New Zealand’s only Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF) Dave Marsh of Queenstown’s Aurum Gallery has an international following for his outstanding work.
“I was working for Pipeline Bungy and had considered framing as a change of direction but was told there was a lot of competition in town. Through a series of unconnected circumstances, I found myself in Wellington at New Zealand’s oldest established wholesale picture framing supplier.
“It was a warehouse full of mouldings, mat board and machines – like an Aladdin’s cave. Two hours later I walked out rather poorer having made the decision there and then to start my own framing business. That was 22 years ago and Aurum Gallery is the result.”
Dave then embarked on gaining the highest qualifications in the industry.
“My view in life is once you discover your passion you should fuel it to be the very best you can so I worked for two years to become a Guild Commended Framer (GCF) through the Fine Art Trade Guild in London. I then studied for and received my certification through the Professional Picture Framers Association in America. The requirement is to hold this for four years before being eligible to study for the Master certification which I gained in 2008.”
With that credential he became the only master certified picture framer in the country and still is today.
“This certification has been absolutely invaluable and instilled into my clients a level of confidence that is the foundation on which my reputation has been built.”
Dave is revered in the industry for his technical framing ability.
“I have taken apart hundreds of frames and none of them have been framed correctly which is a shocking statement about this industry. Preservation is at the top of my list to keep the artwork in perpetuity and frame everything from family photos to highly valuable artworks with the same level of care and attention.”
He says creating a wow factor with art requires creative flair.
“I am comfortable that my design skills have been proven over the years with a number of competition successes and I feel confident guiding my clients in what is best for their particular piece. Framing has to be sympathetic to the artwork itself and not just follow trends or someone’s architectural requirements and fortunately most of my clients respect my guidance in this area.”
“Increasingly clients send work from all around the world entrusting me to create the magic. I then frame, crate and freight it back to them because they love what I do. It’s a privilege to have created this position in Queenstown.”
The Best of the best
From imported Italian mouldings to handmade Peruvian leather framing components, Aurum Gallery has an exceptional collection.
“I probably have the largest selection of mouldings in the country with an exclusive range from Peru that is second to none,” says gallery owner and master framer Dave Marsh. “I import Italian mouldings which are all handmade and absolutely beautiful because the Italians make some of the best in the world.”
Dave has worked with celebrated Queenstown artist Ivan Clarke’s Lonely Dog series for the past 19 years.
“Lonely Dog has been an exciting journey to be part of. We are also one of only two galleries worldwide to represent respected Australian artist Gordon Hanely (ARCLM) who is currently the only metalpoint living master in the world so it’s a real honour.”
New Zealand artist Sofia Minson is presently the main exhibitor at the gallery.
“She has a considerable following for her contemporary artworks that are large and impactful. They are accessible to the New Zealand market and beautiful to frame. I love creating magnificence and Sofia’s work is a drawcard for the gallery.”