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Ashton designed two elements to be featured in the frame for We Have Toiled All The Night. The star in each corner of the frame signifies the perfect example of the Savior as the only sure means of navigating through the storms of life. In this photograph, Ashton uses the final carving of the motif to create a mold by which to make all of the stars required for the frame.
Ashton also designed and created a motif representing the waves of the sea. Here, the final carving (or positive) for the wave motif is clamped in place so a mold can be made from it.
Instead of a clay sketch as proof of concept for the design of the frame corners, Ashton used wood mouldings and several of the final motifs to construct a frame corner. This helped ensure that all of the design elements would work together aesthetically and structurally.
The sides of the finished frame are assembled on the workbench in the shops at BenHaven. Corner joints on custom frames do not depend on the joinery of a mitered joint. Instead, a plywood rectangle is cut as a solid unit forming the base of the entire frame. Corners, mitered and otherwise, are then built up on this seamless plywood layer, ensuring maximum strength and durability of the joinery.
The final phases of preparing the frame for gilding, applying the sheets of leaf by hand, antiquing, and sealing bring the custom frame not only to completion, but an aesthetic unity with the artwork.