Fashions in Picture Frames.

Over ten years ago my husband took over a small picture framing business.

It all came about when Bill who had been framing my paintings for years decided to up sticks and retire to Spain to live the good life.
"Mary" he said, "I've had enough. Would you like to buy my business?"
"No way!!!!!" was my very quick reply. After all I'm a painter. All I want to do is paint pictures.

But my husband was interested.
So a little while later we bought the business and moved it lock, stock and barrel into a brand new workshop next to my studio. In fact it's adjoining my studio so we can argue with each other as we work.
© Mary Kemp
Lengths of mouldings waiting to be made into frames.

We inherited a wide variety of stock, including a stack of mouldings, which included lots of gold and a ton of dark wood. There were some patterned lengths and some blonde wood too.
My husband took to framing like a duck to water. Being an engineer the precision and the practicalities suited him well and he produces neat, well put together frames.

© Mary Kemp
Some mouldings
At first our most popular frame was a chunky number in burnished gold, speckledy with a fancy profile. Next most popular were dark oak or mahogany mouldings. Most mounts were fairly slim and usually beige, cream or sludgy green.

We used up most of the gold and mahogany, even ordered in more, but much of the other stock remained untouched. Some of it even found it's way into the bin.

After a while the gold and the heavy wood became less popular and we started to be asked for more black or white frames with very plain profiles, nothing fancy. Mounts got bigger too (much to my husbands disgusts. I don't know why because bigger mounts meant bigger profits) and they became paler too, no beige, rarely any colour, only soft cream or white.

Fashion in frames, what's in and what's out.
Heavy wood and fancy gold seems to be out, and there's not much limed wood to be seen either.
Most popular frame and mount for 2018.
While some people like to stick to their old favourites we've seen at the moment the most popular frame is a plain slim black or white moulding often partnered with a white mount. It looks good with all manner of prints, photos and original artwork, complementing today's liking for a clean unfussy look.

As an artist I love a simple frame. It's hard enough painting a picture without agonising over a frame! A simple frame takes nothing away from the artwork, throwing it well and truly into centre stage.
I like white more than black but above all I want you to see my artwork not the frame.
© Mary Kemp
"Lindisfarne Sky"
Click caption to see more.
A simple white frame showcases this warm painting of Lindisfarne.


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