More Than ‘Just A Card’

More Than ‘Just A Card’

Listening in frustration to the owner of a much-loved local bookshop that was closing down, Sarah Hamilton (founder of the ‘Just a Card Campaign) felt compelled to act.

The closure, like that of many small businesses, wasn’t down to poor quality products or service. This was a treasured book shop, where you could get great books, gift ideas, and where children could enjoy books in the play area. 

Not content to just put these closures down to modern day shopping habits and the general obliteration of the high street, Sarah decided to take action and the ‘Just a Card’ campaign was born.

‘Just a Card’ was designed to highlight that whilst the majority of shoppers buy in to the concept of supporting local businesses, these won’t survive unless there is a conscious decision to take action – and if that action is purchasing something as small as ‘Just a Card’ it will make a difference.

As an independent business ourselves, we know exactly how much difference the purchase of ‘Just a Card’ makes to us. Fizz’s co-owner Sandy Prater says:

“Customers often apologise that they have only popped in to buy a card or other small item. But whether they buy a painting or a card, every single purchase is just as important to us and helps secure our future” 

Today the campaign has built a following of over 52k followers on Instagram spreading an upbeat message about the need to celebrate, support, value and buy from independents. And thanks to an all-star cast including Richard E Grant and Hayley Mills, Greta Saatchi and Twiggy, the ‘Just a Card’ message is being seen on huge advertising boards throughout London’s underground. 

For more information and to show your support for this worthwhile campaign, follow #justacard on Instagram, and don’t forget to follow @fizzgallery. 

It’s All in the Display – Displaying Accessories

It’s All in the Display – Displaying Accessories

Have you ever bought yourself an accessory that you fell in love with then got home and wondered where or how to display it to its best advantage? 

If your piece is a larger, more commanding one, then it could be shown off on a table or sideboard on its own. Alternatively a collection of smaller pieces could be grouped together alongside it.

Grouping accessories together, either on a tray or on a few coffee table books laid flat, is a great way to make a collection of small items look like one large piece. As shown in the image above, by putting one bird on the books and three alongside, you create a display at different heights and suddenly the four small birds have their own impact. 

Some people prefer symmetry in their displays (as shown in the image above). Two striking lamps either end of a sideboard with a group of smaller pieces in the centre will allow the lamps to be set off by the collection and vice versa. 

Alternatively, consider using an asymmetrical display with one larger item on one end being off-set and balanced by a group of smaller pieces at the other end. By linking colours or shapes across the whole display you add visual cohesion. For example, a large vase of flowers at one end of a mantelpiece, can be complemented by a collection of smaller pieces at the other end, picking up the colours of the flowers. 

I love this quote from Healing Barsanti Home co-fonder Daniel Barsanti; “Be selective with accessories. Loving stuff is not the same as displaying stuff. Accessories are like a woman’s jewellery. You would never wear all of it at once. Our rule of thumb is to edit your accessories so that you never have more than 20 percent out at a given time”

If you follow Daniel’s advice, then you will always have the ability to change your ‘look’ whenever the mood take you, putting some pieces away to be enjoyed another day, and displaying new accessories that will refresh the look and feel of your home. 

 

Spotlight: UNOde50

Spotlight: UNOde50

Put aside your beliefs about jewellery. Imagine something stylish, unique, free spirited, limitless, timeless. A non-conformism and rebellious break away form the establishment.

This is UNOde50

Born in Madrid in the late ’90s, UNOde50 is the creative brainchild of Jose Asulay. It came into existence in response to the need for a jewellery style that would break away from everything that already existed, with an ever-present bold spirit reflecting exclusivity through design and quality. 

The brand started with the philosophy of crafting only 50 pieces per design, hence its name, to show its commitment to quality and exclusivity. As demand sky-rocketed the business was forced to evolve but the name stayed the same as a reminder that quality and exclusivity remain the priority. 

We first met Jose and his small team in London. After an in-depth (and nail-biting) selection process we were lucky enough to be chosen as one of a few UNOde50 retail partners and the only one in the South West. Within a couple of months it became, and still is, our most popular jewellery range and we absolutely love it! 

“We are all different. That is why each UNOde50 piece is different. I want to express moods in my designs. With the metals whose curves reflect a countless number of emotions, their magnificence, their strengths. With the leather that represents the beginning of time and life, nature in the primitive state. The crystals symbolise the joy of living, positivity, fantasy and glamour. And the finished design comes from that mix” Jose Asulay. 

What size should Mounts be? – Ask the Expert

What size should Mounts be? – Ask the Expert

Following on from our recent advice about the importance of mounts, Sandy answers the question: 

What size should the mount be? 

This is the most common question asked by framing customers and we could write a whole newsletter devoted to this topic alone!

However, in broad terms, the size of the picture influences the size of the mount. But so too does the width of the frame and the composition of the picture. One thing is certain, small picture does not mean small mount. Insisting your picture is framed with a skinny mount is probably the biggest mistake you can make. 

Each piece should be judged on its own merits but in our experience a 70mm mount is suitable for a wide range of compositions, sizes, colours, subjects and moods in a picture. It is wide enough to give the picture space to breathe in the frame, but not too wide that it disconnects the picture from the frame. 

However, very small prints can, if they are the right subject, composition and colour, look stunning with a very wide mount. In the example shown, most people would find the middle one the most comfortable on the eye. The one on the left being too skinny and feeling “pinched” in the frame.The one on the right, is for some people too wide, especially if wall space is a consideration. However, the strong composition allows this to work, making more of a statement. 

For advice on any aspect of mounting and framing come and talk to our experts. 

Spotlight: Cityscapes by Tom Butler

Spotlight: Cityscapes by Tom Butler

On first inspection, Tom Butler’s work is an accomplished, modern representation of some of the worlds most beautiful bustling cities, but, like most urban landscapes, it is far richer and more complex when you delve deeper.

Giving a genuinely compelling alternative take on life, Tom uses collage components to create familiar scenes in a unique and often unexpected way. Newspaper text, slogans, statements, or single words are slipped into his pieces surprising and delighting time and time again.

In 2004, after a holiday with his wife to the South of France, he found creative inspiration after being mesmerised by the light, colour and texture of the beautiful town of Uzès, a town he describes as an “artists delight”. Returning home he set about recreating the town and the resulting pieces proved very successful. Tom Butler the artist was born.

After years of perfecting his own unique style, mixed media collage is now an integral part of his work with each piece developing organically depending on what he has to hand. 

Whilst subject matters and materials have varied over the years, Tom’s work continues to celebrate cities he loves, giving a new and unique take on each.

“For me, the artwork has to operate on two levels – to look like an accomplished and impressive painting from afar but then to surprise you when it draws you in for a closer look at the detail”.

We are delighted to have Tom’s latest work in the gallery. Come and get lost in cityspaces you know and love, discovering new shapes, textures and colours every time you look. Or check out Tom’s work on our website.

 

ARTGlass – The Difference is Clear

ARTGlass – The Difference is Clear

There’s nothing more frustrating and I think we’ve all experienced this – you’ve bought a lovely new picture or just had something framed, you’ve hung it on the wall only to find that for the majority of the day, all you can see is a reflection of yourself, the room, or the window opposite.

For years, the only solution to this has been to use non-reflective glass but let’s be honest, it might reduce the reflections but it kills the clarity of the picture, dulls the colours and is akin to looking through fog!

The good news is that glass technology has come along way recently and none of us need to put up with reflections in our pictures any longer. Let us introduce you to ARTGlass, (also known as invisible glass) and when you see it, you’ll know why!

ARTGlass reduces reflection to just 0.5%, provides a 90% UV protection to prevent your pictures from fading and offers crystal clear clarity – honestly, you won’t think there is glass there at all. Having offered ARTGlass to our customers for the last 12 months, since it became affordable, we are now using it on the vast majority of pictures we frame. The consensus from customers – “it’s a no-brainer”. And some are even bringing in their older pictures to have the glass changed over to ARTGlass.

Don’t get us wrong, standard picture framing glass is still very appropriate for many things. Being the cheapest option, it is great for those who are looking to frame something on a budget. We still use standard glass on a daily basis – but it’s becoming less popular as more and more people learn about ARTGlass and see the difference it can make.

Why not pop into the gallery and ask us to show you an example – you will be amazed by the difference.

Showcasing War Memorabilia

We’ve used ARTGlass to give UV protection & reduce reflection on this recent framing job. The dark blue mount shows off the colour in the ribbons and the selected frame gives a simple but classic look.