What a brief!
To create 16 wire worked baobab trees, as centre pieces
for a fund-raising function in Singapore.
Half a meter high, half a meter wide, adorned with roughly
150 double hanging crystals on each tree, candelabra style.
In roughly 6 weeks.
I have made these trees over the years but always at my pace.
Now I needed to find someone who could interpret my concept,
doing the heavy duty wire work meticulously,
keeping within the tight proportions and bringing in the creativity
req(wired) (sorry, just had to!) to create the look.
And so I set about looking for the right person to work with
and after 3 rather disastrous attempts, Voila! I found him.
John, the wire whizz with the wonderful smile and even more fabulous artistry.
Previously I have worked with a middle-man Richard, who hired someone, always
to remain anonymous to me, but a miracle worker.
Anon made the best trees, or so I thought.
Sadly, a few years ago Richard absconded with my hefty deposit,
never to be seen again and never to respond to my calls.
This is sometimes the way in Africa.
I often wonder what happened to Anon.
He made good trees.
And so it was with excitement and a smattering of trepidation
that John was appointed to make the first 5.
And then the next 10.
Always they were delivered at the appointed time and place,
always meeting my brief-within-a-brief.
When I collected the first order, John thanked me
for creating work in our country, employing people who need employment.
Each time I met with him he thanked me, with a warm handshake and a huge smile.
Humbling indeed to deal with such a man.
John is training people to wire-work with the discipline of time,
creativity and controlled briefs… He is up-skilling people
in the most positive way.
So, the trees are completed with roughly 2400 crystals
distributed throughout the ‘forest’.
(Thank you Sofi and Silje for your wonderful and unrivalled help)
Branches have been shaped and vases installed.
Now, the finished articles are boxed up and awaiting departure,
How exciting is this?
Nobody must ask me for my finger prints just now, I have none left.
My hands are raw but my creative soul replenished,
the house has been filled with rainbows,
on walls and tables wherever the finished trees settled.
This is a good feeling indeed.
I wish for more people like John in this country,
with such a positive attitude, attention to detail and teaching skills,
we as a country will start to sparkle like the crystals in the trees.
Who knows where it can lead us?