There are many sound reasons for choosing a bespoke framing job over something off-the-shelf, not least the overall high quality and professional look of the finished article. If you’ve taken time to select and quite likely spent good money on your artwork or collectable it makes good sense to display them in the best possible way. As well as showcasing artwork or 3-D objects in an aesthetically pleasing display, the methods and materials used by a professional framer mean the artwork and frame remain in good condition for a long time.

Mountboard and backing mounts which are acid neutral will help prevent brown discolouration that can occur with some slightly cheaper materials. They also ensure there is a small gap between the glass and artwork. Artwork on paper is hinge mounted to backing board with minimum contact with the artwork. This also allows freedom of movement for any contraction or expansion of mounting materials without the work being damaged. The glass, mountboard, artwork and backing board forms a ‘sandwich’ held in place by the frame (called ‘moulding’ by framers), backing board, pins or ‘points’ and finally backing tape. Of course there is a time cost element for all of this to be made to dimensions specific to the artwork and assembly of the components.

At Spire Framing I aim to provide bespoke framing to suit a range of budgets without compromising quality. Although I always use acid neutral or ‘buffered’ mountboards as a minimum standard, frame (moulding) prices can vary greatly, usually depending on style and finish. For example, it is possible to frame a 10″x8″ print for as little as £30 with a fairly simple frame, if budget is a primary concern.

Sports Shirt framing starts from £95 using a standard black or ‘unfinished’ wood frame in Ash or Oak. The price will increase with mountboard border decoration and additional items such as photographs. Framing objects such as memorabilia and collectables, when done properly, is more labour intensive and therefor commands a higher price. Many collectables require unique and innovative mounting methods. For one customer I framed 125 valuable collectors badges. Use of specialist ‘clear’ anti-reflective glass greatly enhanced the presentation by allowing rich colours and fine detail to be highly visible.

Of course there is nothing like speaking to the framer in person to help you get the best frame style and a competitive price. Why not come to the Spire Framing workshop and see the range of frames and mount board choices for yourself. If it’s just some advice you’re after I am happy to help. Call me on 01722 718695 or 07747 017221 to enquire. You can also drop in without an appointment on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. Please phone for an appointment if you wish to visit on Wednesday or Friday.

Marshall Irving MSc (Fine Art Trade Guild member)

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Spire Framing