Mount is growing
Last year we welcomed two new employees to Mount, Rhys and Joe. With over 12 years framing experience, Rhys enjoys framing challenges, which is just as well considering some of the frames we’ve worked on recently. We made a super-narrow frame for Christopher Bucklow’s retrospective at Southampton City Art Gallery last year. We put it in a 15mm narrow moulding; some would say impossibly narrow considering how large the work is (about 1.6m square). In the summer we framed eight 5” x 7” frames for Anita Taylor’s show DRAWN at Customs House Gallery in South Shields. The eight frames totalled 176m of wood, 133 square meters of sheet material (acrylic, foam board, backing etc), 72m of 25mm spacer. “Counting each prep, paint and wax coat I’ve covered the equivalent of 576m of wood,” said Simon, our senior framemaker. The work has moved to Young Gallery in Salisbury – with an event on the 16th Feb 6-8pm. One of our first projects for 2018 was a print and frame for Hauser & Wirth’s latest show in Bruton: The Land We Live In – The Land We Left Behind.
Joe is our part time admin and framing assistant who joined us in May. He’s been doing a great job helping us achieve official Living Wage Employer status and trademarking our brand, as well as learning the skilled craft of hand-finishing.
Living Wage Employer
Many picture framers feel pressure to offer cheap frames and can only do so by paying their employees little over minimum wage. At Mount we reject that thinking. Picture framing is a skilled job and we feel the craftspeople who work on our frames need to be paid fairly for the work they do. We believe our clients feel the same way about that too.
As our team grows we’ve needed to re-think our workspace to improve our efficiency and prevent us from getting in each other’s way all the time. So these last few weeks we’ve been busy re-fitting the picture framing workshop.
Phase 1 is now complete.
This re-fit required a lot of sawing, banging and mess, so we closed our workshop for a couple of weeks to get it done without causing any risk to our clients.
After all that work it actually looks very similar in layout to before. But everything has moved to make our processes more efficient. Previously the space was multi purpose – any part of the frame making process could be done anywhere in the workshop. We’ve now simplified the workshop into 2 areas, each divided so that a single process is completed at each station. It might sound slightly odd, but we modelled it on professional kitchens as a way of improving workflow and efficiency.
Phase 2 pending!
We shouldn’t need to close for our next phase, as it’ll be ad-hock as and when we have the time. If we do have to close for a particularly messy or involved task we’ll announce it on social media (see follow us).
The most important aspect of phase 2 is the new worktops.
Currently our work benches have temporary worktops, which we’ll swap for 80% recycled plastic worktops made by Frome-based company Protomax. The temporary ones will then be turned into racking for frame storage. We went for the more neutral of the boards shown below.
The office space
We’ve expanded our space and have a new office in the main Silk Mill building which houses our scanner and graphic design department, as well as all our paperwork and houseplant jungle. Our point of contact is still in the same building as before, so no need to wonder aimlessly around trying to find us. To help in that respect we’ll be installing some more signage soon – we know we’re a bit tucked out of the way. For those who don’t know; the Saxonvale site is being secured which will restrict access from that side of the town. This shouldn’t impact anyone coming to us from the normal route, only to those who want to drive right up to our workshop door. Please contact us for advice if you think this affects you.
We’re developing a new website, working with Frome-based designer Jon Packman of Satellite7. We’ve teamed up with stylist/ photographer duo Lewis&Davis to provide some of the pictures for the site. We aim to go live in SS18, so keep an eye out for the launch later in the Spring.
There’s lots more in the pipeline, so keep a look out for updates by following our social media accounts.
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We give tips on framing A6 and smaller artworks
In general it tends to be good to float-mount small art works, so you don’t lose any of the picture behind the mount board. But this isn’t always the case.