Case Studies

Projects worth showing off
Andy Parks

Andy Parks

There are a number of ways to fit an oil painting on canvas stretcher bars into a frame. One of the main issues that frequently occurs is that the frame is often shallower than the canvas stretcher so the canvas will protrude from the back of the frame. I have seen many ways to overcome this problem including nailing straight through the canvas stretcher bars at an angle into the frame or bending nails over the back of the stretcher. Z clips are also a favourite which are both hammered into the side of the frame and the top of the canvas stretcher. All of these techniques run the risk of damaging the frame and more importantly the oil painting whilst nailing and leave permanent holes in the stretcher bars if the oil is removed from the frame (for restoration or varnishing for example). A relatively new technique has become available which uses a simple screw-in bracket and these are called canvas offsets.

They are available in many different sizes but the great advantage is that they screw into the frame and can be easily reversed to take the oil painting out of the frame if needed. The canvas is completely secure and also there are no permanent nail holes through the canvas stretcher bars. Note the previous nail hole on this image to the right of the canvas offset shown.

They are very easy to attach to the frame and only a couple on each side are needed. Also this technique is classed as a conservation technique as the oil painting can easily be returned to it's original state before it was framed. There is another brilliant advantage of this system for artists who have just painted their oils. The oil can be fitted into the frame (once touch dry) and then can be easily removed when the oil paints are dry enough for varnishing. This should be at least 6 months to a year after the last paint has been applied and then the oil can be easily removed, varnished and replaced with the minimum of hassle.

A really useful technique with the minimum of risk to the picture.


It gives me great pleasure to tell you all some terrific news regarding the very talented artist Gordon Rushmer. Gordon has been awarded the Rowland Hilder Award at this year's Royal Institute (R.I.) of Painters in Watercolours' Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London.


Wednesday, 27 March 2013 19:05

Free Customer Parking

This may seem a slightly unusual topic to mention but it is something that has been bought to my attention as a useful feature of the Petersfield Framing Studios by quite a few customers. Granted the idea of free car parking should not be the only reason to bring your pictures for framing to us but it might be a consideration. Imagine the scenario; you have quite a large picture to frame. You are not exactly sure how to frame it but you are aware that it might take a little bit of time to choose the correct materials. You have to park in a car park that charges where it is perhaps £1.00 for the minimum amount of time. Will that be enough time? Also the car park is a bit of a distance from the framers in town. Also, as we live in the UK, it is of course raining! Can you keep the picture dry from your car to the framers? Is the picture already framed and quite heavy to carry from the car park to the shops? Suddenly a relatively straight forward task becomes a bit of a chore. Also you are now not exactly in the best mood to choose picture frames! Not a problem at the Petersfield Framing Studios. Car parking is free at the Buriton Business Park where our workshop is located. Also if you have a heavy picture to frame or would like a hand in with your pictures, just come and get me and I can give you a hand. Also we can wrap your pictures in a bag or blanket if it is raining (I use the term "if" with eternal hope in mind). Also you can take your time to choose your picture frames safe in the knowledge that your parking ticket will not run out!

Monday, 18 March 2013 18:16

Hand painted frames...again!

I know I have written about hand painted frames before but it is such a perfect way to compliment or match a tone in a picture that I thought it worthy of another mention. I seem to be quite often washing out my brushes and so I guess that hand painted frames are becoming somewhat of a speciality for us. This time the frames that were painted were used as inner slips for oil paintings by the war artist Gordon Rushmer. Here are some initial samples that I painted to see if the colours used were sympathetic with the tones in Gordon's oils.

The term "The distressed look" was the brief and I think we have achieved that this time. I will pop another blog up when I have finished the frames. As the frames are hand painted you really will be receiving a bespoke picture frame and you are extremely unlikely to see your picture frame on anyone else's wall.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 19:40

Digital copies of photographs

We are often asked to frame, or re-frame old photographs. It is a great part of the job as the photographs are usually of family or friends at particularly pleasant occasions such as weddings, birthdays etc etc. It is amazing to see how fashions have changed or even styles of photography when far more formal photography was more fashionable. Photographs can fade with exposure to daylight and this is particulary true of older, sepia toned images. These can often be quite faded already when they come to us to perhaps have the glass cleaned or a new overmount fitted. With the age of these photos it is extremely likely that the negatives have long since disappeared thus making copies once the photo is back in the frame rather difficult. With the dawn or the digital age it becomes quite easy to make a copy of the photo to preserve the images for future generations. Hence you would have a copy of the image to print off at a later date if the origianl fades away completely. Also you can make additional copies for friends and family or maybe use the copies to upload the images onto Facebook or other such social media sites. We can provide a simple scanning service for your photographs as they come into us but it is something you may want to do yourself before you bring them in for framing.

Sunday, 06 January 2013 10:03

Framing Teacher website relaunched

This is a little something for those of you that might be interested in framing their own pictures, or perhaps might require some help or tuition. Framing Teacher is a website that started as a resource for my picture framing students during my degree studies. The site has been longing for an upgrade and I have started the process of the initial changes. The idea is that students can use the site as a "Helpful Hints" resource. If the students like what they discover they can find out more useful advice by buying my picture framing book "Frames and Framing" or by buying the tools offered in the shop with complete written instructions on how to complete that specific stage of picture framing. Also the students can find out more about one to one tuition. The site has only recently been relaunched and I plan on adding quite a few sections for the amateur picture framer. However if you do have any suggestions or ideas do drop me a line as it is always great to get your audience's input. The site can be found by visiting Framing Teacher. I hope you find the site helpful and I look forward to receiving your feedback.

Monday, 05 November 2012 19:32

Scratch Maps

I must say I had never heard of these maps until a customer bought one in to be framed the other day. The idea is that you scratch off the parts of the map (usually the world) that you have visited. The scratched parts of the map are in a contrasting colour so that it is easy to see which parts of the world you might have been lucky enough to visit. What a brilliant idea! Also it is a great way to see where you might like to visit in the near future. These seem to be readily available on the internet and a google search for "scratch map" should do the trick. However there is a potential downside to these maps . If you are not very accurate with your scratching you can reveal parts of the world that you might not have visited yet. This could be a costly mistake as surely you must visit that country now or else the map will no longer be accurate!

Sunday, 07 October 2012 11:27

Thunderbugs are go!

What on earth are thunderbugs I hear some of you say? Others will be all too familiar with these, especially if you live in the countryside near open fields. Thunderbugs are little tiny flying bugs that become airbourne usually around humid, thundery weather conditions, hence the name. They become airbourne and seem to get into every nook and cranny in your home and then pretty well dissapear as quickly as they appeared. Their lasting impacts however are often to be found in picture frames. They will land on the picture frames and crawl into the back of the frame and appear between the glass and the picture. They then unfortunately get trapped and die in your picture frames! The favourite location seems to be between the glass and any white or off white over mount surround (they do actually get everywhere but this is where they become particularly visible). The bugs should be removed as quickly as possible as if they are left trapped in the picture frame for any significant time they may leave permanent stains on the over mount or even worse on your original picture. The easiest way to cure and then prvent these bugs is to take the offending picture frames along to a picture framer and get them to clean and refit your pictures. This will cure the existing bugs problem but any future occurences will be prevented by ensuring that the pictures are properly sealed when they are refitted into your existing frames. Also a good idea whilst the pictures are stripped out is to think about conservation for the picture and to make sure that such materials as the mount or backing that have been used are acid-free.

Behind every picture is a story. That is one of the most exciting aspects of my job and it is always interesting to hear that story. The picture in question may be a family photo, a papyrus image from a holiday in Egypt, a print of a favourite view from a small break away or just simply your favourite image. It doesn't really matter what inspires you to frame a picture just as long as something does. However it might be nice to share that reason with future generations. Often the real interesting part of a picture framing project is any information that may be on the back of the picture that the owner might have jotted down. This information might be who is in the picture. This is especially important with old photographs so that the next people to inherit them know who they are. Useful information might also include where the picture was purchased and perhaps how much it cost. This is always interesting to know and will know doubt grow in interest as time goes by. We always as a matter of routine copy any information from the back of a picture onto the new backing so that future generations know the relevance of that image. A colleague of mine always states that people are merely the keepers of pictures for that generation and the picture will often outlive the owner. What a pity if really useful information about the picture is lost forever as this happens.

Friday, 21 September 2012 21:05

Reglazing pictures with broken glass

Broken glass is something that often happens with picture frames. Therefore replacing broken glass is a task that is often performed by picture framers. Glass is a wonderful product and allows your pictures to be displayed as well as kept clean and dust free. However it is often only 2mm or 1/8" thick and is a very fragile product. Glass is quite easily broken with relatively small amounts of pressure applied, especially at the edges of the glass. Some of the more popular reasons for replacing broken glass in customer's picture frames are damage caused during moving home or pictures falling off of walls because of unsuitable hangings or hooks in the wall. Wire can also fray over a period of time and string can also snap but this usually takes quite a number of years. The best thing to do is to take the picture frame straight to a picture framers so they can assess how much of the frame can be saved. You can put sellotape over the cracked pieces of glass but be VERY careful not to cut yourself on any exposed sharp edges of the glass. Also do not turn the frame upside down to see what has happened on the back of the frame as the glass may drop out of the frame. Also if there are loose pieces of glass in the frame be careful about moving the picture frame around too much as you may scratch the picture. Splinters can be very painful and be sure to vacuum clean around the area especially if you have pets as the splinters can get in their paws.

Quite often it may just be the glass that needs replacing. Sometimes it can be a whole new frame as the old frame is just too badly broken. If the old frame was of particular value or one of a set then it may be possible to repair but be aware that the time taken to repair a frame can often mean that it is just as much money to buy a new frame. Another consideration might be to renew the backing and the over mount. There are far better conservation products now available on the market and whilst the picture is out of the frame it may be worth considering materials that will help to preserve your picture. Please pardon the pun but it is literally a pain when glass breaks in picture framing but please do be careful when handling any broken picture framing glass.

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