If I were to try and sell you a perfume, that smells amazing, but packaged in a jam jar, you probably wouldn’t buy. But if I were to sell you it in a stylish bottle that looks well on your dressing table, then you would be more tempted, even if it was only water in the bottle!
The job of a frame is to first, showcase and second, command attention, to that of what is inside it. Inherently we are also attracted to what is pleasing to the eye, and so a framer must combine these three 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 thought of simply putting a piece of wood around picture and glass! 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 is going to be up for a very long time, possibly ten or twenty years! If it is not eye pleasing, or it goes out of fashion, 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, 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 ascetics of the item or picture.
Most of this comes with experience, we do this day-in, day-out, generally we know what we’re talking about. We know traditions and we spot trends, framing is really an art and craft combined.