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OPENING TIMES & AD HOC CLOSURES - LATEST NEWS

As always, we apologise for any inconvenience our occasional closures may cause you - we always try to keep them to a minimum with as much notice given as possible - any dates will be posted here:

Our Christmas and New Year break starts at 12noon on Saturday 22nd December and we are back at work on Tuesday 8th January 2019 at 9am.

Our normal opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 12noon.  Any closures are noted here and on our answerphone message - so if you are travelling any distance to see us then please do phone and check so you don't have a wasted trip.

HOW TO FIND US

On the gable end you will see our large sign (dark blue background and white writing) as well as one on the fence just before the building.  Just remember we are the third building on the right once you are on the estate and then down the right hand side of the building.  Call if you get lost and we will talk you in!!  There is parking at the front of the building in our marked spaces (usually our signwritten van is parked in one of them) and also down the side of the building right outside our front door.  On road parking is also available in marked bays.

GOINGS ON 

November 2018

This has been a tough month already and it has only just started.  It was with an incredibly heavy heart that we said goodbye on the 8th November to our wonderful dog, Bisley.  Many of our customers will have known him over the years.  When we started the business he was a one year old pup, full of energy and loving all the new people he got to meet.  Over the years he has slowed down and he celebrated his 13th birthday back in April of this year.  Grey around the face, but still full of life and energy he loved nothing more than greeting customers and presenting them with toys to throw him.  He enjoyed the treats people sneaked him too.  His energy levels were lower and his health had its ups and downs over the past few years and it was time to let him go, but we will miss him hugely and the workshop will never feel quite the same again.  We've been overwhelmed by the lovely comments and messages we've had from so many people about Bisley.  It is a real joy to know how many people looked forward to seeing him when they came in.  And thanks to one of our lovely artist friends, Annette Rayner, we have the most beautiful pastel portrait of him on the wall so that he is always here with us.

September 2018

Time has flown, we've lost the heat of the summer, and I've just realised how long ago I did the last goings on post.  We had a busy summer with plenty of exhibition work as well as the usual wide range of bespoke orders.  Frames we have made have travelled overseas to exhibitions in Cyprus and Singapore as well as closer to home in galleries and shows in Norfolk, London and Harrogate.  Devon Open Studios has come and gone and as always showed just how wide and varied the art scene is in Devon.  Usually we see lots of textile framing in the colder months, but this summer was unusual for the large number of textile and needlework pieces in for framing.  These ranged from exhibition work to samplers from the 1800s, Indian Silks and African Batiks.  And Alec took possession of another "toy" when his new routing machine arrived.  This cuts dovetail joints in the mitred corners which are then joined with special keys and is extremely useful on hardwood and deeper mouldings to give a stronger finish to the corners.  We are now working on the Autumn exhibitions and a slow but steady trickle of jobs in for Christmas presents.  We've posted our Christmas and New Year opening times above ^^^^ and will be closed for our normal 2 week break.  In addition we are closed for one day in October when we attend a seminar as part of our framing qualification CPD.

June 2018

Well Summer is well and truly upon us and the workshop is lovely and warm.  This month we celebrated our 12th birthday - we opened for business for the first time on 26th June 2006.  We were looking at some photos of those early days and it reminded us just how much the business has grown and changed in that time.  When we started we had about 100 moulding chevrons and 50 or so mount colours on offer - we haven't dared to count how many we have now!  Our latest refit last October will hopefully be the last for some time and that showed the change in the kind of framing we produce now.  And of course taking our exams was another step in our development as framers and we have been really delighted with the response from customers.  Our thanks for everyone for the good luck messages and then the congratulations messages once we had passed.  As the month draws to an end we are busy finishing orders before our summer break.  We will then be back at work at the end of July, ready to finish off orders in preparation for Summer shows and Devon Open Studios in September. 

May 2018

The month has only just begun and already it has been busy.  Following on from Jo's success in her Textile Framing exam at the end of April, both of us have now taken our Advanced Accreditation in Conservation Framing exams and we are delighted to say that we both passed with a pass rate of 100%.  We had to show a broad range of skills and knowledge - both in a practical test and also a theory exam - on a wide range of framing and conservation topics.  We are proud to have both now qualififed as Advanced Framers - we are the only framers in the South West where all work is undertaken by Advanced Framers.  And to show that the learning never stops, we are now studying towards the Advanced Mount Design & Function exam.  We are closed for one week after the early Spring Bank Holiday to have a few days off and then at the end of the week we are travelling up to Stratford Upon Avon for the Fine Art Trade Guild awards weekend and AGM.  We are back to work on the 15th May and looking forward to warmer weather and plenty of interesting jobs to keep us busy.

April 2018

Easter is behind us and we are looking forward to Spring and Summer exhibitions, with plenty of framing already underway.  We have just updated our moulding walls again with some new ranges from Lion, Arqadia and Nielsen - and removed some discontinued ranges too.  From highly textured to high gloss lacquered wood - the new ranges are quite stunning.  With hundreds of moulding samples to choose from we should have most things covered.  We have seen a rise in the number of metal frames being sold recently too, and using some of the amazing colours that Nielsen produce in their metal ranges.  We are also studying hard as it is exam season for us too.  Later this month Jo will be taking her Advanced Textile Framing exam and then either late April or early May both Alec and Jo will be taking their Conservation Framing exams.  In among that we are also working hard on lots of framing orders to keep ourselves busy.  We've had some great projects through the workshop recently with plenty of textile work for Jo to keep records of as examples when she takes her exam.  In May we will be attending the Fine Art Trade Guild's annual Art & Framing Convention and Awards Weekend at Stratford Upon Avon - this is the main framing industry event in the UK and Jo will be on duty as Members' Warden of the Guild.  In the week running up to that we are taking a short break, so the workshop will be closed for one week (dates are listed above).

Quick update!  Jo has now taken and passed her Advanced Accreditation in Textile Framing with a pass rate of 100%.  Both Alec and Jo will be taking their Conservation exams on Saturday 5th May.  Alec and Jo are the only framers to hold the Guild Certified Framer qualification in Devon and Jo is the only framer to have passed the Advanced Textile exam in the South West.

January 2018

A New Year and we are back at work and getting ready for a busy year ahead.  Work continues to complete the new workroom areas and we are aiming to have those fully online and in use by the end of January.  We are also updating more of our framing equipment and our new wall mounted multi board and glass cutter should be fitted and in use shortly.  This is a replacement for our original cutter which has done eleven and a half years of hard labour and is ready to be retired from use. 

December 2017

After our busiest December ever we have now closed for our Christmas and New Year break.  We would like to thank each and every customer who has chosen us to do their framing during 2017.  We thank you very much for your custom.  We are also very grateful for all the customers who recommend us to their friends and family, it is very much appreciated. 

2017 has been another record breaking year for us.  We've managed a trip to the biggest framing event in the world, held in Las Vegas in January.  We enjoyed a whole wealth of education classes as part of the Continuing Professional Development of our framing qualifications.  We celebrated 11 years of The Framing Lot in June this year and our son Matthew who had been working alongside us since September 2015 moved on to pastures new and his new career.  Our thanks to everyone who has popped in to ask how he is doing and to wish him well.  In October we finally managed to make the changes to the workshop that we'd had planned for over a year.  The customer area is 99% finished and we will be doing more fitting out within the workshop area during our Christmas break and into January.  The changes will be improving the workflow of handfinished frames and allow Alec more creative space for his bespoke finishes. 

We have worked on some amazing projects during 2017 and already have some very interesting ones in the pipeline for 2018.  Our customers continue to challenge us to find creative solutions to display their precious items - whether it is traditional artwork or more unusual 3D memorabilia items.  We've both had articles published in our trade magazine Art & Framing Today produced by our trade body, The Fine Art Trade Guild.  These have been on a variety of subjects including our trip to Las Vegas, our work with artists and showcasing a few framing projects we have worked on.  Jo has also continued in her role as Members' Warden of The Fine Art Trade Guild which sees her in a central role within the industry working on the future of the art and framing industry in the UK and the standards and qualifications for framers in the UK and members around the world.

So 2017 has been a very busy year.  We are looking forward to our break and then to returning in January ready to start 2018 and see just what the year brings.  We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. 

November 2017

Well what an end to October that was.  Two frantic weeks of moving things around, building walls, laying a new floor and building a new design desk before opening the doors again on 1st November to welcome customers in with our new look.  The start of November will be us getting back to normal, after a full spring clean to clear away the building dust.  We are really pleased with how the customer area now looks and will be working after hours, alongside our other framing work, to complete the workshop part of the refit.  The good news is the really dusty part is finished and we can keep the artwork and refit work separate with our new format.  There are some changes to what is now on display - we have a 3 for 2 offer on all our greetings cards and we have changed our stock frame selection to showcase some of Alec's handfinish frames as well as a more select offering of stock frames in some very lovely mouldings.  We no longer sell the gallery giftware items - what was left when we cleared the gallery in October has been donated to the Dawlish Branch of the Royal British Legion to help with Branch fundraising.  Don't forget we have our RBL Poppy Box in the gallery for the next week or so if you need to pick up a poppy.  You can drop any old £5 notes or £1 coins into the collecting tin - they are happy to take them.  We do still have cards and prints for sale and will be putting framing examples on the walls to display things that we do.  Some of these will be for sale but some; like the Tower Poppy and Jo's cross stitches; are just for display purposes.  So lots of changes but still the same warm welcome.

October 2017

Our refurbishment is underway at last - hooray!  We had a busy start to October with frames heading to a variety of exhibitions and some also going to exhibitions abroad.  The last few orders we completed are off to the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea which is on this month.  And now we are dismantling the customer area and gallery part of the workshop before we put it all back together again in a different format.  At the moment it is looking pretty messy so it is just as well our shutters are down and we are closed to customers while the refit is going on.  Hopefully by the end of the month we will be looking clean and tidy and ready for opening again on 1st November.  We look forward to seeing you then to show off all our hard work.

September 2017

Well we blinked, and we seem to have missed giving an update in August!  What a busy month it proved to be.  Preparations for Devon Open Studios - which is now on until the 24 September, and you can pick up your FREE guide in store - and other art shows around the region, as well as the usual mix of bespoke orders.  We've framed a whole variety of things over the summer including some vintage swimming costumes so that they appear to float in their frames between two pieces of glass.  That was quite a challenge!

This month saw Alec complete his first large order for frames featuring gilded sections.  The idea was to create a soft gold finish so 12ct gold leaf was used and combined with a painted finish created specifically for this order.  The paintings are heading to London for an exhibition and this starts a new phase in the type of handfinished frames Alec is now able to offer.  As this part of the business has expanded so we have had another look at the layout of the workshop.  In October we will be shutting the workshop for framing orders for 2 weeks as we undertake the 3rd large refurbishment since we started the business 11 years ago.  We will be creating a new customer design area, putting down new flooring, moving the moulding samples and increasing the number on show.  We will also be creating a new workroom for Alec where he will be preparing frames ready for handfinishing.  His current painting room will become a dedicated "dust free" painting/finishing room allowing him more space to work.  We look forward to showing off our finished workshop when we reopen for the start of November.  We will be working as normal during September and the start of October though up until Saturday 14th October - and the workshop will reopen fully on Wednesday 1st November.  Until then we are framing as usual and keeping ourselves busy planning all the changes for next month.  

July 2017

We've had a really busy start to the month getting a record number of jobs through the workshop over the past few weeks prior to our Summer Break.  The workshop will be closed from Saturday 8th July through to Monday 24th July inclusive and we reopen on Tuesday 25th July at 9am. 

And we are now ack at work!  After a lovely break in Normandy the workshop is back open, normal working hours are in place and we are here through the rest of the summer.

June 2017

What a busy time it has been - and I've just realised I hadn't updated our News since March!  It has also meant that the plans to make changes in the gallery area are only just starting to happen.  There will be a bit of a shift around over the coming weeks but we hope to keep disruption to a minimum.  In May we attended the Fine Art Trade Guild Awards Weekend in Stratford Upon Avon.  It was a wonderful weekend with lots of discussions with other art and framing industry professionals.  The end of May then saw Matthew heading off to his new career and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who popped in to wish him well.  June is looking like another busy month of framing - we have some lovely new moulding chevron samples in the latest styles and our new chevron boards will allow us more space to show these off.  We are also now holding stock of UV 99 AR glass, rather than just ordering it in when needed, so all the main glass options we use are now available from stock.  UV 99 AR glass was launched last year - it offers 99% UV protection, superb Anti Reflection properties with total clarity and is easy to clean.  Examples of the different glass types are on display by the chevron boards so you can see for yourself the difference it can make on your artwork.   And the last thing to mention is that The Framing Lot will be celebrating its 11th birthday on the 26th June - what an amazing 11 years it has been.  Our thanks to everyone who has chosen us for their framing since we opened the doors in 2006.

March 2017

It is almost Spring like outside at the moment, with the sun shining down and we are racing ahead with preparations for a variety of artist exhibitions in the coming weeks and months.  From events here in Devon, to pieces heading off to Singapore and Hong Kong, there is plenty of amazing art passing through the workshop at the moment.  As soon as we can catch our breath we will be starting the changes to the gallery area.  Our plan is to move our moulding chevron displays and design desks over to the opposite side of the gallery - this will increase the display space and allow us to create a much bigger design desk area.  We will also be creating a new workroom for Alec as his handfinished frames have outgrown the room he currently uses.  By creating this extra room he can improve the workflow between the two areas with some in preparation stage and other frames further on in the finishing process.  We are hoping to start the work in April and have it finished by May.  It also allows us to make the most of still having Matthew working here with us.  He has now been accepted into the military and will be leaving us towards the end of May.  We have been very spoilt having him around for the last year or so!

February 2017

We are back from the West Coast Art and Framing Expo Las Vegas full of inspiration and new ideas.  We each took 10 classes on a variety of subjects - from preservation innovations and techniques, frame finishing and fabric wrapping of mounts and frames and many more.  This was all part of our Continuing Professional Development that we undertake as part of our Guild Certified Framer qualifications.  While we were in the USA we also became members of the Professional Picture Framers Association.  This sits alongside our current membership of the Fine Art Trade Guild - the body that sets standards and qualifications for the framing industry in the UK.  The PPFA is the US based standards and qualifications trade body and so having membership of both organisations means we have full access to all their information and techniques to continue to improve the service we offer our customers.  We are now hard at work catching up with orders and preparing for a busy Spring art show season.

January 2017

Well it has been a very strange month for us - back to work on the 3rd and then off again after the 18th as we are off to attend the West Coast Art and Framing Expo in Las Vegas.  And it really isn't another sneaky holiday!  We have both signed up to 10 classes each on various framing topics - as there is always something new to learn and new techniques to discover.  You can be sure that we will come back full of inspiration and new ideas.  We are back open on the 1st February with our normal hours and look forward to seeing everyone then.

December 2016

We would like to say a huge thank all our customers for choosing us to make their framing during 2016.  It has been quite some year!  We have had an extremely busy December and we have a busy order book to come back to in January.  In the meantime we are now off on our Christmas and New Year break and we will be back at work at 9am on Tuesday 3rd January.

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

October and November 2016

We are very excited that we have now booked our trip to Las Vegas to visit the West Coast Art and Framing convention that is held there every year.  It is four days of classes, workshops and seminars on framing as well as a trade show where we can see all the items on offer to the US market.  We expect to come back with our heads buzzing with new ideas.

We've been working hard since our return from holiday in September.  We've completed framing for a number of artist exhibitions and solo shows and on 23rd October we travelled to the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea to view some of Alec's handpainted frames on sale there, featuring work from 2 Devon artists.

With November fast approaching we will be supporting the Royal British Legion via their Dawlish Branch with a Poppy box on the counter.  Please do give generously to support this very worthwhile cause.  We will also be obvserving the 2 minute silence at 11 o'clock on Friday 11th November.

Alec and Jo are committed members of the trade body for the art and framing industry The Fine Art Trade Guild.  It is because we value what we do that we took our Guild Commended Framer exams a few years ago.  This qualification has now been retired by the Guild and a new qualification is fully up and running.  We have now upgraded to the new Guild Certified Framer (Accredited Professional Framer) qualification and our new certificates are proudly on display in the gallery and we have a new sticker on our door. 

If you have a look at our certificates you will notice that they now have an expiry date.  Just like other professional bodies we now have to prove that we have accrued Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits (in our case it is over a 2 year period).  If we haven't then we lose our qualifications and can no longer call ourselves qualified framers.  Our CPD takes many forms - such as reading articles, attending classes, workshops and events - and all of them help to improve our knowledge and abilities as framers.  It is as part of our CPD development that we are visiting Las Vegas in January 2017 to attend the largest framing convention in the world - the West Coast Art and Framing Convention. 

We are proud to have taken this next step on our professional journey and look forward to seeing what we learn along the way.  (And just in case you were wondering - no, it won't mean we put our prices up!)  In addition, in June 2016 Jo was elected to serve as Members' Warden of the Fine Art Trade Guild.  This means she is right at the heart of the industry and she is proud to have been asked to serve in this role.

We believe that maintaining membership of the Fine Art Trade Guild and offering customers the protection of knowing that we abide by the Guild's Code of Conduct is an important part of that commitment to CPD.  Both Jo and Alec are also now studying to take their Advanced qualifications - Jo in Textiles Framing and Alec in Conservation Framing.

Matthew has been enjoying getting involved in learning the trade and is closely supervised in the work that he undertakes.  He has taken over keeping up stocks of ready made frames for the gallery to hone his frame making skills, just as Alec did many years ago in his parents framing business.  Matthew is shadowing Jo and Alec as they serve customers to get more knowledge on the design process and customer feedback has been very positive which has been great.  He will continue to gain more skills over time before he prepares to leave us for his future military career.

In May we extended (yet again) the chevron boards for moulding samples, increasing the range we offer.  In addition to the new boards in the customer area, we also have a new board in the workshop where Alec can display more examples of his hand finished frames.  Up until now these have been kept hidden away in his painting room so it is great to have them out on display at long last.  Alec is always pleased to discuss new finishes so if there is something you have in mind and you can't see it on display then please do have a chat with him to see what he can create, especially for you.  True bespoke framing at its best.

As always we would like to thank our customers for choosing to shop locally with us, your custom and support of us and our business is always very much appreciated.  We are looking forward to new challenges and seeing what the rest of 2016 brings.

Thank you

Alec and Jo

 
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