Many years ago Carters Mounts had a concrete shed at the bottom of the garden. A very small one less than 10 foot square. In that shed Carters Mounts with a single Ultimat hand cutter was born. As the business , a larger shed was built, still in the garden, near the orchard where during the summer the children could play and the sounds of the dawn and evening bird chorus were accompanied by the constant sound of my efforts with one of the very first computerised cutting machines in the UK.
At that time the whole of the photographic supply market for picture folders and picture strut mounts was dominated by Spicer Hallfield. Millions of the brown floppy "fall over "folders with a gold logo on the front were sold and used for every possible event that one could imagine.
I suspect people reading this will have had one at some time.
Knowing that Carters Mounts could not compete head to head with the resource and money behind the vast sales and marketing operations of companies like SH a need was identified that pointed the way to a new range of "strut mounts" that had a better perceived quality level, that were nicer an openly used rather than being consigned to the dusty reaches of the top drawer in the sitting room cabinet.
For a lot of early Sunday mornings and very late Sunday nights time was spent making and using cardboard shapes which were attached to picture mounts to make freestanding assemblies. Nothing worked until I started playing around with Golden Section ratios and quickly the proportions of the shapes started coming into view. However having got the numbers , heights and widths what about the shape. The all important shape that had to be a combination of curve and line, that looked the part.
In the end the inspiration came from my lovely lovely daughters school work.
On the wall in my industrial unit is a simple drawing of a name JOE... embellished, drawn freehand , coloured and the "J " drawn in such a way that it looks like the other two letters are being held upright, supported by it's solidity.
A simple "Eurika" moment . The letter , the grace of line, the connection . A complex translation of the letter into numbers , endless tweaks on the computer and the J becomes a JAY Strut .
Today the JAY strut holds up and has held up picture mount assemblies celebrating The Queens Birthday, images of Clarence House, St Jame's Palace and Buckingham Palace. Carters Strut Mounts have held images of Test Matches, Rugby Union Internationals and countless schools and colleges, Wellington, Charterhouse, Mill Hill and Bigland Green primary School in the East End.
Universal, unique , hand finished and all from a need to improve the presentation of images from the unwanted mundane to the sort after .. "yes we want one ".. all brought about by a simple school drawing from my daughter so many years ago that still has pride of place on my wall. A Carters Mounts "J" JAY strut... thank you Joanna.