Case Studies

Projects worth showing off
Andy Parks

Andy Parks

Wednesday, 02 September 2020 22:23

The Great South Run montage

This was a particularly nice montage to frame as the customer had kept these items safe in a draw for quite a few years before finally getting around to framing it. Not a common theme among customers at all....! 


After a few different layouts were experimented with, the customer finally chose this one. 



A simple white mount and black frame keeps all the emphasis on the subject matter whilst protecting the memorabilia for the next generation. This montage was actually from 2001 so 18 years is the current record on this site....unless you can improve on that length of time...? 

Sunday, 05 October 2014 20:53

Repairing Plans and Maps

The saying "It is never too late" could also be the title for this article as the plan used in this case study was in a pretty bad condition. The plan is of a house and is dated from the 1930's. The customer initially thought that it might be beyond repair but a closer inspection proved otherwise. 


The image above shows the overall condition of the plan. Note the ruler above the plan is about a metre long to give an idea of the size of the plan. The colourful jewels are paper weights to keep the plan flat as it had been rolled up in a tight tube for many years.

There were several pieces of paper that were completely detached from the plan and there were also several significant tears in the paper. One of the biggest issues was the tightness of the rolled up paper as this made the job initially very difficult to work with so the whole plan needed to be carefully flattened under a heated press to get the plan as flat as possible. 

There was also extensive use of Sellotape that a previous owner had used to try to repair the tears. This has to all be removed but the unfortunate aspect of Sellotape is the way it stains paper very quickly and leaves a residue of glue that is very hard to remove. Sellotape is definitely not recommended as a repair tape for paper. 

Once the Sellotape has been removed the tears can be repaired with an appropriate neutral pH archival document repair tape that can easily be removed if needed and will not leave a stain.

The tears in the paper need to be aligned correctly and also the paper will tear unevenly so that one side of the tear will always align above the other side. This may also change along the length of the tear so care must be taken when applying the document repair tape to ensure the resulting repair is as invisible as possible. 

Once the tears have been repaired the whole plan is laid onto to a sheet of archival repair tissue that is again easily reversible. The end result is a far more viewable plan which could now be framed. As the beginning of this case study announced, it's never too late but that sentence should have the word "almost" added to it!

Sunday, 17 August 2014 14:21

BACS details

For those of you that like to pay via BACS or your online banking systems here are my BACS details:


Bank: Santander

Sort Code: 09-01-28

Account no: 20070774

Ref: Your order number


You will find this order number either on your pink receipt or on your invoice. If you cannot find your order number please put the name that the order would have been taken under. Just a quick reminder about payment methods as I DO NOT accept payment via cards. This is because of the high charges that businesses have to pay in order to accept card payments. Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 17:18

Delivery of large pictures

Sometimes it can be a bit of a surprise just how large your pictures can turn out to be once they are framed. They may arrive to you in a tube and the picture appears fairly small. You might have unwrapped it at home but then might feel a little worried about creasing the picture as it is rolled so tightly in the tube and wisely leave the unrolling until the picture framers. Plus the size will increase if you have selected an overmount and perhaps a fairly wide moulding profile. All things considered the picture may not now easily fit into your car when you come to collect it. If you have a car that the seats fold down flat that is always the best way to transport your framed picture back to it's new home. The picture may fit upright on the back seat and this may seem tempting but be careful if you have a reasonable distance to drive and need to brake suddenly as the picture can shoot forwards and the picture could be damaged. Sometimes customers collect their pictures whilst doing other errands (quite understandably as we all have busy lives!). Hence their cars are often filled with shopping and 'little people' which can mean the pictures cannot safely be transported back home. Here we can help with a delivery service. I tend to not charge for this service if the customer's home is more or less on my way home and can be delivered at a time to suit both parties. However if the picture is too large for my van (which will only fit a framed and packed picture 66" long) then you may need the services of a courier. We have access to a highly recommended service and they generally charge around £25 for a local delivery in and around the Petersfield area. Something to consider as the last thing you want after having your picture professionally framed is for the picture to then be damaged in transit.

Sunday, 23 February 2014 16:27

Matching décor and furniture

When choosing a frame or a mount for your picture you may wish to match an existing frame in your home or possibly the décor in the room that your picture will hang. A very good way to match existing frames is to bring along your old frame to our workshop when you visit. If your picture is too big or it is not practical you can always take a digital photo of the frame and e-mail it to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you are in doubt you can always borrow our samples and see which is the exact or nearest match. Additionally when using stained or plain wood it is probably best to compare our samples with your furniture to ensure a good match. Another great idea suggested by a recent customer is to bring in some of your furniture to ensure a suitable match. In this case the customer bought in a pillow from her sofa. It may seem a little over the top but it is incredibly easy to think that the colour frame chosen looks the perfect match only to discover when you get home that the match wasn't quite as good as you had hoped! I am not expecting you all to bring in your oak kitchen tables for matching purposes but please feel free to use any of the above methods to ensure a good match with your décor.  

A bit of an unusual hour this morning at the workshop as BBC Radio Solent popped in for an interview about priceless Christmas presents that people might have framed. They had an idea about really thoughtful presents for Christmas for people that are really difficult to buy for. This they thought might involve having something priceless (i.e. sentimental value) framed as a present for loved ones. Quite right too. I would say the vast majority of the items that we frame are priceless to the people that have them framed. They may not mean as much to anyone else but it is all about sentimental value at our workshop. So a really nice chap from BBC Radio Solent called Alun Newman contacted me with a rough idea of an informal, fun interview with a bit of free publicity for us. Great! Just brilliant timing for Christmas too. The techie bit of the radio connection is all very clever with a broadband linked kit which the interview was conducted through. The DJ was Alex Dyke from BBC Radio Solent. The interview might get a bit hung up on whether Jimmy was a canary or a budgie or whether someone might frame a telephone box but all in all a good laugh! Here is a photo taken by my good friend Stephane Rocher of me mid-interview (Notice Carol working hard in the background!).

You can listen to the interview right here. Hope you enjoy!

  Listen to the BBC Interview

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 22:46


When you first think about certificates perhaps you could be forgiven for believing they are not the most exciting pictures that can be framed. However, is that really fair when you think about what that person had to ordeal to be awarded that certificate? I have been fortunate enough to frame certificates for people that mark some extraordinary efforts on the part of the recipient. For example I have framed indentures giving people freedoms of cities, Doctorate certificates, armed forces commissions along with other academic and professional qualifications to name but a few. What inspired me to write about certificates is perhaps the way that we are very bad at celebrating our own achievements. My own professional qualifications are on display in my workshop but I must confess that the primary reason was to provide examples of how to frame certificates and not to show off my achievements! I recently framed a customer's son's black belt at karate certificate. The amount of time, dedication and effort to achieve that is an amazing commitment and it is only right that the certificate should be displayed in a prominent place in the customer's home. A far smaller achievement was recently accomplished by myself when I passed my Grade One piano exam. It may not sound an awful lot but it means a lot to me and the resulting certificate has taken pride of place next to my keyboard at home! They do not have to be framed in a 24 carat gold leaf frame (unless you want to!) but they can look really effective with just a simple mount and frame. I always think a certificate framed straight into a narrow black frame almost looks like you are ashamed of the achievement so be bold and show off your skills with a suitable mount and frame.

Sunday, 23 June 2013 22:42

Prints and copies of your originals

A common occurrence among a lot of my artisan customers is a personal attachment to the work that they create. A perfectly natural, emotional attachment to feel and I suspect that this stems from pride at the achievements. Imagine you have just started painting and your work is on display at the local arts and crafts exhibition. Wonderfully, it sells! What a great feeling. However, what about keeping a record of your work that you have produced? It would be such a shame to not at least have a copy of your works as you produce them. Or you would simply like a copy of your favourite artistic creation to date? How can this be achieved if you sell everything that you paint? Well I would point you in the direction of Artist Gallery Printing in Liphook, Hampshire. There Rob Jenkinson can help you make digital copies of your original work so that you have at least a copy. You can then also make prints of your work if so required. Do keep in mind copyright laws and you would need to be the original painter of the work of art to have ownership of the copyright and hence it is ok to make a copy of the artwork. Then with Rob's help you can keep an electronic copy of all the work that you create. A great service at a very reasonable price.

We frame quite a few pieces of textile work such as embroideries, tapestries, counted cross stitch and needlepoint to name a few of the most popular items. It is an area of picture framing that we particularly enjoy working with as we have such a lot of very talented embroiderers as customers at the Petersfield Framing Studios. You can also see a page dedicated to how we lace embroideries or tapestries over acid free board to ensure the work is both preserved and easily reversible. The vast majority of the embroideries or tapestries that we frame need to be stretched over a suitable acid free board. Quite often the textile work is stitched over a purpose-made stretcher by the customer which helps to keep the material square whilst the embroidery or tapestry image is being created. However this isn't always the case as even embroderies that have used a stretcher bar are still out of square when they come into our workshop. The most extreme cases tend to be work on tapestry canvas as the stitches tend to be all pointing in one way that leads to a natural parallelogram effect. Here are some examples of some out of square tapestries and embroideries that have come into the workshop recently.

These can be straightened with a steam iron but you need to be very careful and also very patient as the process can be very time consuming. Alternatively we use a machine designded for the purpose. The machine looks a little like a medieval torture device (this could well have been where the idea came from!) and is based on a rack system which can be slowly enlarged by tightening the screw at the top of the photo to gently straighten the tapestry or embroidery.

 The work on textile is attached to a row of metal points on one row of the stretching machine.

Then the tapestry is carefully linied up with the corresponding metal point on the other side of the rack.

Once this is achieved the screw can be slowly turned to add tension to the rack to straighten the tapestry. The back of the tapestry can be steamed or wettened slighlty to ease the stitchwork but care must be taken that all the threads are colourfast and that any water added to the image will not make the colour run on the stitches.

This is the end result for the tapestry above.

Here is the embroidery after using the tapestry straightening machine.

Now the embroidery or tapestry can be easily laced and stretched over the acid free board and is then ready for framing.

Sunday, 12 October 2014 17:15

Jigsaw transportation and framing

Jigsaws are projects that we frame from time to time. The jigsaws must be dry mounted onto a thicker piece of card so that they remain flat (and in one piece!) throughout the framing process. A customer bought in their jigsaw to be framed in an ingenious roll up storage device that you can easily transport the jigsaw without any concerns about the jigsaw falling apart. The idea is that you work on the jigsaw on top of the cloth.

Then when you have finished working on it you can simply roll the jigsaw up until you want to work on it again.

This must also have the advantage of freeing up the dining table whilst the jigsaw is being solved! I suspect this is a great idea that has been around for a while and I have only just stumbled upon it but it certainly beats the splintered piece of marine ply that I used to use for jigsaws!

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