diminishing returns

I’ve decided it’s time to call an end to the business of picture framing.

I’ve been considering for a couple of years now, as profits have been sliding from black to red. Hard to pinpoint a single reason, and I’m certainly not laying it all at Covid’s door, although that’s undoubtedly had an adverse impact this year. It’s become the classic “rock and a hard place” situation. Not enough work to make it profitable, but having a full-time job too, drumming up more custom would leave me working long, long hours, and I’m afraid I’m no longer young enough for that to be an appealing option.

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framing – the bespoke option

A very old friend returned earlier this year from a break in beautiful Dorset with a couple of large photo prints and some very definite ideas on how he wanted to display them.

He explained the kind of look he had in mind, and we scoured the moulding catalogues trying to find something that matched his vision.

Rustic. Distressed. Driftwood. These were the keywords to the search, but nothing we found really made an impression. That’s not to say there isn’t a whole load of perfectly nice mouldings to be found, just that none really hit the sweet spot. Some came close, but none were the “Goldilocks” just right moulding.

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the good, the bad and the ugly (of framing)

OK, so I’ll leave “the good” for another day… Let’s concentrate on “the bad and the ugly” for now…

The trouble with framing is, the benefits of a quality job are not always immediately apparent, so it’s easy to see why some folks baulk at the cost of a bespoke frame and instead, choose something mass-produced. That’s not to say that a mass-produced frame won’t look entirely acceptable, as long as it’s selected wisely and inspected closely. I’m frequently asked to cut a window mount to fit a budget frame, and will happily do so (all customers are good customers, and there’s always the chance of future conversion to bespoke options) and often have to strengthen the corners or the hangers, and always have to add extra flexi-tabs to keep the back flat.  Continue reading “the good, the bad and the ugly (of framing)”