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A bold, theatrical, modern tray frame.

The customer had a small, unimposing canvas that she wanted framing to hold its own with some much larger paintings in chunky, architectural, modern frames, predominantly in gold and black. After some thought we decided to go with a heavy tray frame made up in a blocky, bare wood moulding, and painted in a ‘liquid metal’ gold paint, with the canvas floated over a mat-black background.

In another setting the painting might have looked right with a smaller, more subtle frame but in this case a bold, imposing style was what was required.

Posted by Jon_Brooke

Re-cutting an antique frame.

The customer had an antique print in an antique Hogarth frame (black with gilt detail) which he wanted to pair with another unframed print of a similar style.

Although there are some modern Hogarth style mouldings, they are generally much narrower than on the old frame and so were unsuitable in this case, and whilst there are some frame makers who are still able to make these traditional frames from scratch (not me!) a new hand carved and gilded frame would cost hundreds of pounds.

However – there is a third way! I bought an old, larger, second hand frame online and re-cut it to the same size as the existing frame. Whilst not quite identical it was close enough to create the required effect at a reasonable cost.

Posted by Jon_Brooke

Vintage film poster

Whilst full size original vintage film posters can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, these quarter size posters (especially foreign ones) can be relatively inexpensive. This one was under £20 on ebay and is a stunning decorative print as well as a historical document.

Posted by Jon_Brooke

Watercolour restoration

This watercolour by Swanage artist Lar Smits came into the workshop in a sorry state. It had unfortunately been affected by condensation leading to the growth of black mould. What was visible on the surface of the picture was just the tip of the iceberg. Between the picture and the backing board was a mess.

After disassembly the picture went off to restorer Richard who put it through a long process of repeated soaking and drying to remove the mould, followed by some retouching of the painting.

When it came back I added a new mount, a new backing board, gave the frame a thorough clean, re-applied liming wax and re-assembled.

The result – good as new!

Posted by Jon_Brooke

Watkin Art prints

Three A2 Watkin Art prints to hang together in a hallway. All have the same coloured mounts, but the frames were each painted in a different colour to match one of the coloured highlights in the pictures.

Posted by Jon_Brooke

Silver bracelet.

The customer had a silver bracelet that she wanted to display, but she didn’t know how.

I suggested a deep box frame that made use of the bag that the bracelet came in to hide the fixing between the bracelet and the back of the frame. I also added both a stand and picture wire to the back of the frame to allow it to hang or be free standing. The message card was “floated” off the mountboard for an extra touch of elegance.

Posted by Jon_Brooke

Rena Gardiner Print

A beautiful vintage print by Dorset artist and printmaker Rena Gardiner framed in a sympathetic traditional style.

I didn’t know about Rena Gardiner before this picture was brought into the workshop, but have since become a fan of her work. She was incredibly prolific in the second half of the 20th century producing entire books by hand from her Workshop Press in Tarrant Monkton.

Posted by Jon_Brooke

Football shirt

Football shirts are generally presented in a box frame. In this case a black frame and mount works with both the black number on the shirt and the white gloves and certificate. For a child’s room this picture was also framed with plexiglass (acrylic sheet) for safety.

Posted by Jon_Brooke

Prints from a calendar.

A customer had some pages from a calendar that she wanted framing. She thought she would need eight separate frames, but I suggested that two frames, each with four double mounts, would be neater, as she wanted to hang the prints on either side of her bed.

She was very pleased with the final result, turning a few pages that might normally have been thrown away into a permanent decorative piece of artwork.

Posted by Jon_Brooke