Willie James, remembering Ben Nicholson

nicholsonWillie James, born in the town, served his time as a carpenter and after the war worked for Robin Nance, a bespoke furniture maker with a workshop on the harbour. Willie made frames for many of the artists, plinths for Barbara Hepworth and remembers Nance’s workshop as a place many of the artists visited. Here he describes in detail the construction of a frame for a Ben Nicholson painting later identified as “October 1949 (Rangitane-curved panel)”. Nicholson was commissioned to make two concave panels for the New Zealand Shipping Company’s steamship: Rangitane. The panel was made of oil tempered board. The photo is of the paintings in Nicholsons’ studio at Porthmeor.