Q1. When did you start teaching workshops?
I’ve some experience with instructing in my previous career so knew that I enjoyed teaching. I only started workshops towards the end of 2020. I designed the course content during the first COVID lockdown, ran a couple of trial workshops with my daughter and my wife (both complete novices to framing) and then launched it once the restrictions were brought down to a safe level. As we have been in and out of lockdowns the number of courses has been somewhat haphazard, but I’m keen to welcome guests along at any point!
Q2. Tell us about your workshop space/ surroundings.
I’m lucky to have my framing workshop at home, in a separate building, which is ideal for a classroom. We use my own professional equipment and provided materials to build a picture frame from first principles. I share the space with my daughter (an artist, who is also my main customer!) but she is happy to work elsewhere when I have a framing day in progress. We live on the edge of town, so when the weather is good we can sit outside on the decking for coffee/lunch and enjoy the garden and surrounding fields.
Q3. Tell us about the variety of courses on offer?
I offer two choices of experience days - either one-to-one tuition or the same course to two people. The latter is for two people who already know each other, not two individual customers brought together for the day. I enjoy both, but particularly enjoy the dynamic with two learners; the chat and banter is always fun! As we are only using the one set of equipment, there is no scope at present for larger groups, but I might develop that for the future. The course content is primarily aimed at a novice framer, but we always fall into discussing all manner of framing techniques for those that want to know more. As always, it’s the basic principles that are the foundation to all other techniques.
Q4. Tell us about your team.
I’m the framer, but am ably assisted by my wife Cathy and/or our daughter Katie with tea, coffee and lunch! They are also very adept at helping with mount and moulding selection at the start of the day.
Q5. Describe a typical month as a maker/tutor.
I can’t think that there is such a thing as a typical month - perhaps most Makers would say the same! I enjoy the variety of work that comes through the door and particularly enjoy the challenge of designing ways to display 3D objects to best effect. It is always satisfying when a crafting customer sees their art or photo transformed by the framing process and I particularly enjoy seeing the delight when the final frame is finished.
Q6. Do you also craft in you spare time, are there other crafts that you enjoy?
I’ve not tried many other craft disciplines, if I’m honest, but I do enjoy practical work with wood. After some sage advice from a friend and a little online learning, I tackled repair work on a couple of wobbly dining chairs during lockdown. It was truly satisfying to get them back to sturdy furniture again.
Q7. What advice would you give to other people looking to teach their skill?
What I would advise is to work out what you want to teach and try it out several times on friends and family to make sure your timing for the day is suitable. Passing on the enthusiasm and passion for your craft is truly special, so go for it!
Q8. Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration professionally?
I would say my artist daughter, Katie. Her charcoal and chalk art is very striking and I really enjoy seeing it enhanced with the right frame. She is a regular customer, so something must be going right!
Q9. What is the funniest thing to ever happen on one of your courses?
Hard to say funny, but one of the ladies who came along was mum to school friends of our two kids, who had found my course completely independently through CraftCourses! It was lovely to catch up!
Well, we're ready to beautifully frame our art work, are you?
Turning simple materials into beautiful, practical frames for your home is inspirational. If you would like to book a space with Ady in the studio then you can find all the details here.>