We are often asked to create animals in funeral tributes, either replicas of beloved pets, or animals the deceased had an affinity for.
Joan’s family asked us to create a 2D frog for Joan’s funeral, incorporating pink elements to compliment her other floral tributes.
Historically foam manufactures used to create various flat bases, including animals, but over time this has become a very limited range, so most 2D designs now require custom cutting and designing.
We thought we would share with you the stages of how we create our custom 2D pieces through Joan's frog.
We start by drawing an outline of the design, making sure it will fit within the size of a foam board, and then we check that it’s design integrity will be maintained when loaded with floral matter. Flowers can add considerable bulk to thinner elements such as the fingers and neck.
Once we are happy with the outline, we add extra features to give the design more depth, sometimes these elements can change within the actual floral construction, but they give us a potential guide during that process.
After completing the final outline, we carry out a colour test to see how the design will look in certain colours, this stage is important as it can sometimes change our initial colour plans.
For example, we originally envisaged the frog’s eyes as pink to match the bow and to apply more of the pink colour to the design, but after the colour test we felt the more natural yellow tone of the irises looked softer, and made the pink elements stand out more.
We then proceed to draw out the design on paper to the required scale. From this, along with the colour test we work out exactly which flowers we need and how many of them. As you can see we added a lily pad to the base of the frog as we felt the toes would lose shape without support.
The next stage is transferring the design to the foam and cutting out the outline, this stage is always the slowest as once cut the board cannot be easily joined back together, so it has to be done steadily.
We then begin the decoration process using a few different techniques. To give the lily pad definition whilst not detracting from the frog itself we used a leaf layering technique rather than traditional basing, for the rest of the frog's body we used a majority of chrysanthemums and a scattering of carnations.
Bit by bit we base the design, whilst angling the blooms in different directions to prevent the design from looking flat. For example the frog has a slightly rounded belly and raised eyes.
On 2D pieces features always risk blending together and losing definition, we used different toned blooms to create light and shadow on the legs and an outline of twigs around the eyes and for the mouth
Finally to add to the mixed textures of the piece we made the frog's pink bow out of satin ribbon, roses and carnations, elements found in the other arrangements from Joan's funeral