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Conglomerate – in the frame!

Diespeker’s materials are used for many different purposes, but this project for a framing company may just be a first.

Jamie Hawkins from Hawkins Framing has long had a fascination with terrazzo and floor surfaces – including London Underground concourses and stations.

He came across Diespeker when he and his wife were looking for a new kitchen worktop. They visited the factory to browse the different options before choosing a terrazzo top with waterfall edges (scroll to the bottom of the article to see photos of this).

Jamie then began thinking about using terrazzo as a picture frame. His family business (started by his dad in 1993) creates bespoke frames for artwork and photography.

Framing may be undertaken for contemporary artists preparing a show, or collectors who bring in existing work. Jamie and his team of nine work to create frames that are aesthetically innovative whilst enhancing the quality of the artwork within.

The ethos of the Hawkins approach to framing is a ‘conservation by design’; a way of handling of the artwork to protect and preserve it. Rather than buy lengths of framing materials, Jamie sees the work more from the perspective of a joiner or carpenter. And while his background is working with timber, he has also innovated with the use of acrylics, metalwork and a number of unfamiliar materials.

So after he became aware of Diespeker, Jamie approached us about creating an experimental picture frame. With his interest in terrazzo he was originally keen on using it for the frame. However, our MD John Krause took pains to point out that cement terrazzo wouldn’t be appropriate for such a use. He first suggested that Jamie would need to consider resin terrazzo then went on to recommend that Jamie looked at conglomerate as an alternative. John’s thinking was that using conglomerate would facilitate a very thin profile that could be drilled into, without the concern of it being such a brittle, therefore fragile material.

The conglomerate frame was formed from standard sheet thickness, cut and polished to make a 20x45mm box profile, assembled with anti-reflective glass, custom painted spacers and a birch ply subframe for support and hanging.

The framed photo is of a classic 1930s suburban house and grounds, and the green of the conglomerate suits the image and the tones of the photo perfectly.

Hawkins Framing Instagram | Website

Photography by Tom Archer

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