This frame was a commission from the wife of Andy Goodall via the Fine Art Trade Guild of which I am a member. I was lucky enough to meet Andy in his capacity as head of the London branch when I first joined the Guild and attended branch meetings. Unfortunately, Andy became very unwell and had to step down from this position. After a brave fight Andy sadly passed away early in 2019. Sometime later Lesley Goodall approached the branch with the idea that they could make a memorial frame for her. Lesley wanted to include photographs of Andy with flowers that she had dried herself from the family’s funeral bouquet.

The design process and construction

A brief was put together by the new joint heads of the London FATG branch and distributed by email to the members. The frame was to be no larger than 300 x 400mm and had to include 2 photographs, a selection of the dried flowers, two lines from Lesley’s poem and be glazed with UV glass. Alongside this a scale drawing was required with an outline of the techniques involved, a list of materials used and costs.

I got my thinking cap on and tried to put 3D ideas and images in my head down on paper, something I’ve never found easy to do even though I can visualise them clearly in my mind. My design was heavily influenced by the delicate nature of the dried flowers and a concern that once in a frame they might deteriorate. The photographs too concerned me in so far as there were only two to sum up Andy’s life. Why not therefore design something that could be accessed that enabled the flowers to be changed over if required and the photographs swapped for others. A cabinet frame was the way forward I thought giving flexibility in the way it could be used to display the contents. I put pen to paper and drew an idea.

A wide moulding would be turned on its edge to create the box while another in black gloss used in the traditional way to make a door frame. The box moulding was lacquered in a black gloss so as to match other frames that would be surrounding it when in situ. The inside was lined with a pale cream flowery design (Crescent Artisan) mountboard that would echo the flower theme of the frame. The frame would be divided in two with a piece of acrylic acting as a shelf. I would set the photographs in two frames one on the shelf and one on the bottom of the cabinet. Several of the flowers would also lay along the shelves and a selection displayed in eyelets that I screwed into the sides of the photo frames. The lines from Lesley’s poem I had printed as a glass decal that would be applied to the inside of the museum quality UV glazing of the door. The door was secured with several rare earth magnets that were sunk into the moulding.