“I'd been working for years as a part-time framer to support myself as an artist at the Royal Academy of Arts. When they decided to close down the framing department after 35 years, I thought I'd set up my own company as I could see a gap in the contemporary conservation framing market. Through my years going to art openings and doing shows around London I'd come to meet lots of artists, curators and galleries who we now work with."

I had worked with the amazing Soho House curator Francesca Gavin in numerous art exhibitions she had curated and over the years we developed a good working relationship and friendship. When she saw what I was doing with Frame London and the type of work and standard we were producing she asked if we could help with framing some of the collection."

 

 

"Framing is the one element of the art production process that the buyer can be creatively involved in and we specialise in collaborating with the client to get the best result for this part of the process. It is also as much about protection as it is about presentation. If you have invested in a work, whether that is financially or emotionally you want it to be preserved in the same state from the day you acquired it - if it's not protected with framing it will inevitably get damaged over time."

"But equally an important part is getting the right frame for the artwork and in my experience that changes with every work. You either want the frame to be perceived somewhat invisible and allow the art to appear unrestricted, or you want the frame to be unique and bring something new to the artwork, to enhance it."

"There are always trends and tastes, for example at the moment people often want a thin frame in a monochrome black or white, which we specialise in, but we also always encourage people to be as adventurous as possible if it suits the work. Just the other day we did a neon pink frame for Jeremy Deller because it suited the beautiful work he'd produced."

Step 1

"Once the frame type has been decided we use our specialised hydraulic wood cutting machine to cut the four lengths of wood needed. Once it has been joined together, it is then sanded and prepared in the wood area and is then passed onto the painting and staining area to get the colour or finish required. Because we are bespoke we are able to provide the customer with whatever they require on-site."

Step 2

"Then we cut a piece of acid-free mount board which will be used to 'float' or window-mount the artwork. ‘Float’ means to have the art print sitting on top of the mount board, while window mount means to have it sitting behind a window that is cut from the board. The artworks in the Soho Home collection have been framed in a thin black or white frame to allow the artworks to do the talking."

Step 3

"We started off in my studio in Hoxton after we left the Royal Academy. But when I had a big show and needed the studio back we had to hire another studio next door. We outgrew that so I decided to get a shop that was purpose built for framing. It’s a beautiful space and we've designed it so that the shop reveals the working environment. When you visit you see the woods like Maple and American Walnut stacked up and on display. We have fitted it out in natural woods finished off with waxes and stains that we use for framing. The ethos of our business is to reflect an aesthetic that we relate to, much like our website and our Instagram feed."

Step 4

"The staff who work at Frame are hugely talented and there is a close, friendly professional working relationship that I hope comes through in the service we provide. We have a shop manager Vicky who was the head framer at the RA and everyone else who works there has a vast amount of experience in each of their specialist areas. Another important factor is that all the staff are working artists as well, so they have an enthusiasm and sensibility for the work they are handling."

 

"The main differences [between our conservation frames and high street frames] are the quality of materials, the handling of the artwork and techniques used. Conservation framing is about minimal intervention to the work of art you are framing, so that all techniques used are reversible and won’t have any long term harmful effects to the art. This means using materials that are acid-free and will not damage the work over time."

"We always recommend using a specialist glass that filters out harmful UV rays or an anti-reflective glass to minimise light reflection. There are standards for framing and art handling in museums and galleries called 'conservation best practice' that we adhere to at Frame London. All the staff have worked in large national Museums and galleries such as The Royal Academy of Arts and British Museum so we are all familiar with these standards."

www.framelondon.com, Instagram @Frame_London

High Road House

See part of our art collection - and Frame London's craftsmanship - for yourself at High Road House