Tony Montgomery – Picture Framer
This is a world where millions of photographs are seen on Facebook for just a few hours and then vanish forever. Do you remember the traditional way of showing them? Printed and framed a photograph can be enjoyed daily. Done properly a framed print will bring pleasure for many years.
Many homes have a printer that will produce colour photographs, and all sorts of frames are available in high street shops. So why bother going to a picture framer? Quality, variety and size are words that come to mind. The beauty of having a picture expertly printed and framed is that you are not tied to standard sizes and shapes, and certainly not to a standard style or mediocre quality.
They say you need to work at something for 10,000 hours to become an expert. Tony Montgomery of Acorn Handcrafted Picture Frames based in Stone has chalked up his 10,000 hours many times over and it clearly shows in his work. His frames have a quality you don’t see on the high street. A good test of a frame is how well the corners fit together. When Tony assembles his frames they are perfect. But let’s follow the whole process.
First of all you need a good quality photograph. Unlike your home printer, Tony has high quality printers capable of producing the standard of image expected by professional photographers – he has several as regular customers who rely on him for their printing and framing.
Once printed the photograph has to be mounted. This gives it sufficient border to set the photograph off perfectly. Forget the simple paper or cheap card mounts you find in shop bought frames. Tony uses acid free mounts in a variety of colours that will not yellow with age. To ensure a perfect finish for the mount a computer guided cutter is used. This allows for a wide variety of cut out shapes that would be impractical to achieve by hand.
The frame, glass, mount and backing board will each be cut to fit together exactly. Frame corners are cut using a special tool that gives very clean angles and a perfect joint. Unusually in picture framing Tony also glues each corner before the pieces are fastened together with pins from a specialist joint making tool. When assembled each corner joint is spot on to give a perfect frame. Once the front glass and rear MDF panel are cut to fit the frame Tony is ready to assemble the parts.
Have you ever tried to put a small photograph or a certificate into a frame? Have you noticed how there is always one speck of dust that shows up after you have fastened everything down? Or have you discovered a photograph that has slipped relative to the mount? Or a small bug has found its way behind the glass after a few months? The way Tony assembles his framed pictures ensures these problems don’t happen.
The photograph is secured to the mount, and then the mount is fastened to the edge of the spotlessly cleaned glass and checked several times to make sure all specks of dust are removed. Once everything is ready the mount is sealed all round to the glass so nothing can get in to spoil the picture. The backing board is secured with the correct tool – no more bending those little tabs down to hold things in place and accidentally distorting the frame. Finally the reverse of the frame is fastened and sealed, both for neatness and to keep dust out. The last part of the process is to add a cord to hang the picture and if necessary make a cardboard box of exactly the right size to hold it – the computer controlled cutter can also make packing boxes.
If you’d like a different look ask about the range of specialist frames on offer made using acrylic, or mount-free frames using glass front and back to give a transparent border. With his many years of experience Tony is well placed to give expert advice.
Acorn Handcrafted Frames are based in Stone, Staffordshire and are online at www.acornhandcraftedframes.com