If I were to try and sell you a perfume that smells amazing, but was packaged in a jam jar, you probably wouldn’t buy it (or maybe you would given the recent trend for cocktails in jam jars!). Anyway, if I were to present it in a stylish bottle that would lool well on your dressing table, then you’d be more tempted, even if it were only water in the bottle!
The job of a frame is firstly to showcase and secondly, to command attention. We are also inherently attracted to what is pleasing to the eye, and so a framer must combine these elements when framing your special paintings, posters or memories. When we are asked to frame a cricket bat or a football jersey, a diploma, or even a medical instrument, we know that it means something special to the person, and so we must treat it as such.
Picture framing is sometimes as seen as simply placing wood around a picture and putting glass on top of it. Sometimes, rarely, but sometimes people ask us to “just put a frame around it so that I can hang it up”. That’s just not what we do, we need to remind them that once you hang a picture up, it’s going to be up for a potentially very long time, possibly ten or twenty years! If it is not pleasing to the eye you are going to get tired of it very quickly. We’ve seen it before, it will grate on the mind that something will have to be done about it, and so it will have to be either framed again, or taken down and possibly hung in the darkest corner of your house.
The job of a framer is to have an eye for the current fashion and design aesthetic as well as impeccable timeless taste, take a sympathetic look at the item to be framed and also keep in mind the long-term protection of the item. Understanding what the customer likes and offering suggestions based on all of these factors is the goal, all without losing the aesthetic or sentimental appeal of the item or picture.
Most of this comes with experience, we do this day-in, day-out, so we know what we’re talking about. We know traditions and we spot trends, framing is really an art and craft combined.