinea and from her new life living here in Scotland. The pen and ink artworks, all original, are beautiful and wonderfully detailed.

We have reproduced some of them below but to see them all you can view them on Cathy's Artist's page  where you will also find a link  to her exhibition of these works at The Small Gallery, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. All of these beautiful original works are for sale at The Small Gallery and we wish her every success.

All the framing was to a similar style using a neutral Artcare mount and a black frame. Click on any artwork below for more information and to see it in a larger size.

Some of the Exhibition Artworks

6 September 2021

One of the more unusual items we received for framing was a Japanese tea cloth which was used in a Japanese tea ceremony. My customer received it in a gift and wanted it to be framed. The cloth is 35cm wide by 96cm long with a repeating pattern on a very fine cloth. It's purpose, as I understand it, is to wipe any spillages that may occur during the tea ceremony.

I had the idea that the cloth could be framed in such a way that it could be seen as 'floating' unsupported inside the frame.

To begin with the tea cloth was hand sewn with a few stitches of matching thread along the top and the bottom of the cloth to a supporting mount board. The stitching cannot be seen. This supporting mount board, only a centimeter or so larger than the size of tea cloth, was then 'floated' about 1.5cm above a larger black mount board. It was 'floated' above the black mount board by means of a hidden archival quality foam core spacers.

This floating arrangement was then surrounded by a double mount which is 'floated' slightly higher than the tea cloth to ensure the picture frame glass does not come in contact with the cloth. The window edge in this double mount is about 1cm away all round from the mountboard to which the tea cloth is sewn. Finally a deep black frame was used to hold everything together.

What looks like a black border surrounding the tea cloth is nothing more than fresh air at the bottom of which is the black base. So it appears as if the supporting mountboard and tea cloth are floating - but it's difficult to display the three dimensional effect in a two dimensional photo! Finally the framing was finished by enclosing the above arrangement in a simple black frame. I felt that the overall effect of minimalism is in keeping with the Japanese tradition of uncluttered design.

14 July 2021

Framing art with more than one frame is a way that can further enhance an artwork. Placing a small frame inside another, traditionally called a slip, will add a further inner edge to the outer frame. The slip is usually a small flat piece of moulding with a bevel edge.

We have also been framing artworks with two frames, where the inner frame is not just a slip but is actually another frame in its own right as shown in the examples shown below. The first one is an original oil painting by Rosemary Bonnin entitled 'Along the River Ness'. The outer frame is a moulding from Nielsen Design's Concrete range of mouldings. The finish of the Concrete moulding simulates the appearance of concrete in its texture with random cracks and blemishes. The inner frame, made from Nielsen Design's Shabby Chic range of mouldings adds both a highlight and a deep bevel leading the eye into the artwork.

'Along the River Ness', an original oil painting by Rosemary Bonnin

'Along the River Ness', an original oil painting by Rosemary Bonnin

Framed with two mouldings from Nielsen Design's range, the inner being Shabby Chic and the outer frame from their Concrete range

The second example of double framing shown below, an original oil painting 'Waiting For Angels' by Dot Walker, uses a different framing style. Here the outer frame is the narrower of the two, a dark moulding from Nielsen Design's Moma range to complement the dark tones in the artwork, and the inner frame, significantly wider, provides the highlight that is needed to emphasise the light in the image. A single dark moulding would have added a feeling of gloom quite contrary to the atmosphere displayed in the artwork.

Original Oil Painting 'Waiting for Angels' by Dot Walker

Original Oil Painting 'Waiting for Angels' by Dot Walker

Framed with two mouldings from Nielsen Design's ranges, Riviera (Inner) and Moma (outer).

In both those cases the final choice was made from the hundreds of samples we have in what I call a 'voyage of discovery', a process that both the client and I are involved in. This is fun! Together, we try out our ideas to decide what works and what doesn't. This is the most important part of framing and involves being sensitive to the colours, tones and textures in the artwork. A certain amount of agonising is usually involved! All that follows in making the frame is merely craft skills.

If you like thee above artworks you can see more work by the artists as follows:

Rosemary Bonnin at https://www.artmajeur.com/rosemarybonnin

Rosemary also runs a group called 'Wee Artists' for children from 7 years upwards, more information at Wee Artists on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/weeartist.co.uk/

Dot Walker at https://www.dotwalker.co.uk/ and also on Facebook at Dot Walker Art

7th July 2021

This fine crewel work, which took the artist a year to complete, is extraordinarily detailed and very beautiful. Crewel work is a form of surface embroidery often referred to a Jacobean embroidery. Crewel refers to the type of wool used for stitching and the technique incorporates a number of different embroidered stitches traditionally worked on a linen twill background; this results in a raised textural design.

The first stage in framing any needlework involves stretching the material so that the base material upon which the work is sewn becomes smooth and crease free. To do this I cut a piece of archival foam core somewhat larger than the needle work design. Next I use special stainless steel 'T' pins (designed by a USA based needleworker, Vivian Kistler) to pin the needlework in position as I gradually stretch it over the foam core. This method is fully reversible and allows the needlework to be removed completely unharmed. No sticky tapes, glues, etc are used.

Having completed that part of the work the remaining framing stages are to create a mount and frame to enclose, protect, and enhance the artwork. In this case a single mount made from Artcare mountboard and a frame made from Nielsen Design's beautiful range of 'London' mouldings. The finished work is shown below. However we have also included some close-ups of parts of the crewel work. The close-ups are just to let you enjoy and admire the extraordinary level of detail in this very fine needlework which is 421mm wide x 523mm high. Best enjoyed on larger screens!

Crewel Stitch needlework featuring Flora and Fauna

Close-ups of this work to illustrate the extraordinary level of detail

Crewel Stitch needlework featuring Flora and Fauna

Close-ups of this work to illustrate the extraordinary level of detail

Crewel Stitch needlework featuring Flora and Fauna

Close-ups of this work to illustrate the extraordinary level of detail

3rd June 2021

This dramatic landscape, a limited limited edition print entitled "Stac Pollaidh Sun Rays" was created by the well known Scottish Artist Stuart Herd. Situated in the Assynt area of the NW Highlands, this artwork is of an area of dramatic scenic beauty where solitary mountains rise majestically out of a virtually treeless landscape studded with a myriad of lochs.

Stuart began his career as a commercial photographer before embarking on a painting career in 2002. He started exhibiting in Argyll galleries while working as a Picture Framer, but within a few years he was working full time on his paintings. 

In 2007 he opened The Art Studio in Tarbet, Argyll. Due to his growing popularity he felt he needed an outlet for people to meet him and view his work. This enabled him to combine his Picture Framing business on this site. Since opening, his work has become increasingly sought after by buyers worldwide.

This print was brought to us recently and following discussion with the customer it was decided to frame this artwork with an Artcare double mount and frame it with a moulding from Nielsen Design's Moma range.

If you would like to see more of Stuart Herd's work you can visit his website at http://www.artstuart.com/

3rd May 2021

About three months ago we received probably the most time consuming framing job we have ever worked on. It was a series of french flower cards that came with seed packets. Eighty four flower cards to be exact, all to be framed somehow.

The seed packets were discovered inside an old warehouse in France. They had lain there untouched since the 1930’s. It is not known if the owner had died or went bankrupt. There were lots of other bits and pieces. Mostly haberdashery, hair decorations, children’s toys etc. Our customer saw the seed packets advertised for sale on Instagram, thought they were lovely (they certainly are!), bought them and brought them to Picture Framing For You.

We were given carte blanche with regard to framing style except with regard to maximum dimensions that could be permitted for the resulting series of frames. Bearing these dimensions in mind the first task was to design a method of framing that was attractive and would protect the cards for as long as possible. This required framing to conservation standards and protection with anti-reflective UV blocking glass to minimise fading.

French Flower Cards printed early 20th Century, artist unknown

Following what seemed an extraordinary amount of arithmetic it was decided to make three frames, each with 24 cards (split across two mount windows each containing 12 cards) and a fourth frame with 12 cards in one mount window, all to be framed in a traditional style gold frame from Nielsen Design's Vienna range. Illustrated above is the frame with 12 flower cards.

The mountboard used is from the Artcare Tatami Silk range and is covered with silk fabric. Each card had to be placed accurately and evenly spaced in the mount window. To achieve that a template with twelve card sized windows was made to assist in the accurate positioning of each flower card as shown in the second photo below. The template was made to fit exactly within the mount window and each opening in the template was flower card sized. The template was made from mount board, a flower card layout on it was accurately drawn, then each individual card window was cut out using a craft knife.

Armed with our card template we could get to work! In the second photo (below) you can see the card template positioned within the mount window ready to receive the flower cards. Each card now had to be attached to the supporting mount board by means of thin strips of archival water gum tape. This kind of tape will cause no staining, is secure, and can, if need be, be removed without harm at a later date if re-framing is ever required. The painted stones in the second photo are weights to ensure the mount does not move while positioning the flower cards in the template.

Once all the cards were fixed within the template openings the template could be removed to start work on another mount window. You may be wondering how we arranged the sequence of cards. There are two of us at Picture Framing For You, Corinne worked out how to arrange the cards in each window, the aim being to randomise the colours as much as possible. She arranged them all on a large sheet of board into seven groups of twelve. Gordon, when fixing each card into the mount window simply transferred the pattern that Corinne had created.

If you'd like to see all the frames that were made for the french flower cards you can see them here https://www.pictureframingforyou.scot/Framed-Artworks/i-3ffj596 Finally, we'd like to mention Lisa Stewart of Stuff and Rainbows who painted the stones we use as weights anytime we need things held in place, which is a lot! Her painted stones are lovely and we discovered them one day when she was selling them at a craft fair at Ullapool Market. Lisa also exhibits at the Poolewe Tuesday Market and we may pop in there one day to get more stones!

Untitled photo

12 March 2021

This beautiful calligraphy work was created as a birthday present for a young man. The poem is Rudyard Kipling's 'IF' and the calligraphy is in Uncial script. Twenty four carat gold has been used for the poem's title and also for the motifs between each stanza of the poem. This fine work was created by calligrapher Annette Reed.

Click on the framed artwork to the left to see it in a larger size.

Annette is a Scribe (calligrapher) to the Order of the Thistle and has written many official documents for and on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, including appointments for Nicola Sturgeon, MSP, First Minister, The Lord Lyon King of Arms, Lords Lieutenant, Commissioners for the Church of Scotland and all appointed Scottish Queen’s Counsels. Annette has her own Facebook page at Reed and Write · where you can follow her and her work.

Following discussion with the customer it was decided to frame the calligraphy work as follows. That it should be double mounted to give added depth thereby leading the eye into the image. The undermount was to be made from Artcare Colour Core using a version which has a black core beneath the neutral top surface of the mount. When a bevel edge 'window' is cut in such a mount this reveals its black core giving the appearance of a line around the calligraphy. To this mount was added an neutral Artcare upper mount with a slightly larger window.

Finally it was decided to mirror the black core with a black frame as shown, but to have a gold inner slip frame to complement the gold used in the calligraphy.

Many more examples of Annette Reed's work are on her website at http://www.reedandwrite.co.uk/about.asp