One Step at a Time…

If you have visited Simon Robinson & Son, you will probably have seen the example of framed baby shoes on display. Framing your child’s shoes is a lovely way of preserving the memory of those first steps.

A customer recently bought in some very pretty flower girl shoes that would normally have been resigned to the bottom of a wardrobe.

The cream silk shoes had a very delicate pattern and we didn’t want the frame to distract from this. Therefore we chose a pale cream mount and frame creating a simple yet contemporary look.

We used one of our unique spacers to build up the depth of the frame and create a box.  We painted the spacer to match the frame and mount, adding to the simplicity of the overall piece. You can see below how the depth has been built in.

As with all our box frames we recommended our special clear colour glass to eliminate as much reflection as possible. This makes a huge difference when framing three-dimensional objects.

The overall effect was stunning – the perfect way to both display and preserve a moment in time.

Adding an Arched Mount and Extra Frame Depth

After a little break for holidays we are back to our blog and I want show you how a different shaped mount opening can complement an artwork.

We recently framed a delicate cross stitch with an arched top.  A rectangular mount would have fought against the design so we decided to create a mount that would mirror the soft curve of the needlework. As we have a computerised, precision mount cutter at Simon Robinson & Son, we can design the opening to suit the artwork and ensure a very high quality finish.  We are even able to make shaped double mounts which is what was chosen this time.

Sometimes a frame isn’t deep enough to accommodate all the different elements that are to fit in it – glass, mounts, stretched needlework, conservation backing etc.  To ensure you can still benefit from our entire range of mouldings, we have developed a special insert, allowing us to increase the depth of the frame.

We paint or stain the insert to match the frame or mount. In this case it has been given a pale wash on the inside to match the mount and a light green wash on the back edge to match the frame.  At Simon Robinson & Son we take pride in the finish and ensure the back is as neat as the front. You can see below how the depth has been extended.



We used a speciality glass, clear colour plus, to eliminate as much reflection as possible and keep all the beautiful detail of the cross stitch.




What Glass Should I Use?

Not long ago all pictures were glazed with standard 2mm float glass but now there are many more glass options available to the picture framer. What glass you decide on can depend on many factors such as value, size and type of artwork as well as your overall budget.  At Simon Robinson we want to give customers a good choice so are happy to offer the following:

Clear Colour Plus UV
We use clear colour more than any other glass at Simon Robinson. In fact, we are the biggest user in the UK which shows how highly we rate this speciality glass. And it is not just us, many museums and galleries are now using it on priceless artworks due to it’s clarity and uv protection.

Clear Colour Plus UV  has the following advantages:

  • It reduces reflection so your framed images can be viewed in the clearest possible way. In some conditions it can look invisible.
  • Clear Colour Plus UV blocks UV rays, reducing damage and fading of the framed image.
  • It’s Water White.  This means most of the impurities found in normal glass (such as iron, giving a green tinge) have been removed. This gives the most accurate colour rendition of the image.
  • It increases the transmission of light providing exceptional viewing clarity.

Items that particularly benefit from Clear Colour Plus UV include:

  • Water colours and prints that are liable to fade
  • Three dimensional objects in a box frame
  • Artwork of exceptional detail such as fine drawings or needle works
  • Items that will be hung in a sunny room
  • Work of value you want to preserve

This image shows the difference between our glass options. Clear Colour Plus UV is easily identified in the centre.  Traditional float glass is on the left and etched non-reflective glass is on the right.
Standard Float Glass

This is the standard choice for picture framing as it is both economic and easy to use. Although there can be quite a lot of reflection, it will protect your work from dust and accidents. Until not long ago this was the only option for framing.  We use it in many of our frames and it would be our second choice after the Clear Colour Plus UV.

Etched Non-Reflective Glass
Before Clear Colour glass this was the only option if you wanted a non-reflective glazing.  It has an etched surface so the light is defused, reducing reflection. However, the hazy, etched surface does mean you loose definition, especially obvious if the work is mounted or in a box frame.  It is due to this loss of definition we wouldn’t readily recommend it however, we do use it from time to time if a customer wants of match it to pieces they already have.

Art Shield Acrylic Glazing
Sometimes glass is not suitable to use, if the finished frame is extremely large or if it is to be transported abroad for example. In these cases we would recommend an acrylic glaze. Art Shield is a high quality alternative to glass, developed specially for the art and framing industry. Unlike standard acrylic it is virtually scratch resistant and has very little static build up.  It is also water white so the clarity is extremely high.

Simon Robinson & Son Picture Framers
01223 873123

Studio 6, Penn Farm, Harston Road, Haslingfield,Cambridge CB23 1JZ









Framing Two Antique Fans

I’ve talked about framing three-dimensional objects before and here is a perfect example of displaying items that would otherwise have been kept hidden in a drawer. A customer recently bought in two beautiful antique, ostrich feather fans.  They were very large and because of the feathers, required a deep frame to accommodate them.

The fans were surface mounted onto a deep red board, carefully attached with invisible thread so they could be removed at any time without damage. We chose a traditional gold frame, in keeping with the style and age of the fans.  It was wide enough to provide strength to hold the glass in place but did not overpower the delicate fans.
To ensure the glass did not touch the feathers we built a deep, gold spacer into the frame, creating a box.  We used our Clear Colour plus UV to reduce reflection and protect the fans and mount from fading.

These antique fans, too beautiful to be hidden in a drawer can now be enjoyed everyday!

Beautiful Frames Perfect for Larger Artworks

Last week we updated and added to our range of larger, premium frames.  We now have mouldings to suit every style and budget, from a simple photograph to an antique oil painting.

The new range is ideal for larger artworks, especially paintings on canvas, whether they be traditional or contemporary.  We have sourced exquisite, hand made  frames from Germany, with carefully applied gold and silver leaf sweeping around the corners.  These are complimented by a beautiful selection of traditional English frames, hand-carved by craftsmen for over 40 years.  The selection is completed by our original range of exceptional Italian frames.

We have chosen the frames carefully  to ensure there is something to suit  everyone but if you still don’t find what you are looking for we are very happy to order samples and place a special order for you.

Simon Robinson & Son Website

A Simple Frame for an Exquisite Drawing

We firmly believe that a frame should compliment the artwork rather than overpower it. This was perfectly illustrated recently when we framed a beautiful, detailed pencil drawing of a sunflower.  The exquisite drawing would be lost against many mouldings and mounts so we had to find a simple yet suitable combination.
We decided to use one of our special bevel double mounts, revealing only a small amount of the bottom colour. This is much more subtle than a traditional double mount and is perfect for delicate artworks.  We used a grey colour below, to match the pencil, with an  off white top mount.

As I have said, the frame choice had to compliment the delicacy of the artwork so we chose a very thin gun-metal aluminium. It echoes the thin grey line in the mount and due to the narrow profile directs all our attention to the drawing. Because of the detail in the drawing we glazed it using Clear Colour plus UV glass as there is virtually no reflection.  Any detailed work benefits enormously from this special glass, the clarity being unmatched.

We have a large selection of aluminium frames at Simon Robinson & Son. We have recently taken delivery of two new ranges of exceptionally thin profiles, perfect when keeping the framing simple and minimal.


Framing a Double Sided Coin

So often three-dimensional items are hidden away in a drawer when instead they could be hung on a wall for you to enjoy. We have framed all sorts of items over the years and can can turn virtually any of our mouldings into a deep box frame.

When a customer bought in the coin below his main concern was that the back of the coin, which was just as interesting as the front, would be covered up.

 The answer was to glaze it on both sides so the reverse could be viewed by simply turning it over.  A special double-sided mount was cut and the coin lodged in place and a simple pewter coloured frame complemented the metal. As with all framing, the glass should not touch the item so we used a black window mount to act as both a spacer and border.

 The black mount was repeated on the reverse to enable brass fixings to keep everything in place. As you can see, the back was as neat as the front!

A Hand Finished Frame For a Special Document

We were lucky enough to be asked to frame a very special document recently – an Order of the Garter.  The traditional certificate was decorated with beautiful calligraphy and finished with two large, deep wax seals.

 We decided to frame it using one of our had finished, wood mouldings as it is such a traditional piece.  The wood, a solid oak, was stained using a rich deep brown and finished with natural bees wax to protect the colour and finish.

As you can see, the black core mount was specially cut to fit around the seals.  The seals were extremely deep, set in brass holders, so we had to construct a box frame to accommodate them. We used a spacer to keep the glass far enough away and stained it to match the frame.

 As before we used our special low uv and anti reflection glass in order to both protect and display the order of the garter to the highest standard.

Framing a Very Long Tapestry!

As specialists in framing needlework we see all sorts of designs, shapes and sizes. This recent job however, has to be the longest and thinnest we have ever encountered! It was originally intended as a belt but the customer prefered to frame it for their wall.

The long, thin shape lent itself to a narrow, simple frame, however, it had to be very strong to stop the long length bowing.  Most thin wood frames wouldn’t be suitable so the answer was aluminium.  The extra strength the metal provides makes it ideal for this type of job.  It’s simplicity also suited the bright, graphic design of the tapestry perfectly.

The needlework was stretched and laced onto a conservation board before being mounted. The double mount kept the tapestry away from the glass in order to protect it.  To keep the detail as sharp as possible it was glazed with our special anti-reflection glass. Almost invisible, it also has uv filters so the colours of the threads will be saved from the effects of the sun.

Framing and Preserving a Wedding Bouquet

With the season of weddings upon us I thought I’d show you a beautiful bridal bouquet we framed this year.  The flowers had been freeze dried but were extremely fragile, so, as well as creating a stunning wall piece, the frame protected the bouquet.

We wanted to create a simple look to highlight the pale cream flowers so used a natural, solid ash frame. Natural wood never dates, creating a timeless display, in keeping with the bouquet.

The frame had be deep enough to hold the flowers and we used a natural wood spacer to create the box frame.  Our water white, uv filter glass added extra protection and clarity.

Box framing is a wonderful way to preserve and display something special that would otherwise be hidden away.  Flowers, sports shirts, medals and coins, even a child’s first shoes – we can usually find a frame to fit!