Picture framing guidance
Picture framing is not as straight forward as it might at first seem. It’s not as simple as pointing at a frame and saying, ‘that will do’; it is both a craft and art; the craft of making a well-constructed object and the art of messaging. In a nutshell, picture framing is the craft of understanding how to present art.
On leaving art school, art students often turn to picture framing as a job although in my case it took me twenty years in the wilderness before I priced up my first picture frame.
At art school, students learn most of the skills necessary for picture framing. They learn how to stretch and size canvases, they learn the different printing techniques, they learn about applying watercolour washes, how to cut glass, how to stretch watercolour paper, how to mix colours, colour theory and much more. Pretty much everything that is involved in the picture framing craft except perhaps how to use a Morso to cut mouldings. At art school, I cut my own frames with a saw and a mitre. Not surprisingly one could walk through the gaps in their corners.
Picture framing as a business
No one teaches you how to run a picture framing business and more importantly how to make a small picture framing business profitable. You see there is more to picture framing than meets the frame!
Running a profitable picture framing business depends on many things, not least being able to make picture frames quickly but also cost managing overheads without compromising on quality and craftsmanship.
A picture framer’s community standing is more to do with the quality of advice and craftsmanship they offer than competitive pricing; low price is usually not even a consideration. It takes time to secure a reputation as a skilled and knowledgeable crafts-persons, but once achieved picture framers are elevated to full doctor’s status after which clients will pop in for advice about their current illnesses and hope that by having a picture framed they will magically be cured of all their bodily woes!
In conclusion, as a business, picture framing is centred around a relationship and a reputation, and that is something that is cannot be achieved overnight.