Friday, January 21, 2011

On one fine sunny day, the Vancouver Island aboriginal organization, Surrounded by Cedar (see:, approached us to develop a treasure box. This project was to be a welcome gift for the children arriving into their service from across Canada. Many times, these kids in care, go from organization and home to home with their things in garbage bags - so the idea was to create a unique piece where they could store their special things and keep them safe. We were given the sizing that they needed, and then we brainstormed ideas that would encompass aboriginal persons from across the country, and also be true to our [rustic.benches] designs. Firstly, we wanted to be mother nature-friendly and gathered much of it as salvaged materials - discarded cherry, pine, ash and oak. Then shaped them into the boxed pieces. Each one with two hole handles to carry from it's sides. Then we combed the beaches of the westcoast of canada for driftwood and shaped them into unique handles .. no two were even close to the same. Artist, Star Horn, then designed 6 universal symbols to be engraved on the boxes : salmon, feather, sun, moon, tree, and the four directions. For the 60 boxes, I chose our 5 most popular colors : natural, med. brown, java, ebony and maple, and finished them off with a satin, water-based, varathane. 21 days later, the result was stunning, sitting together in their colorful rows made for quite a sight.

The [rustic.benches] trailer was loaded, each one packed carefully in moving blankets and locked up for the voyage across the land and the ocean to Vancouver Island, in beautiful, British Columbia. The trip was not without event, when we arrived at the Big House on the Island, we found out that the keys to the trailer had been lost on the ferry! The treasures were locked inside, and, if not for the resourcefulness of the staff on hand, with a cordless grinder - the boxes would have missed their ceremony.! As it was, it all came together for a perfect ending .. smiles on the faces of each child.