Cherry Orchard Framers

Testing Times For Jan

The ultimate test of your skills as a framer is sitting the Fine Arts Trade Guild, Guild Commended Framer exam.

Naturally enough it is not an easy level to achieve and will take some practice of skills and experience of working with customers before you may be ready to have a go. However, as DIYframing is now just turned 5 years old, it is not a surprise that some of our first students are at that point. What is involved in the assessment and how does it feel to be put through the examination process? Fortunately we have somebody within the business to tell all. Jan Doyle, one of our first students and now a trainer with UK School of Framing, gives you the low down.

As for the exam itself well I think it was the most nerve wracking thing I have ever done. I suddenly realised I hadn't done an exam for over 20 years and it was incredible how those ‘O' Level nerves came back! The exam is done on a one to one basis and takes just under two hours.

During the task the timer was set and steadily clicked away.

I had to prepare three framed images to take with me to the test centre. The first was a piece of art in a double mount, framed to commended level. The second was a piece framed to conservation level with a set of double lines ruled around the mount (using a ruling pen, no cheating allowed). The third piece was art on canvas stretched and framed. The examiner scrutinised then dismantled the framed pieces I had taken with me and quizzed me on how I had done them and why I had chosen the various materials. She then asked questions to make sure I understood exactly what the different levels of framing are:

  • How and why I would advise customers on the care of their framed work,
  • How I would recognise different forms of artwork and suggest the suitable framing level etc.
  • Why certain materials were used and what they were made of or what treatments they had received during manufacture.

The next stage was the practical section. I was handed a piece of paper that had a description of how I should frame an A4 picture. It turned out to be conservation level, double mount with a weighted bottom boarder. All materials were provided along with a choice of equipment and I was given 45 minutes to frame the work. During the task the timer was set and steadily ticked away on the counter . . . .

Finally there was a multiple choice set paper for which I was allowed about 30 minutes. During the tasks the timer was set and steadily ticked away on the counter . . . . I swear I can still hear that clock.

Anyone thinking of taking this exam needs to buy the FATG Commended Framer Study Guide which is very informative and clearly sets out their guidelines and expectations.


Return to the top of the page