Comparatively to history we live like gods, but we’re watching our planet burn. We have the grand sum of all the information ever gathered at our fingertips and yet we are witnessing the collapse of the planet’s biome. Businesses have grown larger than countries and control the world’s data.
But localism is growing fast. We are returning to communities and the real things of the world. We’re in business to further people’s wellbeing and knowledge of the natural world.
Our about us page talks about how art and nature conservation are equally important to us, and about how a considered approach to living can help us tread more lightly on this earth, as well as enjoy it more.
Humans are not separate from nature, we’re part of it and we depend on it to survive. We can’t create new resources out of nothing, everything has to come from the natural world. We’re heading towards inevitable disaster every time we use a non-renewable resource; the emergance of Covid-19 is a very tangible example of the consequences. Carbon offsetting is something many businesses seem to think will be enough to mitigate their impact. But that won’t work because it’s not just about carbon, it’s about the ecosystem as a whole. The Earth works on a complex interconnected system; we’re dangling on a big chain and cutting out links of that chain and will end in disaster. For us biodiversity is important and we’re looking at ways to co-exist with our neighbours sustainably.
At Mount we’re working towards reducing our impact. Picture framing is an industry that uses materials and natural resources – many of these materials are not from sustainable sources and the cheap methods used to manufacture means they have a short shelf-life. We’re always looking for ways to reduce our impact whilst accepting the limitations we have as a small company. Most of our waste is recycled or reused. This isn’t enough for us, so we’re making big plans to keep reducing our impact.
One of the first things we’re implementing is phasing out all obeche from our frames. Obeche comes from tropical forests in Africa. Framers like to use it because it’s cheap and it has an even, indistinct grain. This timber may be logged legally, but it’s being taken in huge quantities from sensitive areas that shouldn’t be used for commercial exploitation. We’re phasing obeche out of our offering completely, replacing it with non-obeche FSC timber, and aiming to move towards locally sourced wood as soon as we can.
Our frames are built to be handed-down from one generation to another. Instead of re-framing anew every 5-10 years, the work can remain in its frame for decades or centuries, fully protected in timelessly well-designed frames. Our new aim is that every part of our frames, except the glass, will be compostable. If anyone in the future wants to dispose of our frames, all but the glass will rot down when placed into a bacteria-rich, wet environment. At present there’s no way around the environmental effects of glass, but good quality glass is an important aspect of protecting artwork from damage, and it can be reused or broken down to sand.
A Handmade Life
Throughout this website you’ll find a mixture of quotes from us, Simon and Jennifer, alongside quotes from Bill Coperthwaite’s A Handmade Life. We came across this book when volunteering at The Cherry Wood Project near Bath, a sustainable woodland management project that teaches green woodworking. We started volunteering at Cherry Wood in its very early days and it formed an important part of how we both think and work. It teaches the same lessons that are in A Handmade Life. Bill Coperthwaite built yurts and lived simply in his smallholding in Maine, USA where he taught many students how to live more simply and make things with their hands.
We believe that by living such a life we can reduce our impact on the planet and be happier.