At bond-a-frame we offer bespoke picture framing at affordable prices. From our ‘Do It Yourself’ option (with full supervision and guidance) to our complete expert custom service, we will frame whatever it is you wish to protect and display. From memories and mementoes to personal items that make a unique gift (we recently framed a pair of pyjama bottoms for a 21st birthday!), we also love working with artists to give their work a really special ‘showcase’ frame.
We have a constantly evolving selection of around 500 classic and contemporary frames, together with over 100 different mount card colours. And if you still can’t find the look you’re after, we’ll guide you through our suppliers’ catalogues and place an order on your behalf.
We can supply some of the world’s leading glass. Offering glass with technology that includes products that protect against fading and those that have a ‘barely there’ reflection, if you’re not sure what you want or need, just chat to us. Once we know how your frame is going to sit or hang we can advise you on the best products to ensure longevity and durability, without compromising on style.
Meet the boss
Tonie Ellis answers the questions for the West Sussex Observer Newspapers series
What do you do and where you do it?
I have been at bond-a-frame in St Pancras in Chichester since 2005 and I took over at the helm in 2007. As well as pictures and photographs we frame items that are precious or are connected to a special memory. Framing is an ideal way of both preserving and displaying mementoes at the same time.
Has there been much evolution in the framing business in recent years?
The main evolution has been in glass technology and conservation framing. There are types of glass now that can protect art from fading and products that can look almost invisible while being anti-reflective. These types of glass are also something we offer and are increasingly popular.
What are the most interesting things you have been asked to frame?
There is usually something here that has an interesting story attached – we have just framed a pair of old pyjama bottoms for a 21st birthday present! Another time we were asked to frame a dead frog. I believe it was something to do with old folklore that says there should be an animal in the fireplace. An old and delicate Japanese fan and a ship’s bell are also items we have framed in the past. We frame a lot of emotionally charged items. Sadly, a lot of these are items belonging to deceased people or pets. We do see a lot of tears.
Anything you have ever been asked to frame that you simply couldn’t?
I can't think of anything we haven't been able to frame. From wedding dresses to medals and sporting equipment – we can frame almost anything. One of our larger commissions was a 3 metre x 1.5 metre picture, so large that we had to assemble the frame around the picture in the customer’s home.
Do artists come to you for framing services?
Yes, and it is always a pleasure to frame work by local artists, especially if the subject is a local view or setting. I grew up locally and it is lovely to see different interpretations of familiar places and buildings. Our landscape certainly inspires some wonderful art. Some artists choose our DIY service so that their work is entirely created by them.
Is this age of cloud-based photo storage impacting on your business?
Not many people frame all their wedding pictures; rather they frame the best one or two and keep the rest in albums. You can't use online storage for most of what we frame – original art, ceramics, medals, baby clothes, wedding paraphernalia and sports memorabilia to name a few. Also there is no substitute for a face-to-face conversation to establish exactly what a customer would like to achieve with whatever it is they have decided to frame.
What do you love about your job?
The best part of the job is seeing customers’ reactions when they see the finished piece. We often see a lot of joyful tears.