Cornwall LivingIssue #72

In the frame

We meet Emma Allen and Mark Opie, founders of Falmouth based framing service Eat Art.

collaboration of artists, designers and craftsmen with many years of experience in the art of picture framing, Eat Art offers art collectors everything from simple solutions costing just a few pounds, to unique handcrafted designs. Owner Emma Allen tells us: “We offer a completely bespoke framing service and stock a comprehensive range of mouldings, as well as both standard and conservation grade glass, mounting card and backing materials.”

“A successful frame should show an item to its best, but framing can also protect and help to actively preserve”

From mirrors and prints, through to works on paper and canvas; even for trinkets and ephemera, Emma and the team can guide you through the choices available to best preserve and display your art.

We ask Emma how Eat Art was founded. “Mark Opie and I founded Eat Art in 2000, with the help of The Prince’s Trust. I first became aware of picture framing as an art form in itself whilst studying art in school and college, and was particularly inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt and Hans Peller. “Mark’s background is in woodworking and his interest in picture framing was sparked by the level of craftsmanship involved.”

Since starting the company, the two have been joined by other likeminded individuals with similar creative and practical backgrounds. Now they enjoy a reputation as one of the best picture framers in the south west, working with clients throughout the UK, including many leading local artists and galleries.

“We have access to all of the major framing suppliers and facilities to mill some profiles in-house. In this way, we can offer an extensive range of mouldings in pre-finished, raw wood and metal profiles, plus customised mouldings in timber or acrylic.”

There is, however, no need to confine your choices to pre-finished frames. Emma continues: “We can apply our imagination and skill to create unique finishes that include hand-painted designs, gesso work and gilding.”

So, it seems, there isn’t a lot the Eat Art team can’t do to suit your framing needs. For us, the most impressive part is how the team aims to actively preserve your artwork, championing conservation in much of what they do.

Mark tells us: “A successful frame should show an item to its best, but framing can also protect and help to actively preserve. This consideration is crucial if the item to be framed is of worth, be that in terms of money or sentiment. At Eat Art we can advise on the most appropriate materials and best methods to conserve your work.”

So, whether you’ve inherited an heirloom that’s been in your family for generations, or you recently came across a piece that you saw and simply had to purchase, be sure to get in touch with the team at Eat Art, who can help ensure it lasts for generations to come, fitting a frame that suits both you and the work itself, as well as protecting it from unnecessary damage.

If you’d like to pay Emma and Mark a visit, the studio is open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, and on other days by appointment.

"A successful frame should show an item to its best, but framing can also protect and help to actively preserve"