Picture framers make frames to protect and display a variety of items such as photographs, pictures, certificates, posters and tapestries, and also objects such as medals, butterflies or dried flowers.
After discussion with the customer, the picture framer will decide or advise on an appropriate style of frame and the most suitable material. This may be wood, metal or plastic. Costs will be calculated and presented to the customer for approval, after which the finished item will be produced.
Many picture framers undertake framing as a source of extra income and may have additional employment elsewhere. Those with shops may also sell other items such as prints, cards and artists' materials.
Hours depend on where the framer works. In a shop or gallery the working week is likely to include Saturday, with a day off during the week. If employed by an art gallery or specialist manufacturer, framers may work around 37 to 40 hours a week. Self-employed framers work irregular hours, often from home.
Specialist equipment, such as mounting and laminating machines and glass cutting equipment, is used. Workshops tend to be dusty, and protective equipment is sometimes necessary especially if spray painting is involved. Overalls and gloves may be needed to handle valuable artwork.
To be a picture framer you should:
Framers may be employed by specialist frame shops and makers, contract framers, art galleries, museums, photographers or gift shops. Framing businesses are mostly small to medium-sized operations, so prospects for promotion are limited.
Better prospects arise from owning your own business or taking a franchise. Many self-employed framers have links with local art galleries or photographers. Picture framing is often taken up as a second career.
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