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Frame it well, frame it once

New bespoke framing service JoIN places the environment and sustainability at the heart of its work.

Joi N

JoiN is a brand new bespoke picture framing service led by seasoned framer Libby Pell. I chatted to Libby to find out more about her new venture and to hear her top tips for looking after artwork at home.

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your background in framing.

Norfolk born, Sheffield bred. Well not quite, but I started studying art here in 2008, popped home for a year, then headed back to marry my wife Heather and have been here ever since.

Post-uni I immersed myself in the art scene and made many great friends in doing so. I spent eight years at APG Works, where Rupert and I developed our relationships with artists and galleries in and out of Sheffield. My primary focus was always framing and after leaving APG Works last year it seemed logical for me to continue developing a bespoke picture framing service.

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You launched your new framing service last year. What does JoiN offer that sets it apart from other framing services?

JoiN’s main objective is to frame it well, frame it once. Thankfully, we’re valuing our surroundings and the environment more than ever before and JoiN is a venture that wants to cut waste and be sustainable. We believe in beautifully designed bespoke framing that elevates and protects artwork. Handmade using high quality materials in our Sheffield workshop, our frames are built to last.

A decade in the business has seen you frame original artworks by Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. How did this come about?

Word of mouth and good faith has led me to frame for a few collectors and galleries over the years. I’ve been very fortunate and there’s something really quite special about spending time with an iconic artwork. You get to really experience it, see its texture, feel its weight and look at its detail over the course of an afternoon framing it. It’s quite rare to spend that sort of time with a piece of work, even in a gallery setting.

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What would be your top tips for people wanting to look after artwork, prints and photos on their walls at home?

Keep your eyes peeled. Regularly check your framed artworks. Look for discoloration or sun damage in the paper. Check the back of the frame for signs of damp. Avoid hanging frames in super sunny spots and above radiators.

Be careful with budget frames and avoid putting sentimental or valuable work in them, as they tend to have poor backing boards and use mounts that contain acids, which will damage the artwork over time. Need some advice? Go and see your local picture framer. That’s what we’re here for and remember - bespoke framing doesn’t have to cost the earth.

And finally, what's on the horizon for you and JoiN in 2021?

Summer 2021! Operating out of lockdown for the first time! Introducing pals to the workshop and visiting the Sheaf View pub. But in particular, JoiN will be launching it’s locally sourced framing collection, a beautiful, versatile range of hardwood mouldings, responsibly felled and air dried locally.

by Felicity Jackson (she/her)

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