An American warfare social rehabilitation programme? No !!
If you have read ‘A Salutory Lesson’, you will know that I have committed myself to raising the standard of all of the work that I produce, not simply the framing side of things.
Whenever I commit to such a proposal, I am immediately faced with the apparent conundrum of ‘Yes. OK. But how?’ The standard of work that I presently produce is very acceptable to 99.9% of my clients, so what am I proposing to do, to raise the standard to a level which will satisfy the remaining 00.099% of (as yet) so-far-unconfronted-clients?
Inverse the Rule
The rule which says:
“What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.”
We have all heard it quoted. Whether we have fully understood it or not.
We may have been the one who quoted it to someone else ~ to establish a point.
Now the inverse is equally true and, indeed, is equally beneficial, in terms of raising a standard.
What the heart (thought or conscience, if you like) doesn’t concern itself with; the eye, in all probability, will neither see, nor be bothered about seeing.
As an example:
The rear of the frame is rarely seen, whilst the front and the edges are on continual display ~ to be appreciated, scrutinised &/or criticised.
The rear of the frame is seen probably only by the framer, the owner, or the hanger.
So does it matter? “What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.”
But if, in light of my proposal, I determine that I will ensure that the rear of the framing work, which may not be seen, is as good as the front, which will always be seen, then surely some measure of progress will have been made toward achieving my goal.
And if I ensure that the inverse of the rule will not be applied:
“What the heart doesn’t grieve over, the eye won’t see.” to the front of the work, and will never, ever, be allowed to apply, then once more, beneficial progress will be made.
That tiny over-cut on a window mount.
Does it matter? Of course it matters.
Will it be seen? Does it matter whether it’s seen or not? It’s not up to spec.
It is the work of only a few moments to calibrate the over and under-cut stops on a modern mat cutter to suit the thickness of mount-board being used for a particular job.
And the trouble with such small details as over-cuts, no matter how tiny, is that, like the ubiquitous flumb*4, it is very possible that the client may spot it, when my eye has completely missed it.
It doesn’t just apply to over-cuts of course.
The same principle may be applied to all manner of details on the ‘front’ of the work.
Minutely damaged or open corners
A ‘ding’ to a sight line
Imperfect V grooves
Loose pastel flakes
Imprecise pen lines
Scratches on glass
Assymmetrical double mounts etc, & so it goes on.
So in both of my workshops, fixed to a wall, is a printed notice which asks:
Is the front as near perfect as you can possibly make it ?
And is the back at least as good?
*4 ~ see Glossary of Terms; under About TAA