Far Out Framing

Whenever we design and run a new course, there is always a "first night" feel.  Timings have not been tried and new kit may need to be explained.  However, from the moment our newest endeavour, Custom Framing, started it was clear that it had the right feel. 

The main idea behind this work is to encourage people to be a bit more inventive and find their own approach to deliver stunning and unique framing projects. Up until this point we have tended to offer up samples of moulding and mountboard to the artwork, make decisions about the colour scheme and perhaps add the odd flourish with double mounts or a deep bevel mount.  In Custom Framing, we get people to design a final look for the piece and then to see what is available to help produce that look. If there isn't a ready made solution then you have to adapt some existing materials and use combinations of others to achieve what you want.

The course is spread over two days.  The first thrust is to develop your armoury of framing skills a bit further by teaching you some more aspects of creative framing.  These include:

  • using shadow mounts and float mounted artwork;
  • using a frame within a frame;
  • working with slips and fillets;
  • working with colour lines and fills.

Next you have the chance to set up your own framing project, but with just a few restraining factors.  First of all, there is a design brief based on the lifestyle and preferences of a particular client (different one for each student). The second issue is one of budget: it would be easy (and costly) to spend as much as you want on materials, but although you might produce something exciting, you may well not receive the financial return on it you need.  You could even make a net loss. 

Finally, rather than letting the artwork dominate, each student has the same piece of artwork, so it is important that each final outcome is different yet matches the initial project brief. So, a bit of a challenge then.  One thing is certain, all of the students on our first course were easily up to the demands of the two days.  Their two "apprentice pieces" (small framed examples), completed using the range of new skills being taught were stunning. They would grace any room in any household and would actually represent over £100 of framing. 

The group also entered into the whole notion of designing a project for a customer, taking their "homework" (artwork & design brief) away at the end of day They came back in the morning refreshed and with a good idea of what they were hoping to create.  No excuses of dogs having eaten papers, although some did try to make out that their client had contacted them overnight to let them know that, "Money is no object". Worth a try I suppose. 

The end results were brilliant and totally unexpected - we set the challenge, please don't expect us to have any solutions as well.  Mind you it was a huge relief that each piece was so different and totally conformed to each of the limitations we had set.

The notion of Custom Framing also struck a chord with those of you able to attend our Open Day on 15th September at Beaconsfield.  The workshop we ran was based on some of the key elements of the Custom Framing courses.  Although a one hour session cannot do justice to what is learned over a two day period, it did fire the imagination and, in some cases, provide enough of a practical demo to try some new ideas out in the privacy of their own workshops (ie kitchens, garages, sheds).

Because of the success of the first run out of this new programme, we have decided to run it again this year. We have gone for a weekend this time:

1st & 2nd December in Beaconsfield.  Please note, it is a two day course and the days cannot be bought separately. Those attending the Open Day had a head start, knowing the dates a week ahead of everyone else, so if you fancy a go, don't leave it too long to be in touch with the office.

For more detail about this course, click: Custom Framing


Posted on: 24 Sep 2007@13:12:46, updated on: 24 Sep 2007@13:12:46.