In the frame

Framing. There I’ve said it.

I’d not really thought about framing my work much before the course. Only from a perspective of framing an item to go on my own wall.

When Obsidian accepted my pieces, they would only accept them framed. This caused me an instant problem. I had to get my work out there, but couldn’t afford to add to the cost of the pieces by having them bespokely framed. I also had only a week to get them in. So I had to buy off the shelf frames that best fitted the pieces at the time. These are not great framing examples and I expect the pieces not to sell because of this. However, that is what was required at the time.

While I was in Skye I had the opportunity to visit a local artist in her home and view her work, all arranged by the owners of the Blue Shed Cafe, who I was talking about art to in passing after picking up this years gallery trail booklet. They suggested I speak to Jane who used to work for them in the cafe. Jane Mackenna works in paper and textiles producing fabulous graphic landscapes. They are very labour intensive and carefully thought out and put together. Jane showed us her latest work and her framed pieces. I finally got the framing thing. Giving a lot of breathing space around the piece before the frame is vital. I could see this from looking at Jane’s work. As a graphic designer I should have realised this and it did become clear as I looked at the pieces I had framed.

So what I am going to say now the tutors will have a fit at if they read, but I will be making pieces to fit off the shelf frames for the forseeable future. I have stock piled 20 ish frames of varying sizes – from postcard size right up to 20 x 16″. Also in square, standard ratio rectangles and long thin (triptych 3 aperture) frames, which can be used for 1 or a series in one frame.

The frames give more than enough scope for work of varying sizes for felted pieces. By removing the glass, they also allow for more sculptural pieces and for the colours to be seen more clearly.

I will catalogue the frames and for each non-experimental piece, I will make it to fit one of the frames. I can send pieces out with or without a frame, but right now, it is vital that I get work out there. In a world where there are so many variables that apply to a piece, having one of these set, can only help at the moment. As my work becomes recognised and sold, I can afford to factor in the cost of a bespoke frame for a piece. But right now, in these difficult economic times, it is more logical to work this way and give myself every opportunity to establish myself.


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