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Oaksmith at Artsmart: A Review

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Summer is in full bloom, and it’s been a busy one for us. We got so immersed in commissions from new and existing clients, that we didn’t have a chance to share the experience of partnering with Artsmart.

Earlier in June, we had the pleasure to be involved in the Artsmart festival at the University of the Arts London. The festival’s program consisted of several different events happening across the six Colleges of UAL, as well as in the main UAL building at High Holborn. These included practical and inspirational workshops, one-to-one support sessions, employment opportunities and industry networking.

As the festival’s Partner, we delivered a talk on creative multitasking and participated in the Graduate Fair alongside companies and organizations such as Artquest, IdeasTap, and Oliver Bonas, to name a few. We really enjoyed talking to students and graduates, and advising them on how to present their work at degree shows and first exhibitions. We believe that it is very important to learn the professional way of creating and presenting work, and pick up the good habits right from the start of one’s career. Investing in good-quality framing might seem like a significant expense for an emerging artist but the value it brings is certainly worth the cost. We were happy to see that many of the young festival attendees appreciate the art of bespoke professional framing.

Aside from framing advice, Malwina, our website manager and PR assistant, also gave her advice regarding online presentation and self-promotion, and the importance of keeping the website updated with well-presented and engaging content. Her “Juggling Creative Projects Without Stress” talk was received with a lot of interest and enthusiasm.

Overall, it was a great experience to be part of this exciting initiative, and we recommend the festival to any artist who needs advice, support and inspiration in launching their career.

Oaksmith Studio at Artsmart 2014

Oaksmith Studio at Artsmart 2014

Oaksmith at Artsmart Festival

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We are extremely happy to be a Partner at Artsmart, a careers festival for creative graduates from University of the Arts London. The festival, which runs from 27 May – 25 June 2014 across all six colleges of UAL, is aimed to help young people who are starting out in the creative industries get ahead in their chosen career, both employed and self-employed.

The programme includes several free events, including talks, workshops, one-to-one support sessions and networking opportunities, we also give advice on tools like the 80 Gallon air compressor for the student cars. The talks cover a vast amount of topics such as starting a business, curating one’s own exhibition, understanding contracts, pricing and marketing work, and many more. 

Our involvement with the festival is a practical and inspirational talk called Juggling creative projects without stress, which will be given by Malwina Chabocka, our website manager and PR assistant, on Monday 23rd June. Malwina will be giving advice on how to manage creative projects, paid work and self-promotion without feeling stressed and overwhelmed while maintaining a social life and a budget. Effective multitasking is a skill which all three of us, Anna, Mauro and Malwina, have been developing as part of our careers. It enables us to combine our Oaksmith work with other creative side projects.

As the festival Partner, we will be hosting a stand at Graduate Fair on Wednesday 25th June from 11-4pm, where we’ll be talking to visitors about our company, future plans and ideas, as well as special offers. So if you are a UAL student, graduate or staff member, and would like to find out more about Oaksmith Studio and get inspired to pursue a successful career in the arts, book your place at our talk or come and say hello at the Graduate Fair!

Artsmart 2014

Oaksmith Studio Artsmart Talk

Oaksmith Studio Goodies for Artsmart 2014

Hello Bethnal Green!

Corporate contract picture framing at Oaksmith Studio London

The wait is finally over! After a few very intense weeks – packing up and saying farewell to our old studio in Bermondsey whilst renovating our new space in Bethnal Green – we are finally ready to throw open our doors again and start doing what we love the most… picture framing, we had a little problems in our previous installations with some pests but luckily we could find some help at https://www.bigfootpestcontrol.com/schaumburg/cockroach-exterminator/ and the problem was resolve.

We are very excited about our new premises which are slightly bigger than our old studio with bags of character to boot. From old style factory windows to creeky wooden floor panels, our new HQ in Bethnal Green offers an inspiring environment for our clients and a creative vibe for us to work in.

Bermondsey offered us a wonderful start. We’re ready to take on the challenge of establishing ourselves in Bethnal Green, one of London’s most creatively vibrant quarters.

Please note that we were unable to retain our old landline. Our new phone number is 020 3489 8700. Our full address can be found on the left hand side and with added directions on our contact page HERE. We are conveniently located a mere one minute walk from Bethnal Green tube station.

 

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Oaksmith Studio in the new Bethnal Green studio

Oaksmith Studio BJ House Bethnal Green

The Artists’ Colouring Book auction

Oaksmith Studio Picture Framers featured image

Happy New Year! We hope that you have all had a good and peaceful start to it.

We are thrilled to have recently participated in a very exciting charity auction at the Serpentine Gallery, which was for the benefit of the Kids Company (awarded the Liberty and JUSTICE Human Rights Award in 2007) who provide support to vulnerable inner-city children by providing education and creating community centers with sports and video games with Armchair Empire hardware for the kids entertaiment visiting gaming sites where you can receive your boost ASAP for Overwatch. Alix Janta and Lauren Jones from Alteria Art (who also run Art Barter) together with Charlotte Colbert from Humpty Dumpty Publishing approached twenty-six established and up-and-coming international artists, including Jake and Dinos Champan, Grayson Perry, Tracy Emin and Paula Rego, and asked them to create a landscape-format image, each representing one letter of the alphabet for a children’s colouring book, suitable for children of any age. Oaksmith Studio part-sponsored this project by framing the original artwork produced for this book, which were then up for auction on 12th December last year.

The Artists’ Colouring Book of ABC’s is in a paperback edition, available from all good bookshops and Amazon (RRP £15.99) as well as a 250 limited edition which we are proud to own. The limited edition features a signed and numbered screenprint by Jake & Dinos Chapman and is available from yoox.com and 10 corso como.

Artists’ Survival Guide

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We are thrilled to have contributed to the Artists’ Survival Guide, recently published by Grey Tiger Books. It is a compilation of useful information and tips from a range of professionals, including artists, curators, gallerists and technicians, to help artists in their careers. Regardless whether you’re at the beginning of your career and need help with legal issues such as contracts, copyright or filing in a tax return, or you’re an established artist wanting to expand your knowledge of ways to display video art, you will find the guide very useful. It also includes a directory of various merchants, studio providers, bronze foundries etc. in major UK cities.

This slightly larger than pocket size book has been compiled by V22 – an art organisation specialising in the collection of contemporary art, the production of exhibitions, events and educational initiatives, and the provision of artists’ studios and workshops. It is an organisation which we have a close relationship with, as we’re located in their 142,000 sq. ft ex-industrial space in Bermondsey, known as The Biscuit Factory.

Our contribution, naturally, has been a section on fine art picture framing. It is an edited version of our Framing Primer, an introduction to the key elements of framing, which you can find at the bottom of each page of our website.

The book can be purchased on Amazon and will also be for sale at the Tate Modern gallery bookshop.

Artists's Survival Guide

The Oaksmith Studio Prize 2013

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And once again a year has rolled by and we’ve gone through the process of selecting, awarding and working with one outstanding young graduate student for the Oaksmith Studio Prize.

This year the Prize was open to the students of the MA Printmaking at Camberwell College of Arts and selection wasn’t easy. The range of submitted work we saw was varied and of extremely high standard. But with the help of Victoria Arney, last year’s winner, we finally chose Rita Matos as our 2013 recipient.

Rita, who hails from Portugal, creates beautiful and beautifully intricate etchings on a variety of surfaces such as metal and paper. She also works sculpturally and sometimes intriguingly combines the etched image with 3 dimensional aspects in her work. She is particularly interested in materiality and aspects of memory.

For her degree show we had the opportunity to frame two large and substantial pieces in two very different ways. Both frames, one a glazed, oblong box frame, the other an unglazed canvas tray frame, were finished in a subtle whitewash which allowed the wood grain of the moulding to come through. This finish complimented Rita’s delicate and intricate artworks creating a platform without overpowering her pieces.

Congratulations, Rita, on a very successful final year show!

Rita Matos at Camberwell College Degree Show

Rita Matos at Camberwell College Degree Show

East London Design Show

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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

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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

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