Thursday, 9 December 2010

Well done competition winners! And a visit from a Children's Book Illustrator ...

I've realised I've not updated the blog for a while, there just didn't seem to be a spare minute! But here is the first of a couple of belated posts about some of our recent events.
A little while ago with the support and help of local school's magazine 'Hey!' we ran a children's art competition to illustrate a dream holiday!
We got some fantastically imaginative entries and the children all worked really hard, so a big thank you to everyone who entered!
The winners and runners up pictured here were presented with their prizes by Children's Book Illustrator Paula Bowles who was a fantastic sport for taking part and made a special trip out for the prizegiving. (Paula's the one on the right of the picture...)
She presented the Winners with signed copies of her 'Time for bed Tiger!' book and all the children received art sets as well to continue their creative endeavours!
We framed the winners lovely artwork and mounted the runners up's, they look great don't they! So well done everyone and keep up the good work!
Paula is a member of SWIllustrators and you can check out her fantastic illustrations here at her blog and here at
Thanks again Paula, it was lovely to see you in Midsomer Norton!

Here are the winning pictures...

Winner Age 4 -6 Katie Green

Runner up Age 4 - 6 Natalie Green

Winner Age 7 - 9 Elena Cook

Runner up Age 7 - 9 Megan Dram

Winner Age 10 - 12 Imogen Young

Runner up Age 10 - 12 Melissa Dram
Fantastic work everyone!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Three generations of military service...

It being Armistice Day, I thought it an appropriate time to show a recent example of an interesting bespoke framing job. Our customer kindly gave us permission to show his finished frame which shows three generations of military service in his family - himself, his Father, and his Grandfather who served in the first world war, and I am told was only sixteen years old in this photo.
Each service man has been quadruple mounted in his regimental colours, with his cap badge shadow-mounted in an oval or circle apperture above. Quite a tricky mount to cut but well worth it for the effect. I photographed it before the glass was fitted to get some reflection free shots!

We seem to have had a few more medal framing enquiries than usual this week with Armistice Day being on everyone's mind. I will be putting some more medal examples up soon, but please feel free to drop in with your specifications and we'll be happy to advise.

A general guide to costs of framing medals are approximately between £40 and £60 depending on the frame chosen and how many medals or additional objects such as cap badges, regimental flashes or photographs etc... are included.

Our Armistice Day window display will be up for a few more days yet if you haven't seen it. It includes is a framed signed limited edition Artists proof of Queen Elizabeth by renowned portrait painter 'Christian Furr' to be auctioned in aid of HELP FOR HEROES on December the 11th at Norton Hill School.
I will post more details shortly...

Wear your Poppy with pride.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A recent example of an unusual box frame...

This is a really interesting framing job Tony did recently which our customer has kindly given us permission to show...
It's an antique Japanese theatre mask made of wood and horse hair and I just couldn't resist getting a picture of Tony with it to compare beards!

The mask itself is hung by a brass hook so it can be removeable, and the high lacquer facing frame is hinged with a magnetic clasp to close it which has been recessed and stained black.
Inside the box is lined with lovely black suede mount board which sets off the pale mask to dramatic effect!

Tony hand made a very deep box frame to hold this and built up the finish in several layers, highly waxed to imitate Japanese lacquer with the red bole distressed through to show on the edges. The top frame or door is an Arqadia high lacquer moulding which sits well with the hand finishing on the box.

And just for fun one more shot of those beards... they could be distant relatives!

More unusual framing examples coming soon...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

An update - some recent examples...

I've realised with all the catching up after the shop move that we've not posted for a while... so I thought I'd show a few of the interesting jobs we have framed for our customers recently.
This is a rather nice set of Royal Naval WW2 medals - one with an oakleaf commendation. They have been shadow mounted onto blue suede mountboard with a gun metal/pewter effect frame which sets it off really well.
It's always nice to have a photo of the person too which always makes it so much more personal and gives a connection to the man's life and brave deeds. There are always such amazing and courageous stories behind these medal sets that really should be honoured and remembered. So many of these war medals are split and sold off, losing their stories and becoming anonomous which I believe is a real shame.

On a different note (or power chord!) here is a snare drumskin signed by the band Motorhead. It has been shadow mounted as well, with the drumskin set into a circular cut apperture and supported behind with foam board. Sorry for the unclear picture here, the Motorhead logo is mounted behind its own bevel cut window in the bottom mount and the frame is a deep profile ideal for box framing.

Now for a tricky one! An original Disney sketch with pin badge... The mountcard I had to replicate on this one was probebly originally cut on a computerised mountcutting machine, but I had to cut it by hand on our Keencut Oval cutter and Ultimat Gold cutter. No easy task!
First I cut the circle in the outer mount then carefully measured and marked out with a compass my quarter circle cut with start and stop marks. It's very hard to do an accurate partial cut on a circle by hand on this machine so it was some challenge to then do it all again 5mm deeper for the yellow inner mount!I then cut the rest of the double mount as normal on the Ultimat Gold cutter for the straight edges and backed it with foam board to support the pin of the badge.

And here is another shirt belonging to the Paulton Rovers goal keeper who played against Norwich City last year. He'd actually swopped shirts with the Norwich City goalie and we framed that up as well to go with it!
There has been quite a few really nice shirts framed in the last few months that we didn't manage to photograph, including a fully signed Real Madrid shirt, a fully signed child's Liverpool shirt, Bath Rugby shirts and a burgandy Paulton Rovers home shirt that went into a burgandy stained frame with burgandy inner mount and looked great!

More updates coming soon!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Smiles, balloons, music and wine!

Our Grand Re-opening bash on Saturday evening was a great success! Thankyou so much to all of you who dropped by for a glass of wine and a look at our new shop and gallery. It was a lovely atmosphere with lots of friendly faces and some great music by Blues Trio 'Catfish' who were the bee's knees indeed!
Here are some pictures of the new shop just before the throngs arrived...

It was so nice and busy that it was hard to get any pictures of it all in full swing...

Here are 'Catfish' - Paddy O'Brien (left) Pete D'Arby (centre harmonica) and Kevin de Las Casas (right) who put on a fantastic show for us...

And finally I couldn't resist showing a close up of our shiny new shop sign glinting in the sun! That was one big frame to make!

So please do come and browse and see for yourselves. Try out our comfy new sofa to browse our print catalogues, we'll be expanding our range of crafts, cards and prints as well as our range of frames very soon. For anyone who missed out on the night you can still collect a 10% off bespoke framing voucher from the shop until the 7th of July...

Also a big thank you is due for all those people who helped with the shop re-furb, the lovely newly painted shop front and of course the big move itself! (I won't mention you all by name, but you know who you are!) Thankyou also to Catfish, and to Mrs Dring for organising the balloons!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Nearly there!

The new shop is almost ready! The shiny new sign went up this evening and looks marvellous!
We will be open for normal trade on Weds the 23rd 9 am - 5 pm, browsers very welcome!

Don't forget our Grand Re-opening evening on Saturday the 26th if you would like to pop by for a glass of wine and see our new gallery. There will be live acoustic music between 6 -7 pm from Blues trio 'CATFISH'! It would be lovely to see you!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Grand Re-opening events...

The move is all happening this weekend and the new shop is about to be painted - the last job! We will be closed Saturday the 19th and Monday the 21st, but framing due for collection on the 19th will still be able to be collected from 54c the High Street...

We will be open again for trading in the new shop from tuesday the 22nd but will also be holding a Grand Re-opening evening on Saturday the 26th from 6 - 7 pm.
Please do drop by for a glass of wine and see our new shop and gallery whilst listening to live acoustic blues by 'CATFISH'!
There will be a 10% off bespoke framing voucher for everyone dropping by...

Also we would like to say thankyou to all our lovely loyal customers who have helped to give our business a great start - we'll look forward to seeing you at our new shop!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

We are moving to a lovely new shop!


From the 21st of June you will find us at

NO. 10 the High Street, Midsomer Norton
(Next door to Caswells)

So we are going from the very top of the High Street down to the very bottom! It will be great for us to have a bigger workshop as well as a bigger gallery and we're really looking forward to moving in...

We will be offering a 10% discount on all bespoke framing in the opening week in our new shop. We will keep you posted on our Grand Re-opening events as they are finalised!
(Pictures of our new shop coming soon...)

Friday, 14 May 2010

Medals, more medals, and some restoration...

Here are some nice medal sets we enjoyed framing this week, both with shadow mounts on a lovely green cotton suede mount card. Both turned out very smartly indeed!
Some WW2 medals and personal items...

And the coins, flashes and medal of a Corporal recently serving in Afghanistan. (Sorry about the funny camera angle - it was the only relfection free shot!)

Also staying with the military theme... here are some rather impressive before and after shots of a digital photo restoration and reprint job done for us by our marvellous man at PHOENIX PHOTOGRAPHICS! Unfortunately we haven't got a photo of the reprint in its new framing but it certainly shows how even something as damaged as this can be expertly saved!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

An example of Conservation Framing...

This was a lovely job we did recently to conservation frame three exquisitely fragile rice paper miniature paintings. Our customer kindly gave us permission to show the process...

They were each originally sandwiched between a small piece of glass and card backing but had started to disintegrate with age.
These pictures show really clearly the potential damage that could be caused by the acids and lignin in the old backing materials... The foxing has left a clear imprint of the image on the backing card, and if the paintings had been on ordinary paper and not rice paper, they would have also been already foxed and brown and in need of restoration!

All the new materials used for conservation framing are acid neutral and archival grade. The tape we use to attach the art to the undermount is an archival cotton rag gum tape with no wood pulp at all. It is activated with distilled water and can be carefully removed in the same way with no damage to the artwork.

This picture (above) shows the tabs of cotton rag tape attached with minimal contact to the back of the rice paper, and a tiny repair to strengthen a slight split which could have grown.

And here is shown the 'T-hinge' method of attaching to the undermount, again all with cotton rag tape. Attaching only at the top allows the paper to breathe, expand and contract, and this type of hinge has strength whilst having the minimal amount of tape in contact with the artwork.

We mounted the rice paper paintings with conservation grade mount card which is acid neutral and protects and supports both the back of the artwork from the acids in the backing board, and the front from contact with the glass. The top mount and the undermount are hinged with more archival tape...

Finally it was carefully fitted behind Tru-vue conservation glass which filters out 99% of the harmful UV rays that would fade the beautiful colours in the paintings (Although it is still not recommended to hang in direct sunlight!)
We 'sandwich taped' the glass and mounted art together to prevent dust, insects and other airbourne pollutants getting in, as well as sealing the back of the frame with paper gum tape.

This type of conservation framing should protect and conserve artwork for a minimum of 20 years and is No. 2 of the Five Levels of Framing set out by the Fine Art Trade Guild.

So there you are - I hope it's given an interesting insight into framing for conservation!
Perhaps if it is of interest I will do a future post all about restoration... Watch this space!