Behind the Workshop Door...
the framing process and some FAQs
If you're wondering exactly how we work, why there is a turnaround time, or what sets us apart from buying a frame off the peg in a department store, then you're in the right place!
We engage in a no obligation personal consultation to establish exactly what you would like, what works best with your artwork, and what is needed to conserve your work. If you decide to proceed, we make a record of your commission, highlighting condition, materials required, and special requests.
We order the materials for your piece. Every single component is ordered fresh from suppliers, and we don't hang on to wastage wood (which is liable to warp when left on its own) to unload onto other customers. Deliveries usually happen once per week.
The fun part...
We get to start work!
We cut a base, or undermount, of your object or artwork, which will form a sizing template (and eventually protect the bottom of your work). Mounts or boxes are cut by hand from acid-free materials, and your work is expertly mounted into them.
Next we build the moulding, or frame. The wood is cut to size using a precision cutting machine, which is very sensitive and must be calibrated within 0.25 of a degree for each angle. The incredibly sharp blades cut through the wood like butter, and have to be sent to specialist steelworkers for sharpening every few weeks, and eventually replaced on a regular basis.
We use another precision machine to pin the pieces of wood together from behind using flat v-shaped nails. We pre-treat the bonding surfaces with wood glue, but unlike some framers, we would never rely on glue alone.
All of our glass is cut to size in-house, using a diamond-edged scoring machine. In addition to standard float glass, we offer a range of other glazing materials to suit your needs. These include diffuse glass (reduced reflection), UV-protected glass, and acrylic glazing.
Once we are satisfied with the quality of all components, we bring them together and construct your frame by hand. Camel-hair brushes are used to gently remove any dust (some framers blast your artwork with high-pressure jets or compressed air which may contain liquid) and we seal the your work with backing and supporting materials in such a way that the back of the frame looks as neat and tidy as the front, even if it is not as exciting.
We give the entire frame a once-over and hand finish any areas which we believe need special attention. We choose appropriate hanging fittings from a wide range and attach these, along with bumper pads on the back of the frame which protect your walls and ensure air circulation around the frame in order to help prevent moisture build-up inside. After this, we contact you and get to come and see your newly rejuvenated piece!
Our promise to you
Take a look at some of the frames you see when you are out and about. You will find gappy joins, overcut mounts where the scalpel has shot past the edge of the aperture, trapped dust, and 'Queen Anne fronts with Mary-Anne backs.' Some of the things which we discover when we undertake repair work on existing frames are even scarier! We steadfastly refuse to put our name to these and other defects, and we hope that this brings our clients peace of mind.
For these reasons, quality framing does take time and it does cost money – it is luxury service, and we believe that if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing properly. Every single step taken above is included as standard in our service. If we ever question any element of our work, we throw it out and start again (at no cost to you).
We endeavour to complete all work at quoted prices within approximately 3 weeks. If you have a special deadline, please let us know and we will be glad to assist. This may incur extra charges for additional deliveries and overtime labour.
All sensitive materials are acid-free as standard. We are able to offer framing at conservation and museum/archival standards. Please let us know at the quotation stage as this will incur a cost.