The Application of Skills

When I came to work at DIY Framing I already had a number of years of experience of framing under my belt. I had taught myself out of necessity because my wife, Laura, is a printmaker and her prodigious output meant that we simply could not afford to frame everything. I also have a very arty family and had amassed a large collection of pictures that sometimes needed framing or re-framing. Anyway, I learned to make frames, I learned to cut mounts, and now I can do both with a degree of professionalism that means I don’t need to ‘outsource’.

Single Mount

It was something of a surprise then, when I started here, to learn that what I was doing was really very basic, but that the skills I had were enough to do something very much more sophisticated. I now realise that often the difference between a professional framer and a home framer like myself is more a matter of knowledge rather than skill. Knowing what is possible from a frame design point of view is enough to be able to achieve it, since the skills are no different; it is just the application of the skills that makes the difference.

Double Mount

To illustrate the point a little better, when we learn to cut mounts the first thing we do is to cut singles, one sheet of mount board, bevel cut with a square or rectangular aperture. Once you have mastered the equipment cutting these is really pretty simple and most people will be quite content to leave it at that. However, with no new skills you can improve on this simple ‘single’ mount by adding an extra layer and turning it into a ‘double’. You can also add spacers between the picture and the mount or between the layers of the mount. These tiny extra bits of effort don’t require learning as such; they only require you to have seen that such things can be done. The technique is just a simple extra step (which you can find on one of our Handy Hints).

Spaced DoubleGoing the extra step with framing is possibly a little more involved but again if you are making frames already you do have the skills you just need to apply them. Adding a slip or a spacer is just like making another frame, you need to be accurate, but you don’t need to be a brain surgeon – or a rocket scientist!

Whatever your reason for framing: like myself as a way to sell my wife’s artwork or as a small business to earn some extra cash, it is definitely worth experimenting with what you do. I showed Laura and after years of simple, off-white, single mounts we will be producing doubles from now on – but still putting them into plain ash frames…

Ben.

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