1 High Street - Penzance - Cornwall - TR18 2SX  tel 01736 330887     

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Our Framing Standards

shop counter customers -  the LIFE Service Mark

your Local Independent Framing Expert

Moonshine Framing have been paid up members of the fine art trade guild for most years since1999, and two years on the framers forum, but we have not renewed our Fine Art Trade Guild membership for 2008 because we feel that the  minimum standards of framing, workmanship and materials promulgated by the Fine Art Trade Guild are in some cases misleading, inadequate or not relevant,  particular to general framing customers. At best the Fine Art standards mean absolutely nothing to the general public, so here is our version.

What it  means is that each job is treated individually, and not "worked on" to comply with some theoretical  one-size-fits-all "standard". We don't tick boxes for someone in the capital, we make frames for our customers.   Our framing and mounts are to enhance and protect your artwork or photography.

Important point to remember - We do not do conservation framing for the sake of it - there are other reasons people have frames!

standards for framing orders taken at the shop counter:

  • Treat the customers artwork carefully, every job is equally important

  • Treat each job individually, paying attention to any required preservation/conservation materials needed if applicable.

  • Measure accurately for an accurate price, and advise customer an estimated size and cost of the finished job

  • All mounts are acid free white core as a minimum standard, unless expressly requested otherwise by the customer - We define this as a minimum standard  of board for our "conservation/preservation" purposes.

  • All frames containing paper art are fitted with a liner (under- mount), to help protect the picture

  • Only proper picture quality float glass or framing grade acrylic glazing is used

  • All framed and glazed pictures are fitted with an appropriate dust seal

  • All frames will be inspected before assembly and clean of dust or any other debris before sealing

  • All timber frame corners are glued and underpinned (V-Nailed) with clean cut mitre corners

  • Suitable allowances will be left to anticipate expansion and contraction of the framed artwork and frame internals

  • Fabric and needlework items will, whenever practical, be laced or stretched prior to framing

  • A sticker is affixed to each finished frame so that the customer knows where it was made, and who to bring it to if it requires attention, re-glazing or repair

  • Only reversible procedures whenever practical,  no trimming or cutting unless agreed with the customer. If any trimming or cropping is requested, it is preferred that the customer marks the position with pencil.

  • No materials or procedures to be used which are known to be or might be damaging or accelerate aging to the artwork without the customers agreement. Whenever possible materials will be used which will provide adequate protection within the cost of the work.

  • Suitable materials to be used for known environmental issues (eg. sea air, possible damp, etc)

  • Suitable materials to be advised for any known safety issues (eg. Schools, a child's room rooms, public places -  for example, these frames may be safer with acrylic or safety glazing)

  • Whenever practical finished framing will be given a protective wrap until collected by the customer.

Code of Practice for dealing with framing customers at the shop counter

  • Advise the customer honestly and in straightforward terms

  • Identify and point out any obvious problems with the artwork which might affect its framing. If necessary suggest alternative procedures or materials

  • Answer any queries about the customers particular framing job  to the best of our ability and explain to the customer exactly what is involved in framing their work if required.

  • Advise the customer about spacing non-replaceable artwork from glass, using a mount, slip or other device

  • Record the customers contact details

  • Offer the customer a receipt for their artwork, or a copy of the job specification, with cost and delivery time

  • Complete the job at the agreed price

  • Inform the customer if there will be any delay (eg. materials delivery) at the earliest opportunity, and consider an alternative

  • Customer should be advised on correct hanging method  when they collect their work

  • Customer should be advised on the type of materials, and their expected conservation/preservation properties, and any other points necessary to help look after their frame or artwork.

  • Deal with complaints promptly and courteously and try to resolve the problem with the customer

  • In the unlikely event any work of art is damaged in our care we will arrange to have it restored by a professional restorer

  • Safely keep the customers completed job for at least 90 days before disposing of the frame, safely keeping the artwork for one year before disposal if not collected by customer, and make reasonable attempts to contact the customer first

  • Explain when necessary the benefits and value of quality framing


More about framing standards: The FATG "standards for framing" have remained the same for several years, whilst the framing industry has moved on. We are well into the twenty-first century now, with modern production methods, computerised machinery, and advanced materials in most framers workshops.  Framers and Framing have "raised their game" and standards, largely due to the two internet framing forums and knowledge base (framers oracle - to which we have been pleased to contribute)

Many years ago the FATG were supposed to take over the apprenticeship/city and guilds style training for framers. Other than a  practical exam and some simple multi choice questions based on their framing standards (which can be passed from a 2 day course)  the FATG have done little to raise awareness of the expertise required to be able to take any framing job that comes over your counter. 

A modern framer will usually be computer literate, will probably be using computerised cutting equipment as well as specialist workshop equipment that you wont see in any other profession. Some corners of our workshop resemble the Borg ship, and this equipment has to be maintained, again another specialist job.

Renewing specialist equipment can be costly,  and we are taking the price of a new quality car for a CMC cutter, and a good used car for most of the other pieces of equipment.   Like your car, this wears out and has to be replaced.  Like any other business we have to pay for software, licenses and upgrades too.  This is without bank charges, and the fact that nowadays 90 percent of people pay by plastic, which means we have often shipped goods or had them collected while the money is still in the ether, not even in the bank.

Professional framing is not a cottage industry or a craft, please don't insult your local framer by trying to knock down the price. You don't argue with the cashier in Argos, or Woolies, and you don't demand a discount on your tyres at ATS. or do you?   There are plenty of people who do a two day course and set themselves up as framers. They may be willing haggle, do you want to take your chances with them?

A good framer will know a lot about timber, a lot about glass and the physics of it, will be using compressed air machinery, various air and hand tools, computerised machinery and traditional tools. He or she will also have to have a knowledge of different types of art, how to store, handle and work with them.   This does not come from a two day course, or an adult education course at college in the evenings.

We don't make frames or mounts down to a price. You do get what you pay for with framing. After all, if a garage serviced your car for five pounds you wouldn't be surprised if a) they were not there next year, and b) You had made good use of your AA membership. 

We have been framing since 1994, we are one of the busiest in Cornwall  for a reason. We are still here while local and online competitors have come and gone, and its probably because we do an overall pretty good job. It has not made any of us rich, in fact there have been times when we would have been better off on the dole.  People ask us why our prices have risen since the last time they came in - which might be five years ago - all costs have risen, materials, glass, transport, insurance, heating, lighting, rates, water, waste removal, wages ... you name it, its gone up.  The biggest factor in your frame may be the labour (time). Between them our current framers and counter staff have 30 years of experience with this firm and counting.  We can pretty much handle any framing job which comes our way.  If we can't we'll tell you, and we'll tell you someone who can!

If price is the paramount concern, we can often offer a cheaper alternative, but it may deviate from the standards above.   If you have had cheap framing done elsewhere, we can probably fix it.....

After several years working to, or in most cases exceeding, fine art trade guild minimum standards, we realised that the average hobby framer could bang together a frame which met the FATG minimum standards.  So we have settled on our own set of framing standards.  These are flexible and applied sensibly, as every job can be different, and we expect them to evolve as materials, NEW machinery and the framing knowledge base improves.

What it  means is that each job is treated individually, and not "worked on" to comply with some theoretical  one-size-fits-all "standard". We don't tick boxes for someone in the capital, we make frames for our customers.   Our framing and mounts are to enhance and protect your artwork or photography.

We are a small family run business, but we ship frames and computer cut mounts all over the UK - businesses, corporations, artists, photographers, TV film and radio stations, and deliver to household name addresses (think Google London, natural history museum, museum of science and industry) as well as 1000s of customers who simply want a good quality product - We are in the art and presentation business and  we think its important to get it right  Because Image Counts






































































Shop Services   

Framing it

we can frame......
pictures + prints
decoupage + 3d
fabric art needlework
unique items
football shirts
sports caps
frame repairs
restoration by warren fisher
stand up frames
case frames
deep frames
ready made frames
clearance frames + bargains
we can frame it!

Mounting it

square mounts
oval mounts
card mounts
art mounts
custom mounts
one-off mounts
oversize mounts
big mounts
double mounts
triple mounts
special mounts
photo mounts
multi - aperture mounts
display mounts
trade mounts
ready cut mounts
dry mounting
canvas stretching
neutral ph mount boards
acid free mount boards
conservation mount boards
dry mount board

Glazing it

acrylic picture glazing
float glass
reflection control
uv glass
museum glass
mirrors + mirror glass


backing boards
pulp board

If you don't see what you are looking for, just ask!

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Picture and photo frames, certificate frames, bargain frames, budget framing and mounts, bespoke framing, made to measure (fit your own pictures) custom framing, mirrors, picture glass, pictures, prints, glass, mirror glass cut, mounts ready made and custom cut, computer cut mounts, card mounts, mount cards, restoration, cornish art, images of cornwall, cornish artists,  cornish prints & pictures, bespoke frames at artist prices direct to the public. West cornwall's leading picture framers. members of the Fine Art Trade Guild. picture mounts, photo mounts, mounts cut, online ordering, trade mount cutting, custom cut mounts, stock mounts, double mounts, art mounts, multi window mounts, multi mounts, mounts cut to your design, mounts for photographers, mount cutting for artists, mounts cut for the trade, bulk mount cutting, custom mount cutting - no minimum mount order -delivered UK

Moonshine Framing/ Moonshine Studio 1994-2007