The Oaksmith Gazzetta - News, Insights, Musings

Three Into One!

Hester Finch framed painting

Having framed several of Hester Finch’s paintings in the past, we were delighted to be approached by her again to try something new for one of her recent portrait commissions.

Last year, we framed an Indian wedding dress using three frames to add depth and interest. This time, by using the same concept, but with a different combination we accomplished an elaborate and truly bespoke frame.

We began this construction by choosing a tray frame which allowed us to float Hester’s canvas in the middle. This combined with a square sub-frame underneath deepened the overall effect. With its’ generous, rounded profile, the top main frame has classic appeal and therefore rounds off this frame construction in an elegant way.

In this frame, the striking combination of classic shape is brought bang up to date by being painted in a clean light grey, with Farrow & Ball‘s Elephant Breath. The resulting finish gives a very contemporary feel to the classically-shaped frame, thus enhancing the bright tones of Hester’s painting beautifully.

A graduate of the Ruskin in Oxford, Hester Finch is a painter and portrait artist. Based in London, she makes portraits to commission and exhibits both nationally and internationally.

Frame construction

Frame construction

Hester Finch framed painting

Hester Finch framed painting

Hester Finch portrait

The finished piece

Art From Around The Globe

Valery Katsuba at Artmost

One of the most exciting things about working and living in London is the cultural mix we get to experience on a nearly daily basis. We have framed art for  exhibitions in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and the USA. We also regularly frame the artwork of international artists who call London their home. Two exhibitions we’ve worked on that are currently on show and highly recommended are by Turkish artist Güler Ates and Russian photographer Valery Katsuba.

We have written about Güler Ates’s photography before on this blog and would like to recommend her current exhibition at the Royal Academy Gallery Cafe which is on show until the 24th April. It features a whole new body of work of imagery taken in the impressive library of the Royal Academy.

Güler Ates / RA Gallery Cafe

Güler Ates / RA Gallery Cafe

Güler Ates / RA Gallery Cafe

Güler Ates / RA Gallery Cafe

Valery Katsuba is a photographer from St. Petersburg who’s stunning portraits of Russian athletes is currently on show at Artmost, a private gallery in Mayfair specialising in contemporary Russian art. The photographs are collected from several projects about circus athletes, trapeze gymnasts, fitness and beauty and body builders which you can also be if you bulk up with these weigh gainers. Beautifully shot and exactingly composed they allude to a rich past of Russian athletics that still permeate practice in modern times.

Valery Katsuba at Artmost

Valery Katsuba at Artmost

Valery Katsuba at Artmost

Valery Katsuba at Artmost

East London Design Show

candyframes1

Yes, it is true, Christmas season is upon us once again and we have been very busy preparing for it here at Oaksmith Studio. This year we have a very special appearance at one of London’s most exciting Christmas shopping events, the East London Design Show. Taking place from the 6th – 9th December at Shoreditch Town Hall, we’ll be gathering all our handmade produce to sell at our market stall. We’ll have… are you ready?… box frames, frames with window mounts, painted frames, stained frames, gold & silver gilt frames, Scandinavian-style hardwood frames, frames with museum quality UV glass as well as a small selection of framed magnetic chalkboards and mirrors.

As always all of our frames are cut, joined and finished by hand in our studio to the same quality as our bespoke work. They will be on sale at heavily discounted prices. Quantities are limited so do come early to avoid disappointment!

If you’re an artist or illustrator or have a small piece of art you want to give someone for Christmas this year, bring your piece along to see which frame might suit it best.

In the meantime, make a note of these sizes which we’ll be offering for sale:

A6 (10 x 15 cm) standard postcard size

A6 with 3 cm window mount (16.5 x 20.8 cm)

A5 (14.8 x 21 cm)

A5 with a 3 cm window mount (20.8 x 27 cm)

5 x 7″ (12.7 x 17.8 cm)

5 x 7″ with  a 3 cm window mount (18.7 x 23.8 cm)

6 x 8″ (15.2 x 20.3 cm)

6 x 8″ with a 3 cm window mount (21.2 x 26.3 cm)

On top of that we’ll have our popular range of square “Instagram frames“, some as box frames, some with window mounts. They’ll come in black, brown, white as well as light and dark grey. They measure 19.5 x 19.5 cm – the perfect size for printing your square Instagram photos on a regular A4 inkjet printer at home…

Oaksmith Studio at the ELDS

East London Design Show invite

Whilst you’re here, check out this fun little questionnaire we filled in for the East London Design show… click here.

Oaksmith Studio at the ELDS

Please note that our Etsy shop, The Oaksmith Pantry, is on holiday whilst we prepare for the East London Design Show. We will re-open it after the market rush.

The Oaksmith Studio Prize 2012 Round Up

Boundary, 2012

Victoria Arney, our Oaksmith Studio Prize recipient this year, concluded her MA printmaking studies at Camberwell College of Arts last month and showed her final piece in the graduate exhibition.

The large scale, multi-panel piece entitled Boundary was created by alternating positive and negative etchings in stark black and white. We mounted the panels and framed them in a narrow tray frame which was hand painted in a matt black. Unglazed, the viewer was able to see even the smallest handmade marks of the huge print and, hung on a black wall, the piece took center stage in a dramatic way.

Once again: Congratulations Victoria!

Boundary, 2012

Boundary, 2012

Boundary, 2012

Boundary, 2012, at Camberwell College of Arts, London

 

The Oaksmith Studio Prize 2012

VC boundary instillation

We recently got very busy with the second edition of our Oaksmith Studio Prize and are thrilled to finally share the results here on our blog.

After opening up eligibility to MA Fine Art and related courses from across the University of the Arts London, we met up with last year’s prize winner Georgina McNamara to go through the selection process. Little did we know how hard it would be to make a final choice… but after reading all candidates’ artist statements and viewing and reviewing their submitted visual materials, we finally chose Victoria Arney as the Oaksmith Studio’s 2012 Prize Winner.

Victoria is a final year student on the MA Printmaking course at Camberwell College of Arts. Her large scale, multi-panel etchings make use of repetition, mirror images and negative prints. Using drawing as a starting technique, Victoria’s final prints are dramatic visual statements that invite the viewer in to decipher a deeper context. Inspired by common media channels and how they filter message and content before it reaches the end audience, her recent works have explored widely reported and “experienced” world events such as the Japan tsunami and the protests in Egypt and London.

Says Victoria: “Events are continuously being superseded by more news and a flow of generalised histories, of nations or of land become lost. Drawing, re. looking and dissecting these images I hope marks the fragility of our territories.”

We chose Victoria as the Oaksmith Studio Prize winner due to the inspiring and inspired combination of her stunning mark-making and a challenging discourse with politics and the media. We are looking forward to working with her in preparation for her MA degree show which will take place from 5th September 2012. We’ll be sure to post updates as and when they happen…

Victoria, Mauro

meeting Victoria at Oaksmith Studio

VC boundary 2012

Victoria Arney – Boundary – 2012

Home Improvements

Vintage Frames

That’s right… we’ve been doing some “home improvements” at Oaksmith Studio. It’s been almost a year since we moved in and back then the studio was a blank canvas ready to be filled with furniture, equipment, tools and, of course, art and frames, frames, frames. Creating a welcoming work space was not only important to gain trust and inspire our clients, but also for ourselves. We spend the majority of our days here and we want to feel inspired by our surroundings, we like to feel “at home”.

As those of you who’ve worked with us before know, we’re big fans of the Farrow & Ball range of paints. The collection of shades is spot on and they just finish beautifully on bare obeche and tulip frames. Here’s a brand new shelf (made of nice deep moulding painted in F&B’s Studio Green) that Mauro built only last week to house our growing collection of F&B pots. Hanging alongside a signed screenprint by American artist Jay Ryan it has turned the underpinner area into our new favourite corner.

Underpinner & Paints

Underpinner, F&B Paints and Jay Ryan

Even before we moved into the V22 complex, we had amassed a collection of vintage frames in various sizes and conditions. Finally they’ve found a place to be proudly displayed, the side balustrade of our mezzanine. We’re going for the lived-in front room style here… also displayed on the balustrade are two prints by Anthony Burrill and a Grayson Perry tea towel from his recent show at the British Museum.

Old & New Frames on Display on our Mezzanine

Old & New Frames on Display on our Mezzanine (and Mauro underneath)

And just because we like to remind ourselves of the transformation our workspace has seen in the last 11 months, here’s a photo of our unit as it was handed to us when we moved in. You can see that big blue shutter in all of the photos…

Our Studio - one year ago

Our Studio - one year ago

Bartering for Art

framing2

When we read about the upcoming Art Barter event in the Metro newspaper a few weeks ago, we were intrigued and jumped at the chance to play. Art Barter, run by Alix Janta and Lauren Jones, organise exhibitions at which you can barter goods or services for artworks rather than pay for them with money and if you bet on bet365 on the go you can also make a deal with them. This exhibition was the first London solo show by French-born New York-based artist Baptiste Ibar entitled Before Your Eyes (Busts). We instantly loved his playful explosions of colour and textures on paper and canvases, so we contacted Alix and Lauren to see if Baptiste would be interested in exchanging our framing services for a couple of his works on paper. And he did!

Baptiste Ibar signing art at Oaksmith Studio

Baptiste Ibar signing art at Oaksmith Studio

With just a few short days to the opening of the exhibition at The Last Tuesday Society in Hackney we produced two large black box frames and six smaller flat white frames to showcase Baptiste’s key pieces. And on Saturday we attended the packed opening event at which Baptiste also played a few of his songs. Here are a bunch of photos of the exhibition which is on show at The Last Tuesday Society until 7th April 2012.

Baptiste Ibar - Before Your Eyes (Busts)

Baptiste Ibar - Before Your Eyes (Busts)

 

Baptiste Ibar - Before Your Eyes (Busts)

Baptiste Ibar - Before Your Eyes (Busts)

 

Baptiste Ibar - Before Your Eyes (Busts)

Baptiste Ibar - Before Your Eyes (Busts)

Baptiste Ibar playing tunes

Baptiste playing tunes

 

Unveiling The Veil – Framing Photography

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

We recently had the pleasure of working with London-based Turkish artist Güler Ates framing her intriguing, beautiful photography for her first solo exhibition in Amsterdam at the Marian Cramer Gallery. Güler’s work deals with femininity, mystery and identity. Her photographs are unconventional portraits which only hint at the person being photographed.

After being expertly mounted to smooth foamex board by Terry Greenwood, we framed Güler’s photographs in black box frames with a wood grain finish. The almost invisible anti-reflective glass was set away from the photographs by using very thin internal spacers.

Here are a few photos of the finished pieces in situ at the Marian Cramer Gallery.

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

 

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

 

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

Güler Ates - Unveiling The Veil

Unweave The Rainbow at SCREAM Gallery

Caroline Jane Harris - As Above, So Below III_1

Recently we attended the private view of a new show of emerging international artists at Scream Gallery. We completed three frames for young UK artist Caroline Jane Harris who is part of this lively show just off Bond Street. We had already discovered Caroline’s work at The Other Art Fair a couple of months ago, so were more than pleased to work with her in preparation for her Scream outing.

Caroline’s work is stunningly beautiful from afar and amazingly intricate close up. Layers upon layers of delicate hand papercuts cast shadows and play with the viewer’s senses. Are these trees? Are they nerve endings? Or is it lace?

To frame these pieces, we chose an obeche box frame which was able to accommodate the multiple layers with air space between each. The frame was painted in Farrow & Ball’s Great White which was picked after much deliberation to compliment the soft shades of grey and white of the artwork. The resulting frames are elegant and support the art within without imposing on it.

The  exhibition runs until 10 March 2012 at 34 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QX and is well worth a visit.

Caroline Jane Harris / Scream Gallery

Caroline Jane Harris / Scream Gallery

 

Caroline Jane Harris / Scream Gallery

Caroline Jane Harris / Scream Gallery

Caroline Jane Harris - As Above, So Below I

Caroline Jane Harris - As Above, So Below I

Size Matters – Frames at the London Art Fair

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

We started the new year with some of the biggest and heaviest framing projects we’ve yet undertaken at Oaksmith Studio. Working together with The Fine Art Partnership, a publishing studio / gallery in London’s Bankside specialising in original prints and works on paper by Modern and contemporary masters, we framed two large and beautifully intricate pieces by Czech artist Mila Fürstová. These were not only large in size measuring almost 1.5 x 1.5 meters, but also required the four panel etching and papercut artwork to be floated mid-frame. We achieved this by mounting the pieces on a sheet of acrylic glass allowing them to cast shadows through the acrylic onto the white foamcore backing. The front of the frames were fitted with anti-reflective glass whilst the backs were reinforced with heavy duty subframes. The large box frame moulding was hand painted in Farrow & Ball’s Great White, which suited the artwork beautifully with its subtle tint of red.

Here are a few shots of one of the finished pieces on show at this year’s London Art Fair at Islington’s Business Design Centre.

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

Mila Furstova at The Fine Art Partnership / London Art Fair 2012

applying finishing touches before Mila Furstova's frames leave Oaksmith Studio

applying finishing touches before Mila Furstova's frames leave Oaksmith Studio