Many thanks to all of you who asked after Judy, who was forced to leave her post by the phone due to a period of ill health. You will be delighted to know she is back and sorting things out. Some will have seen recent improvements and guessed that the organising force is once more "steering the ship".
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New Kid On The Block
We are pleased to let you know that there has been a new appointment to the Beaconsfield team, Tim Rees. He will be working on sales and dispatches (and probably everything else before long - just don't tell him that!).
Tim's appointment was one of those lucky breaks for both parties. The story starts some time ago .... Tim is a woodcarver, creating free-form bowls, wooden spoons and so forth. This led him into having a go (technical framers' term) at making his own frames and using pyrography to etch designs into his work. Like most of us, he thought that there is probably a better way to create frames than sawing, hammering and battering the daylights out of innocent bits of pine. Having had a go at an (inferior) bit of training, he found somebody, who was selling off a complete range of framing tools. Unfortunately this didn't work out, so, one lunch-hour, he abandoned his post as school caretaker, sped up the motorway to DIYframing.
When he arrived in the doorway of a conservation framing training session, Richard (Prof) went into his best teaching mode giving out even more "useful" information than usual, being convinced that the Fine Arts Trade Guild had sent a scout to see how we do things. After the slight misunderstanding a sale was scented, so Duncan launched into a fine sales pitch, taking Tim to see his pride and joy in the Warehouse (not Alex): the new trade counter. A chance inquiry from Tim about whether there were any job opportunities now the sales area was expanding and 10 days later he was parking "police officer" for the Open Days.
Tim is now setting up his own framing workshop to start a small business, framing from home ... if the new job gives him any time to do so.
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Open Days, Open House
Picture the scene - blinding sunlight, a marquee, red kites wheeling and gliding in the summer sky and the gentle sound of friendly chat. Yes, the DIYframing open days in August were a great sucess. Each of the 4 seminars was packed out and many of you have now gone away with a real urge to start framing in new ways and, in many cases, to start earning money from something that you really enjoy doing.
It also gave us the chance to highlight some of the support and advice on offer from DIYframing that is not always so easily available through other sites:
- access to advice from professional framers
- information about tools, equipment and materials
- downloadable guidance from our handy hints sheets
- a library of newsletters and articles featuring a whole range of framing issues
- opportunities to follow a carefully thought through programme of training.
Many thanks to all of you who helped make this such a successful couple of days and there is no doubt that this will be a feature of our annual diary. The big question is, can we book the same weather in advance?
You will also have noticed that there is an exciting new sales area, first used for the Open Days. Although not officially launched yet, it is open so you can visit, see our full range of tools, equipment and materials. And if you ask Tim or Alex they will be only too happy (nay delighted) to show you how things work.
Opening hours are: Monday - Friday 9.00 am - 4.30 pm
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Finishing In Style
One thing that will give your artwork and framing an amazing look, as well as making it stand out from the competition, is creating your own, bespoke frame finishes. When you have spent an age deciding on colour schemes and decorative features of a mount, you don't have to be limited to just the range of commercial mouldings to complete a project. Try using stains, colours, gilt finishes on bare wood mouldings to come up with something a bit more funky or stylish.
Not clear where to start? How about DIYframing's latest one day course: Adding Decorative Finishes to Frames
It's a day spent in experimenting with different colouring agents and types of finish. Loads of practical activity letting you cover areas such as:
- experimentation with colouring agents on a range of natural wood moulding samples;
- application of different types of finish onto coloured moulding samples;
- choosing the right sort of moulding for different styles of finish.
You will learn about how to prepare moulding for these finishes, what sort of finishes are available and, of course, the usual range of "tricks of the trade" for keeping things simple but maintaining the best quality.
There is also a full demonstration of the steps followed in putting a leaf metal gilt finish onto bare wood mouldings, accompanied by illustrated notes so that you will be able to try it all out for yourself, in the comfort of your own workshop, at a later stage.
The first courses are running before Christmas and have just one or two places left on each.
* Wednesday October 18th: Beaconsfield (Woodlands Studio) 10.00 am - 5.00 pm
* Thursday October 19th: Manchester 10.00 am - 5.00 pm
Look at our courses pages for more details.
Just in time to make that special Christmas presie.
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DIYframing is on the road once again. We will be visiting one more major exhibition before Christmas:
Hobbycrafts & Art Materials Live, NEC Birmingham.
Dates: Thursday 9th November - Sunday 12th November
Times: Daily 9.30 am - 5.30 pm (except Sunday 9.30 am - 5.00 pm)
We had also planned to visit The Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts Show. Unfortunatley unforseen problems with booking arrangements have meant that we will not be able to attend this time.
However, the PHOTOGRAPHY FRAMING SPECIAL will go ahead as planned on:
Wednesday 25th October & Thursday 26th October.
The Hobbycrafts an Art Materials Live show is becoming one of the main ways that we can meet up with artists and people who work in a whole range of media. There are many leading voices present here, so whether you are hoping to hear from nationally and internationally renowned experst in various arts fiels or just hoping to pick up some useful hints and brand new products, it is an exhibition not to be missed. We will be providing the same range of product services and support outlined in the previous section about Glasgow. Once again, we have been invited to lead a seminar in one of the lecture theatres. The title will be:
Put the Wow Factor into Your Framed Artwork
Framing can either perform a basic "packaging" function or it can make a statement. At its best, top quality framing will add an extra dimension to the artwork it is showing. We take you through a whole raft of simple things that you can do when framing images to give them a stunning look. So if you want your work to be noticed, then hear what we have to say so that you turn out "framing with knobs on!" – not literally of course
In addition we will have a workshop area attached to the stand where we will be running free, mini-workshops: 3 different ones on each day. Over the four days we will be offering the following titles:
- How to Create a Simple Hinge Mount System
- Making a Double Mount
- Learning To Make Decorative Mounts
- Creating Decorative Mounts With Deep Bevels
- Using Joining Tools to Create a Frame
It is important to book places early on any of these sessions, so an early visit to the stand is recommended in order to make sure you don't miss out. We will try to publish a full timetable on our website ahead of the start of the show. More details about each exhibition are available on the website: NEWS.
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Information & Support
We are keen to maintain the flow of titles to our self help "Handy Hints Pages". The next three articles help you to do the bit , which we usually consider to be the heart of the framing process. That is to say:
- planning and cutting the mitres to produce four sections of moulding;
- using a mitre trimmer to finish the mitres;
- using a joiner to complete the whole frame.
To access these new pages, go to the TRAINING ZONE by clicking on the blue tag on the left towards the top of the home page. Select ARTICLES from the 3 sub-headings. On the introductory page of the articles section, scroll down to find: Handy Hints Sheets (BASICS). These 3 downloads are free to all, so there should be no problems with printing your own sheets.
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Mighty Mouse of The Mount Cutters
We have just started stocking a brand new addition to the Logan Simplex Family: the baby of the family in every sense of the word. At first glance the Simplex 700 might look like the starting level of mount cutting systems. In fact it has been designed to a much more demanding brief: top quality, professional cutting standards but for those only working with pieces in the small to medium format range. Therefore it has all of the top professional, quality features of the Logan Simplex Systems, but it has been packaged into this sturdy and durable format. With a baseboard just 300mm (12") wide x 584 mm ( 23") long, it doesn’t require much space: it is perfect for small studios. The system includes a parallel mount guide for setting border widths up to 125 mm, a 90-degree squaring bar, one production stop, straight cutting head, and bevel cutting head. The package also Includes creative mount cutting instructions and five extra blades. The Bevel Cutting head has: a "start" and "stop" indicator; a high performance pivot-and-pull blade action; adjustable blade depth; an anti crawl button preventing the cutter from sliding as you engage the blade; and a blade slot to prevent the blade from flexing away from the line of the cut. Because it is modelled on the Simplex system, it also means that it can be used with the same type of professional accessories, such as v-groove cutters, in the same way as its bigger relations, the Simplex 750 & 760 Plus.
This really will appeal to photographers and artists working on medium format images. Tempted?
Check it out in the "STORE" on our website. We hope it will make an appearnce at the next set of exhibitions.
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Polishing Up You Mounts
From one extreme of the equipment world to the other. No self respecting framer should be without his/her burnishing bone as it sorts out one of the most annoying problems in mount cutting. It is ideal for settling down material along the bevel cut and, in particular, in the corner of the window, if the action of cutting has slightly raised the surface of the material. And, because it is made from natural bone it avoids creating a sheen on the board. Better than using the back of a nail and it saves needing an emergency manicure afterwards - or so Alex says!
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September 2006 (Late Edition)
Well rested after a brilliant session of sun sea and .... even more sea and sun, I now have to get back to the serious business of work. In some ways this letter could start with the same intro as the June version. The blue skies and warm days seem not to have abandoned the whole of the UK - apologies to friends in Scotland who may well have suffered a little more. However, without launching in to the Christmas spirit just yet, now is a good time to be planning ahead for some special projects. Whether you are hoping to create a special gift or prepare for the Christmas market, there is plenty here to set your brain buzzing.