Saturday, 31 January 2015

Cambridge Fire Station - Art on the walls

Parker's Piece and Cambridge Fire Station

Back in August last year I was contacted by Cambridge Fire Station to see if I would be able to provide some images "To adorn the rather dull expanse of magnolia corridors in the Parkside Fire Station". I had assumed that they would simply want a handful of shots, but after a few emails had been exchanged it transpired it was 36 large framed prints they were after. A few weeks went by while we were agreeing on image selection, print size etc. and then the order was placed. 

The only slight problem was the time scale. "As discussed, the fire station is taking part in the Open Cambridge event on the weekend of the 13th and 14th Sept, so it would be great to have at least some of the prints ready to display for this." This gave me one weekend and a few evenings to mount and frame 36 photos. A mild panic ensued. First off I ordered the pictures, frames & some additional mount-board. The frames were the first to arrive at work on a pallet, I couldn't believe how big the box was. Even after unpacking all of them I only managed to fit 30 in the car in one go! The photos arrived the next day closely followed by the mount-board. Once I had transported all this home the lounge looked like it had turned into a factory. 

Cutting card, with logan cutter

First off I produced a template for the cutting the card to the right dimensions. I usually measure, mark then cut each mount by hand, but I needed to speed the whole process up. Template complete, card marked I started cutting away in earnest. After cutting all 36 mounts I decided to take a break and started sticking the pictures down onto the self adhesive backing board. 35 photos stuck then the 36th got a bubble in which turned into a crease. The print was discarded and photo re-ordered. 

I then started fitting the photos behind the cut mounts, the first one was a little too big, oh dear, then the second, then the third. At that point I was getting just a little stressed, the template I had cut was right on the edge, a millimeter one way and the mount was just a tiny bit too large. Major panic having just cut up 36 sheets of card! A big lesson to learn, check, check and double check. Thankfully I was able to salvage around 20 mounts, just as well I had ordered more mount-board. 

work in progress....

Next job was fitting in the frames, I had chosen Nielsen Apollo black frames and decided to opt for 70x50cm so that the mount size was a little broader than I normally cut, this gave the photos a  bit more "breathing space" which I feel worked really well. After about 18 hours in total (I kept a tally of my time) I was all done. I just needed to fit them all in the car so I could drop them off at the Fire Station. This time I managed to fit all 36 in spread between the back seats and the boot, it was a tight fit and I did drive rather cautiously on the drop off.

Although I made the open day deadline I'm not sure they were all hung in time. The official opening by Princess Anne happened a week ago and I've only just been along to take a few snaps of the final photos on the walls.  

Some of the final framed photos hanging on the wall
the walls aren't curved, but it's tricky to get a shot!

My largest single order to date, just a shame the Fire Station isn't readily open to the public. However, you can see quite a few shots if you peer in through the doors and I'm sure if you mention my name you can get in and have a quick peak down the main corridor. I have provided digital images of all the photos which I'm told will be displayed on a large digital screen some time soon.