Saturday, 10 November 2012

Framing and presenting work


Margaret Thatcher
Weaving in a box-type frame
I'm organising a 'show and share' session next week for our WCE group, Great Western Embroiderers, about framing and presenting work  - cheaply. That, of course, is the catch. We all know of framers who will charge over £100 to stretch and frame an A4 sized piece of work (and they do a good job) but for our group that is just not worth while if they are to offer work for sale at a sensible price.

Trips to Hobycraft or IKEA are much more likely to yield realistic results so I'm searching out suitable examples and hoping to glean some more ideas from the group.

I'm going to show them how I do my shallow box-type frames for my woven pieces as my contribution. These are  improvised from a suitably sized mount, spaced from the work and reinforced by strips of foam core board which also edge the box part of the frame. I then attach the work to more foam core board covered with a light muslin and put the whole thing into a deepish Hobycraft frame. It is then backed all over with hard-board to give more depth for the work - quite easy to do and not requiring many carpentry skills but seeming to look quite convincing - and really cheap.

Sea Sampler - in a commercial frame
I'll also show them a photo of my Sea Sampler - commercially framed and behind glass as a gift for a friend - so we can discuss choice of the frame colour to harmonise with the work.

I know also that it will provoke much debate about using glass. Buyers so often seem to prefer things behind glass but I don't normally do that for my own work and won't be for our upcoming exhibition - I almost never do, in fact. To me, glass seems to put a physical barrier between work and the viewer. There is almost always too much reflection and it stops people being able to see the details easily. I like people to be able to touch my work, and to experience the tactile character of the textile.

I know that there is concern about work getting dusty but I don't really find that a problem. A gentle blow and shake seems to be all that is needed. A friend recently gave me what sounds like a great tip for cleaning unglazed textiles when they've been on the wall a while. She gets out her hoover, covers the metal end of the wand with a pop sock, tightly attached with a rubber band, turns on the hoover and moves the end gently over the textile, about 1 cm from the surface. Dust is removed and textile undamaged. She assures me it does work. Do I dare to try?


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