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Please note that the Beaconsfield, DIYframing store will also be open this Saturday 16th June 2007 9.00 am - 12.00 pm If you wish to pop over for some supplies or to have a demo on our range of tools make sure you get there early

Last calls for the few places left for our 2 day special CANVAS FRAMING SPECIAL:
16th & 17th June 2007, Nuneaton (also easy access from Birmingham Airport) The days have been praised for providing an essential knowledge base for those working with photography and many artists wanting to produce more dramatically proportioned artwork. If you have already learnt how to make frames, sign up for the second day (click) Stretching & Framing Canvas Based Artwork

Also on the 16th & 17th June, we will be running a Photography Framing Weekend at Beaconsfield. This covers how to complete a basic framing project (day 1) and how to create a whole range of mount styles (day 2). For more detail click: Photo Framing Weekend

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Step Up A Gear


The name DIYframing may suggest that we are only interested in supporting people working on a small scale or producing occasional frames. Nothing could be further from the truth. We believe framing to be a highly creative process and top quality should be achieved no matter how few or how many framing projects you take on. Admittedly, we do have a lot of customers, who have found us because we can accommodate people only needing small amounts of materials and smaller scale tools.

However, the truth is we have a number of people joining us who are moving into the bespoke framing business or are looking to add unique elements to their existing range of services. So here are a few thoughts to show how we can help your business to thrive.

FRAMING: Many people will be familiar with the standard styles of framing. However, bespoke work is a bit more time consuming, which means that not all framers are willing to take it on. Offering specialist services will increase your customer base. They will choose a skilled framer who can work with their ideas rather than being persuaded to choose from a narrow range of options that the framer is comfortable with. So extend your repertoire and look at some of the courses we have on offer:

Make something look extra special and they will tell friends and be back for more.

ADDING TO YOUR PORTFOLIO: As well as using our training programme to help you add a little bit of creative drama to standard framing, consider how you can create new products /services, which you can then offer existing customers. Wedding and portrait photographers can take advantage of the latest fashion for stretched canvas blocks – unframed or with a simple tray frame. You could then think of other items for framing:

  • wedding cake decorations;
  • invitations and place settings; the wedding bouquet (once correctly prepared);
  • wedding shoes ....

Or how about combining photos of events and trophies all in one frame? Again check out the course range above to see if these might help you. If you are stuck for new ideas, find out about the Business Day 2 of our Business Development Week. It works very well as a stand-alone, ideas day.

OUR PRODUCT RANGE: We offer a complete range of top quality professional kit that won’t break the bank. A good way of moving up from small scale to a framing workshop (or adding framing to current premises) is to see what our Series 100 Pro Workshop kit has to offer.

All of our product range is available in bulk quantities but without having to buy and store by the palette load. You can keep your workshop and storage space smaller so you don’t have to pay to operate from large premises. The whole range is also more focussed, which means you don’t have to trawl through massive choices for each area of framing: we have already selected good, value for money products.

Our moulding range can be ordered by the pack, passing on huge savings without having to make new trade contacts. The same applies to our range of mount boards available in full and half sheets – you don’t have to buy a pack of each colour that you might want to use.

Of course, if you do more bespoke work, the chances are that you will not want to order vast quantities of some items just to complete an individual project – and that really is a DIYframing speciality.

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Selling Your Own Artwork

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There is no doubt that there is a knack for marketing your own artwork. If you do the right sort of ground work in advance, you can immediately save yourself time and rejection when entering the current, highly competitive market. The latest guide from the Fine Art Trade Guild is essential reading for anybody aiming to sell their own work. It covers information and suggestions about:

  • Selecting and approaching galleries
  • Pricing and payments
  • Royalty rates and financial management
  • Sample contracts and other legal considerations
  • Marketing and publicising your own work
  • Writing letters and CVs
  • Internet sales and website

For details and ordering click: The Artists Guide

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Custom Framing

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This is the latest in our training programme and looks at each stage of the framing process, exploring where, what and how you can make changes to create an individual piece of framed artwork, matching the design brief of a customer. It is a two day course aimed at those who want to attempt a bespoke framing project with the 'safety net' of expert guidance. It is particularly suited to those about to embark on the more creative side of quality framing within their business: this will often be people who have attended a Business Development Week.

We take you through a few more decorative skills, giving you a chance to try out:

  • Shadow and float mounts;
  • Adding a slip, fillet or spacer into the framed item;
  • A frame within a frame;
  • Creating ruled lines with a colour infill to a mount;
  • Ideas for finish effects.

You then plan, in detail, a framing project for a print or photo, taking account of a customer's preferences. This design brief will provide you with information to decide on the style you are going to adopt.

The whole of the second day is set aside to frame the picture according to the plans you have made. Throughout this session you will be able to draw upon the advice of the trainer to complete your project. The sessions will end with a brief discussion about how well you met the design brief.

The first course we will be running on 12th & 13th September 2007, in Beaconsfield. For more details and booking instructions click: CUSTOM FRAMING. Alternatively use our free phone number (0800 801061) to talk to one of our staff about the programme.

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Finished Framing?

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Not all finish effects have to be massively flamboyant. Some ideas can be simple and similar to some of the ready finished mouldings. Where these finishes can be useful to do for yourself is when you want a bit more depth and texture to a look. In fact we have just completed another, very successful, Adding Finishes to Frames course (click title for details). These sessions take you through a whole range of guiding, fundamental principles when undertaking this type of project. They also illustrate how you can use a whole range of colouring agents and finishing products in combination to produce stunning, individual finishes. By joining one of these days, you get to try the products out before you choose ones that you might buy to match your particular, favourite styles.

Our next session will be: 6th December 2007 in Beaconsfield.

Also check out our whole range of finishing products and click Finishing Kits to see some money saving packages.

Just to show that we know how to treat our customers here are a couple of free ideas in black and white.

BLACK FRAMES are very popular and there are many very good commercially available finishes. If you like the look of real wood and want to shown the depth and texture of the grain as well as the strong lines of a square cut moulding, try this. Make the frame, fill, sand and brush with bronze brush. Brush onto the frame, either Liberon, ebony palette dye or a water based acrylic, blackboard paint to provide a black base. After a few minutes, wipe away excess colour with a rag. Leave the colour base to dry. If you like a distressed look, use steel wool (0000 grade) to rub away colour on edges and some areas of the grain. Apply a coat of Liberon, Dark Oak Black Bison wax using a short bristled brush or steel wool. Leave for 10 minutes before buffing up to a real shine with a soft cloth.

FOR A WHITE FINISH which doesn’t make the moulding look like plastic, this is effective and provides a more intense white than liming wax on its own. It is also a finish that works well on ash and oak mouldings, as well as the usual obeche. Again make the frame, fill, sand and brush with bronze brush. Apply a brilliant white emulsion paint, or a white Liberon colour dye, to the frame using a cloth. Work it into the grain until there is an even coverage without masking the grain completely. Leave this to dry (see drying times on the colouring agent container). Now apply Liberon liming wax to the white frame, again working in well before buffing it to a sheen.

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Got It Taped?

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There's an old saying: 'There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad choices of clothing.’ In the same way, there is no such thing as a bad tape, it’s just inappropriate usage. Ok, not quite so snappy, but it does make a point.

Broadly speaking, we use 4 ranges of tapes in framing (click on highlighted areas for more information):

  • Temporary
  • Permanent
  • Reversible
  • Decorative

Temporary tapes: here we use a low-tack quality to hold things in place while we support elements of a project until it is complete. This will usually be masking tape. In large mounts, multiple opening mounts, combination mounts (double & triple mounts) we put tabs of tape across cuts (on the back of the mount) we have made to hold the core in place. This means that the cut edge is protected from damage as the work is manoeuvred until all cuts are made. The low-tack nature of the tape means that it can be peeled off easily without damaging the work.

HOWEVER these tapes should not be used for attaching artwork (except budget or temporary pieces) into mounts as they will allow the work to drop, over time. Also the qualities of the adhesive used may cause staining to artwork.

Permanent tapes: these are tapes that have a high-tack adhesive coating, which will hold work firmly on contact. Permanent adhesion might be difficult to prove, but it does mean that pulling stuck-down items apart will cause damage. These tapes are ideal for use in all parts of mount construction (ie layers in double mounts, making a hinged mount and some attachments of artwork).

White, self adhesive paper, hinging tape is the most commonly used tape to attach artwork into a mount system. Also look for other tapes, such as linen tapes and tissue tapes for working with different weights of artwork.

Double sided tapes (ATG tapes) would only be used in heavy duty contacts and only occasionally attaching artwork to a mount board. These attachments are likely to be to the back of a secondary surface onto which the artwork has already been bonded (dry mount, foam core etc) or where the work is sturdy enough (or not of any great value) to take later removal.

All of the tapes are available in a standard quality or conservation standard. Conservation hinging tapes or ATG tapes have been treated to ensure that they are PH neutral. This means that they will not leach out damaging acids into the artwork or mount package.

Brown adhesive tapes (Eco Kraft Tape) are used to ‘tape in’ the backs of frames.

Reversible tapes: these can often be the true conservation tapes. They can be used in direct contact with artwork if they are conservation grade as they can be removed at a later stage. The notion of being able to reverse all actions in the framing process is the essential feature of conservation framing – these tapes will often be described as archival tapes. The white gummed tapes can be used in the same way as the hinging tapes mentioned in the previous section. The gum is activated using a damp cloth. It is important to allow time for the adhesive to 'go off' so that the full effect of the adhesive is active. To remove the tape, simply dampen the back and peel away. This will leave artwork free of tape and therefore in its original form.

Brown, gummed tapes are also available for ‘taping in’; these have been the traditional, 'trade-standard’ for completing a project.

Also note that there are other specialised ‘archival’ systems for attaching artwork, such as hand made paper strips and starch adhesive pastes.

Decorative Tapes: the most obvious use for mount decoration tape is in the making of deep bevel mounts, where the bevelled edges of 5mm foam core strips have a decorative faces provided by these tapes. This is a traditional French mount style (Foam Bisceaux). If you have not already learnt how to do this on a mount cutting course, click on Deep Bevel Mounts and scroll to the relevant Handy Hints sheet.

Sometimes, people will use marbled and coloured tapes to provide a colour strip on the face of the mount rather than using ink lines with a pastel infill.

For more notes about using tapes click the following:
Tapes: Dos and Don’ts
Handy Hints: Mounts (more sheets on alternative attachment styles will follow in June)

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Thank you for your continued support.

Until next time...


June 2007

Most people start New Year’s resolutions in January.  However there will often be lulls in your output through the year, or times when you compare your own efforts with what you have seen in exhibitions and shop windows, and you think perhaps you could do with some new ideas.  That is when you need to come up with different designs, learn some new skills or even think about developing some completely new projects.  Whether you are a hobbyist, exhibitionist (not sure that sounds too good!) or already have a framing business, waiting until January means you miss that busy time at Christmas. Read on and see if we can suggest some thoughts that will lead to 'Mid Year' resolutions so you will be brimming with inventiveness.

In this edition we highlight what DIYframing has to offer experienced framers and those who want to add an additional service to existing businesses. There are reminders about the range of bespoke finishes you can use with bare wood mouldings and how using the correct tapes in your framing can help add decorative effects, as well as protecting artwork. With details of a promotion on mount cutters, a new book about how to market your artwork and details of our latest course, 'Custom Framing', we can promise you an interesting “June” read.


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