Saturday, 12 November 2011

Lest we forget....

Armistice Day has come and once again it is so good to see so many people wearing poppies and taking the time to acknowledge what it represents.
We see a definate increase at this time of year of orders for Medal sets to be framed, often to be passed down to younger generations which is very encouraging and so important to keep these family stories alive and present.
I've said often to customers and I really mean it, that we feel it to be a real priveledge to be asked to frame these collections and to be entrusted with such personal, often poignant family heritage and their many amazing, sometimes tragic stories.
We hope that our customers are reassured that we always treat these precious family heirlooms with the greatest respect and care.

Here are a few examples of some of the Medal sets we have framed for our customers...
A Royal Marine collection, all painstakingly stitched onto the mount with invisible thread...

More cherished family medals...

Below, a most unusual collection of very rare medals including a Waterloo Medal! And most astonishingly a Crimean War medal showing clasps for the Battles of Balaclava and Sebastopol - the Charge of the Light Brigade of course, where the soldier was apparently shot and captured by the Russian army... and many other rare medals that we will be unlikely to have the chance to handle again.

This fragile embroidery stitched by a wounded soldier in his hospitol bed, had too little fabric for the lacing needed to stretch it flat, so in this case I carefully stitched on linen extension pieces all the way around...
And then laced it carefully over a layer of wadding and conservation board...

It was then mounted and framed with UV protection conservation glass to preserve the colours of the threads and protect the fragile fabric.

Here from a different customer, below is another beautiful piece of soldier's embroidery, this time made whilst he was a Prisoner of War, using only his cap badge as a guide... an amazing piece of history rightly cherished by his family.

There are some more examples on the medals page at the top right hand side of the blog, and some more will be added soon.

Wear your Poppy with pride!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Wildlife Art Exhibition with Martin Rumary and Paul Matthews

Don't miss our October exhibition starting on Saturday the 8th!
Both of the Artists will be demonstrating at the gallery from 10 am on the opening Saturday, a great opportunity to see these two talented artists at work, to have a chat and put your questions to them!

Martin Rumary specialises in wonderfully detailed paintings of birds, here's a few words about him and his work:

Heading Down Stream

Born in London, Martin moved at an early with his parents to the heart of the Somerset countryside where he developed a keen interest in the surrounding wildlife.

The birds local to his home on the beautiful Mendip Hills provide the subject matter for his paintings; the semi-moorland down to the wetlands of the Somerset levels giving a wide choice of habitat for inspiration.

Observations and sketching in the field preceed each painting; a great way to earn a living, although every work inevitably goes through a period of angst and indecision in trying to achieve the desired affect. Originally working in oils and then gouache he now paints exclusively in acrylics.

Widespread success in the UK has enabled him to established a considerable reputation through galleries and organisations such as The Wildlife Art Society International and The National Exhibition of Wildlife Art where he has had a sell-out for the last four years.

And a few words about L. Paul Matthews and his work:

Paul lives in the village of Puddletown, in heart of rural Dorset, surrounded by farms and beautiful countryside with its wildlife. This provides alot of the inspiration for his paintings of domestic animals and British wildlife. He also has a passion for African wildlife having travelled to Botswana and Kenya on sketching and reference trips, acompanied by his partner Annie, whom takes care of the photography.

The majority of Paul’s work is commissioned paintings and portraits, both animals (including pets) and people. He also works on wildlife paintings and has been in the final of the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competition, for the three years it has been running.

You can find out more about the artists on their websites:
L.Paul Matthews online gallery

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Old Bakery Artists Summer Exhibition 2011

Following the success of the Old Bakery Artist's Arts Trail back in May, which we very much enjoyed taking part in as one of the venues, we are delighted to be hosting their Summer Exhibition here on the High Street!

Popular local art group, the Old Bakery Artists, are exhibiting a variety of exciting new work at our gallery from 8th to 20th August - Monday to Saturday, 9.30 - 5.30pm. There will be an eclectic mix of paintings, from the abstract to the traditional, plus 3D objects and cards and prints for sale.

There will be two 'Meet the Artists' sessions on Saturday, 13th August and Saturday, 20th - 2 until 4pm. Among the artists calling in to talk about their work will be the well known Midsomer Norton artist, David Fisher, and Caroline Thatcher, who was recently featured in the BBC 2 series Show me the Monet.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

And the winner is...

Congratulations go to Rebecca Burton, the lucky winner of our Medieval prize draw!
Thank you also to all of those who popped in to comment so kindly on our window display, we had great fun pitting it together and good to see so many people enjoying the fayre too!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Medieval Fayre Day, 25th of June - come and enter our Free Prize Draw!

Midsomer Norton has re-instated its Town Midsummer Fayre day and the first one is to be a Medieval Fayre! So if you're around on the 25th of June do stop and have a look at our medieval themed window complete with replica Edward III sword and seal as well as a few Pre-Raphaelites for good measure!
We will be giving away a beautiful framed print by Blair-Leighton in a free prize draw at the end of the day's events, so if you would like a chance to win drop into our shop and enter!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Old Bakery Artists Art Trail 2011

We are proud to be sponsoring the Old Bakery Artist's bi-annual Arts Trail being held at various venues around Norton-Radstock from the 12th to the 15th of May!
We'll be exhibiting a piece of artwork from each Artist in our gallery for the week, so if you are out and about do pop in for a look and grab a leaflet!
You can find out more about the OBA and their Artists here at

Sunday, 27 February 2011

A 'Marvel-ous' collection of 3D object box frames...!

Here are a few more recent examples of interesting custom jobs that our customers have kindly given us permission to show...

Firstly a set of beautiful silver 'Apostle Spoons' that had aged to a lovely silver-gilt colour. These were sewn onto a suedette mountboard with strong invisible nylon thread and set off with a deep shadow mount to keep them clear of the glass. The gesso and silver frame complimented the colour of the spoons perfectly and all in all was a really enjoyable job to do. It makes a lovely feature of these antique family heirlooms that would otherwise have been hidden away in a dark drawer!

Here we have a somewhat smaller shirt than we have been framing of late! This was a favourite shirt of the little boy who wore this and will make a great memory to keepsake. It has been stretched over conservation mountboard and then sewn onto the undermount with no glue whatsoever. The glass has been floated clear of the shirt with a fillet stained black to match the deep box frame.
And finally below we have a 'Marvel-ous' set of limited edition figures... (sorry for the terrible pun but it had to be done! I hear you groan...!)

Arch Angel

The Fantastic Four

The Hulk

These great collector's figures were all deep box framed to free stand. The inside was faced with 'marvel' red on the sides and mirror glass on the back, top and bottom to show the reverse of the figure. The figures themselves were raised slightly on glass plinths to stand clear of the rebate.
They should certainly make a fantastic collection to display...

If you have any interesting and unusual 3D objects you would like framed do drop by or call for a quote. We enjoy a challenge, and with a bit of imagination there is usually always a way to effectively present even the trickiest of objects, which can make for a fantastic feature and talking point!
More examples coming soon....

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Some more examples - Medals and Shirts galore!

It seems it's about time I showed some more recent examples of specialist framing, and for this post its all medals and shirts! Indeed these are the most popular kinds of specialist items to box frame and we do take a bit of professional pride in them!
Below is a detail of the interesting set of medals in the first picture. As well as the usual set of WW2 medals, this individual had ten Rifle Shooting medals which we hand stitched onto the suedette mountcard. The stitching is fiddly work but the end results are really satisfying!

Here below is another interesting set, again with the medals hand stitched onto suedette mountcards, this time Football medals from 1912 to 1928...

(The bendy window apperture is distortion from my camera lens - it is actually cut straight!)

Next below our shop example medal set showing how you could incorporate cap badges and flashes with your medals... Again it is all shadow mounted to keep the glass well clear of the medals.

And finally last of the medals for today as a change from the WW2 medals we so often frame, an Iraq War Veteran's medal very aptly framed in a much more contemporary style which I think suits it very well.

So now to the shirts... All of our shirts are first stretched over acid neutral conservation board and then hand stitched onto the under mount. We use no glues, so the whole process is completely reversable. The shadow mount keeps the glass clear of the shirt and presents it really smartly in a deep box frame.

This one has been done as a 'full shirt' with an extra window for some text....

And this one below has been done as a 'half shirt'...

As a general guide a 'full shirt' would start at £150 to £180, while a 'half shirt' would start around £120 to £140.
Medal sets very much depend on how much or little you'd like to include but can range between about £60 to £100. Please do feel free to drop by for a free no obligation quote, we're always more than happy to help!
More examples coming soon...

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Don't miss our January Sale!

Our January Sale is now underway, so come and grab some bargains while you can!
There are big reductions on many framed prints and originals as well as some beautiful large and small framed mirrors.
Also we have some new 'Art Group' prints in stock with more coming soon including prints by the ever popular Sam Toft...
Don't forget we also stock crafts from our skilled local wood turners, silversmiths and ceramicists, and our new GIFT VOUCHERS are now available from the shop, just pop in and ask!

A look back... Midsomer Norton's Christmas Lantern Fayre...

Firstly a Happy and Healthy New Year to you all! Hope you all had a great Christmas and well done to all our customers who braved the snows to collect their Christmas framing! Hope you all kept warm and well in the snow and ice!
This is a somewhat belated post, a bit of a catch up after the busy Christmas period, starting with some pictures from Midsomer Norton's Lantern Fayre all the way back on the 3rd of December! We were just too busy to post them at the time but it was such a fun and exciting night it would be a shame to pass it by...

Many of the traders, including us, took part in the parade down the High Street, all dressed as Pantomime characters as part of a fantastic competition on the night. The public had to guess which pantomime each of us were representing with our window displays and costumes for a chance to win £250!
We were representing Aladdin, here are some pictures of our Aladdin's Cave window and us looking decidedly silly...

It was lovely to see so many of you braving the bitter cold and having a great time. Our shop was bustling and crowded and people seemed to enjoy the free mulled wine and chocolates too! So a big Thank You to everyone who braved the cold to support our town's Christmas Lantern Fayre, complete with Snow Queen, Ice Elf and even Santa's Reindeer.