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Ask The Expert – unusual framing

Ask The Expert – unusual framing

Q. What’s the most unusual or difficult thing you’ve been asked to frame?

A. That’s a great question. I’d say one of the most difficult was a set of 24 antique silver dessert spoons. The customer wanted to use 12 of them to create the effect of a clock with the other 12 placed head to toe in a square around the outside. We knew the customer well and he trusted us to make the design decisions – which is flattering but certainly adds pressure! The end result was fantastic and the customer was delighted.

Other items worthy of a mention are a stunning Grayson Perry tapestry (just wow!), a pair of Darcy Bussell’s signed ballet shoes and a 1950’s Morgan hubcap. Recently, we framed a set of WW2 medals alongside a love letter that was never sent – definitely a “tissues moment”– and last year we were asked to frame an Anna Marrow silk screen in a traditional gold ornate frame but then make up a Neon Pink lacquer paint finish for the frame. It was good fun and it looked really cool.

Whilst we love anything different and outrageous sometimes the greatest pleasure comes from seeing a simple photograph or print being completely transformed into something special, just by getting the framing spot on.

No matter what the item, if you need anything framing come and have a chat.

Our framing team have over 25 years of experience to share.

Ask The Expert – Foxing

Ask The Expert – Foxing

Q. I’ve got an old print that has been in my family for years but it’s got brownish spots all over it – I don’t know how they got there but someone told me they can be removed. Is this right? It’s really sentimental to me but not valuable.

A. The most likely cause of these marks is what is known as “foxing”. The causes of foxing are constantly under debate amongst experts. One theory is that foxing is caused by a fungal growth on the paper. Another theory is that it is caused by the effect of oxidation of iron, copper, or other substances in the pulp or rag from which the paper was made. It is possible that multiple factors are involved. High humidity or exposure to damp is also a key factor.

The good news is foxing can be treated with good results. The treatment Is very specialist, carried out by a paper conservator or restorer, and typically uses proprietary bleaching agents and diluted hydrogen peroxide. If I were to explain the entire process you would probably be asleep fairly soon – so I’ll spare you the detailed chemistry lesson. Let’s just say it certainly is not something to try at home!

If you are going to have it treated make sure you take it somewhere reputable. Check out the experience and credibility of the person who is going to carry out the treatment. If you want to understand the process, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

As part of our conservation and restoration service we have treated many old prints, photograph, maps and other documents over the years – removing foxing and other forms of damage. Our conservator has nearly 50 years of experience in this profession and was trained by his father so it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about paper and restoration.

Need advice on artwork repair or restoration – contact Andy or Sandy who will be more than happy to help info@fizzgallery.co.uk  /  01275 341141

Five top tips for a photo gallery wall

Five top tips for a photo gallery wall

vintage frames on old wooden wall

Gallery walls are a great way to display multiple pictures (and objects) of any kind, especially if you would like to make a family themed wall. Staircase walls make a great space for a gallery wall because you’ll see it regularly as you use the stairs.  It’s fun and easy to do – just follow our tips for a great result.

  1. Choose your pictures/photos/objects.  Keep it interesting by choosing different sizes and media such as prints, photos, paintings, maps, medals or other memorabilia.  Stay with a general colour scheme but don’t try to match everything – small shots of colour will add interest.   Make sure you have a good mix of sizes as too many small pieces will look messy.  You need at least one large piece to anchor the wall.
  2. Choose your frames. For the best result look for frames that have different profiles, widths and textures.  For a sophisticated look, choose frames in the same colour palette or for a more fun and relaxed look use frames in different colours. Don’t be afraid to ask us for help.  Our framing team will be more than happy to give you advice.  If you can show us some photos of the wall/room, it will help us to help you even more. Even if you are re-cycling old frames, we can advise on how best to use them and keep your pictures/photos/objects protected and safe on the wall.  Perhaps most importantly we’ll help you avoid costly mistakes.

    A symmetrical composition for simplicity and balance.

  3. On the floor.  Lay your pictures on the floor and play with different layouts.  Before you start, measure the wall space you have and mark that out on the floor so that you work within the space you will have when you hang them.  Move things around a bit like a tetris puzzle until you are happy with it. If you are hanging your gallery wall on the stairs, follow the upward line of the stairs to create a sense of movement. Don’t forget you might want to add to the wall over time, so allow space to hang additional pictures above and below the top and bottom lines, and to the left and right of the side lines.
  4. When you are happy with your plan on the floor, take a photo to refer to when you are hanging them!
  5. Hanging. If you are hanging quite a large group, start with the centre piece and work outwards.  Stand back regularly to check that you are happy with the layout and don’t be afraid to adjust it.


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