The Night Life Of Trees

Last month my daughter gave me this book of magical trees for my birthday. It’s a collection of hand-pulled screenprints on black paper, bound by hand into a gorgeous book where, according to John Berger, “the nightingale sings until morning”. Read more

Frames of reference

Signs Of Signs

We recently framed these two images by Pia Gazzola. Above is a digital photograph of bamboo leaves dipped in ink, moved by the wind to draw on the sheet of paper placed beneath them. Below is the drawing they produced. They are from a series of artworks where trees are encouraged to make drawings. Bamboo, strictly speaking is a grass rather than a tree, but with a history of service in providing drawing implements. See more here.

Frames of reference

Getting Dressed

This naked painting, looking a little ragged around the edges, was brought to us for framing. It is by Anna Marinova, an oil on canvas titled Model With Mirror. Read more

Frames of reference

A Pedantic Plaque

We made this plaque around twenty years ago. The wood was cut and shaped and painted with size and gesso and red bole, then gilded with 22 carat gold leaf and finally inscribed with a tongue twister. According to Iona & Peter Opie, editors of The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, this was in past times considered to be a remedy for hiccups when repeated thrice in one breath. But they don’t say whether it is Rowley as in rolled, or Rowley as in round. It seems to play on the possibility that it could be either. We think the former but there are some who insist it’s the latter. Maybe this will help –

Frames of reference

A Symmetrical Frame

A folding map of the City of London, published in 1900 by the cartographer G W Bacon & Co. We framed it with an elegant oak moulding and a French mount of acid-free boards. Read more

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Because Your Work Is Worth It?

How many times have I gone into a good gallery and seen badly presented work? Very rarely, because believe it or not, gallery owners and buyers really care about that stuff. Unfortunately I know a fair few artists who don’t. They create wonderful work but then their frames are falling apart, the mounts aren’t cut straight or the print margins are ink-smudged. Read more

Frames of reference

A Walk From King’s Cross (With Labels)

King’s Cross station has a new concourse, enclosed by a beautiful, sculptural roof which grows from a steel trunk and spreads into a tree-like canopy of intersecting branches. They meet the ground along the semi-circular perimeter, which is a continuation of the arc of the Great Northern Hotel, which was in turn shaped by the curve around a bend of the River Fleet. Read more

Frames of reference

Oh Brother, Where’s Thou Art?

James Read just sent us a few images of pieces he’s made for a group show at the Ultimate Picture Palace in Oxford. The exhibition is titled Oh Brother, Where’s Thou Art? and features cinema inspired works by Lorraine Berkshire-Roe, Andy Roe, James Davies, James Read and Jason Brown. Read more

Frames of reference

FIP

I first heard FIP a couple of years ago. My twin daughters who were students in Brighton came home with stories of illegal transmitters broadcasting this French radio station to the Sussex coast. Sadly Ofcom, the British media regulator, silenced the station by confiscating the transmitters. Nowadays the best way to listen is online at www.fipradio.fr. They broadcast a refreshing and eclectic mix of world music, jazz, chanson and film music, free from the inane chatter of manic egotistical djs and without interruption from advertising jingles. Listening to FIP is always inspiring and usually prompts a search for more information on newly discovered musicians. Highly recommended.

Frames of reference

Cherry Street

Not very long ago I visited a colleague at his studio. I’d been there before once or twice but this time I noticed a beautifully framed photograph high up on the wall opposite his work table. It was of Django Rheinhardt, watching over him like a guardian angel. It reminded me of a piece I’d read by Geoff Dyer about his musical hero, Don Cherry, and how he always liked to have a photograph of him above his desk. Don Cherry was a humble and sincere musical voice with a gregarious spirit, often finding the common thread linking music from different cultures, and I decided then he should be up there on my workshop wall too. His music has been with me since his days playing with Ornette Coleman and I followed all his explorations into what has since become known as World Music. He opened lots of doors and what he found there was always another aspect of himself.

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Frames of reference