How long have you been a framer?

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Not your average framer
Posts: 12075
Joined: Sat 25 Mar, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Devon, U.K.
Organisation: The Dartmoor Gallery
Interests: Lost causes, saving and restoring old things, learning something every day
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Re: How long have you been a framer?

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 28 Jul, 2022 10:23 am

I think that it's really interesting how we each came to be picture framers. There does not appear to be any common thread to this and it's all a very different for every one of us. In my own case, I very much felt at the time as a fish out of the water. Initially, it was not anythng for which I had been properly prepared for, had received any proper training. All I had previously done, that was connected to picture framing was to cut mounts and to mount antique engravings, book plates and vintage magazine adverts. I was completely self taught and realised that I could charge much more if I was able to do an impressive job of presentation. I used to buy 40 steet packs of opti-mat mountboard in just the one colour and produce double mounts. I used to paint the inner mounts with cheap acrylic paints to highlight a particular colour from the print, or advert. I don't remember having any serious intention at the time of becoming a picture framer. That just sort of happen much later! My secondhand books andprints shop was not a greatly sucessful business. I used to joke that if it was a horse, you would have shot it. The shop really struggled to make money during the winter months and my wife wanted my to close the shop down and do something else.

Eventually when we did close the shop, I tried to sign on at the job centre, but because I had closed simple closed down the shop and therefore made my sell unemployed, I was not allowed to sign on at the job center. I had not expected this. My wife and I now were without any form of stable income, so I started selling off job lots of the books, which remained from the shop to other bookdealers and selling the mounted prints through various South Devon auction houses. As I look back, I am still amazed that we managed to pay the bill. Later I got an electronics engineering job and eventually becacame redundant and this time I was permitted to sign on at the job centre. I bcame what the job centre called a business case and did a bit of wheeling and dealing, plus mounting prints and avert. plus buying and selling other things through various South Devon actions. It never was a stable existance for my wife and I. We seemed to survive from one crisis to another. Eventually a picture framing shop in Totnes was closing down and over quite a long period of time, I bought most of their equipment and their stock.

After a while the job centre decide that I should be sent to be retrained and when I was asked what I wanted to be retained as they turned down my first choice, so they asked me to choose something else and I said picture framer which they also turned down. Nothing happened for ages, but then one day the phone rang and the job centres training provider said the they had a six month training placement for me at a major South Devon gallery and picture framers. This was where I learned to be a proper picture framers. Quite a lot of this process appeared to come about through a series of fairly random sort of events and eventually I rented a shop, which became my own picture framing shop. At the time, I did not have much idea what I was doing and my shop was stocked mostly with job lots of stock from other shops, which were selling off old and discontinued stock. Amazingly enough we somehow managed to make ends meet, but it was very hard at first and took a long time before things actually, got better. I refinished much of the older stock of mouldings, which is part of how I got into handfinishing and like they say the rest is history.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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GeoSpectrum
Posts: 2196
Joined: Fri 01 Oct, 2010 11:49 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Organisation: Ashcraft Framing
Interests: Framing, cycling, Family, x-country skiing, wine, art
Location: Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
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Re: How long have you been a framer?

Post by GeoSpectrum » Fri 05 Aug, 2022 6:14 pm

I made my fist sale, 3 framed photographs, in October 2010, went full time a few years later after finishing a work contact. I’ve been framing ever since but am slowly changing tack into artists panels and wall easels. Only 30% of my jobs are now frames.
Alan Huntley
Ashcraft Framing
Plain wood frames, Inlay/tray frames and painted frames for artists.
http://www.ashcraftframing.co.uk
Twitter: @AshcraftFrames
Our Blog: http://ashcraftframing.wordpress.com/
Doing nothing is a much underrated activity

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