Monday, April 04, 2011

POLL: Exhibition frames: How much do you spend per frame on average?

The Making A Mark Poll for April is all about how much we spend on exhibition frames.  It was prompted by a comment by Tina Mammoser on the results of the March Poll - see Poll Results: Annual Spend on Art Materials

The reason I've chosen exhibition frames is because when we are framing for ourselves we can either put up with something very cheap or spend a lot of money.  Neither of which are probably typical of the average cost of an exhibition frame.
The Best Ever Diagram of Picture Frame Mouldings
courtesy of FW Holroyd Framing Supplies Ltd
 - a leading UK supplier
It's always struck me that getting the framing cost right for your market is the key to making a profit when exhibiting artwork in frames

Another reason for choosing exhibition frames is I've always thought of them as being a bit of a deadweight.  Let me explain.  I have no problem with a gallery adding their commission to the artist's price for the artwork plain and simple but I'm *$£%ed if I'm going to let them add on commission to my framing cost as well!  Just imagine you've just paid £100 for a large frame.  You then realise it's actually going to cost you £150 by the time you've factored in the gallery commission.  I'd rather give that extra £50 to the framer!

Then there's one of my framers who told me when I was starting to choose frames for exhibitions that he does an awful lot of reframing work for people who have bought art but don't like the frame.  That taught me a lot about making frames as neutral as possible to be as least offensive to the maximum number of people.  It also made me think very hard about spending a lot of money on a frame which might not sell the picture at the end of the day!

Then there's the issue about framing being culturally oriented.  Hence the frames which the American market seems to think are absolutely splendid would be regarded as totally OTT in London - which is currently in love with totally neutral frames with very little gilt in plain view.  I'm currently all in favour of the painted and distressed frame - mainly because I'm perfectly capable of doing that for myself after I've bought the basic frame - and boy does that help to cut down on the costs of framing which can be very significant if you are framing a lot of pictures.

I've also learned to have frames which are robust enough to cope with reuse and to have extra backboards cut.  That's for if, like me, you can't be fagged with the time and the tedium involved in getting labels off the back when you want to swop artwork round!

So all in all lots of scope for working hard at getting your framing costs cost-efficient and cost-effective.

But what is that cost?  How much do you spend per exhibition frame on average?

I do appreciate that answers will vary depending on the size of work produced but thought it was worth having a go nonetheless.

This month I have again got two polls - one in £sterling and the other in US$.  You can find are both in the right hand column (just above the grid of images of Bloggers who follow this blog) - and a few of you have found them already.

The poll finishes just after midnight on 30th April and the poll results will be published later that day.

PS  - If you have any framers or framing supplies you'd like to recommend to fellow artists please feel free to leave a comment.