Us at Work
June 1, 2017
Our workshop is rather tight - this
room you see here is almost all there is. We have a little bit
more legroom in the backyard. If this business (or
foundation) succeeds - we'll be looking around for a bigger
area. It is also possible and probable that we will be sending
this mosaic inlay work to the suppliers to work in their own
individual spaces. They can get their own workers there too.
Same as FCQ business model.
Left to right - MJ, Junjun, Jun, Siegfred and
Michael. Michael and MJ are a pair - been together for years.
They'll get hitched just as soon as we succeed in our business.
At least that's what I think.
And they all are diligently working on filling up printed copies
from internet downlaods. Artisan doing mosaic inlay work.
They'll be turned into our mostly iris mosaic pendants, just
like the ones on the black velcro at the right side background.
I call them pendants cause they are components to be used on an
iris mosaic painting. Just like a pendant that hangs at the
center of a string of necklace, this mosaic pendant will be the
focus of the framed composition.
This is my nephew Junjun. He does not need to be employed - and he
by choice does not have a regular job. His family, his dad was my brother
is rich enough. But when I asked him to join our group - he was only
too happy. After all having nothing to do can be very boring, and it
was almost like I saved his life with a work that he very much
likes doing. And what's more he now works with a team that he
loves. They're really bonded.
One of his first projects was waterfalls - and he's been into making
water from any material - iris makes great water. Then he uses glue
gun. Then envirotex. I've asked him to use our throwaway plastic
bags and that's what he's working on.
loves the group and the job - creating artwork using any idea he
feels like pursuing. He is committed to donating $5k to the
group funds - as soon as their property gets sold. Same
thing for his brother Jaime.
is our full time painter Oscar. But today he decided he wants to do
some composition too - he had ideas about this Van Gogh scene and
could not help himself. He had to do it. And when artists and
artisans have this craving to do something crazy, we usually just
let them do it. Corn husks, steel wool and a few scrap wood - did
not look all that crazy after all. Check out the finished product -
great work even without a speck of iris. This would properly be
called 3D painting.
Lance is our latest recruit. he
is sort of family after all he's been boyfriend of my grandaughter -
Queen and she''s Jaime's daughtrer - and jaime is Junjun's brod and
another nephew. He is now head of the group so his future son in law
gets to work in the shop. Well after all we started this business to
employ folks who may be having a hard time finding a place in the
regular work force. But Lance has earned a lot already in just a
short time. Seems like our work is cut out for people of our kind -
people who like craft and dislike other kinds of work.
Sigfred may not be extra exceptional
in any particular thing - but he is our jack of all trades. He does
painting as well as the mosaic inlays. He is the cool guy who comes
on time and keeps a level head and a nice smile all the time. He
also fetches our daily bread from the sari sari for our afternoon
snack. He's the only other dad in the group aside from Jaime.
This is Jun the very meticulous
and choosy artisan. He likes working with the smallest of beads. Most
of his works land in the top 10 of our selection. They include the
mosaic inlays of the ninja girl, the woman with three eyes - he did
not even copy that from Picasso and I thought that's where he got
them. He also did the Crouching Lizard which took quite a while to
do so I suspended his work on that. But Red had a good idea for
using just the finished face - just hide the body in a cave. It
became one of the most stunning pieces!
Michael at 22 is still unemployed -
helps his mom mostly supply FCQ (a sister company) with finished
products. I did not realize when until he started working with us -
for lack of other gainful employment. But the kid is a whiz at this
particular kind of craft. Wait till I show you the dragon he is
still finishing. These pictures are all from 2 weeks ago.
The "old" guy in center is Vic
Rosello. He used to work at FCQ in his younger days (better times
for FCQ) I found him in Camiguin raising mushrooms among other stuff
in his huge backyard and sometimes chefs some parties for big shots.
Someday I will let him cook kinilaw but for now we need him badly
as adviser painter, master conceptualizer _ along with Red Vestil
for our products.
In fact they were the ones who put together our lonely mosaics and
married them to canvas- then added painting - and voila we had a new
kind of wall art category.
Someday when this style becomes famous and widely used (dare I say
worldwide) they will be known as the Fathers of this Iris Mosaic
Arts (and by that time- it won't be only purely iris but a lot
more). Maybe 3d painting would be a more relevant name.
This is probably a scene where Vic
cracked a joke. Yep he is our stand up comic and its never dull when
he is around
That's Red Vestil on the computer
putting finishing touches to the deep sea cavern where he positioned the mostly
iris snapper fish.
Red and Vic are the fathers of the iris mosaic
art or more exactly - 3d painting. He also used to work for FCQ but I found him in Cagayan de Oro where
we now import him (twice already) until hopefully he gets out of his
commitment to work as counselor for addicts. A noble job to be sure
but one that he can also do that here.
Jaime's 10 year old son enjoys
hanging out with everyone in the workshop even if he does have his
playmates hanging out in the street (our street is practically
deserted as it is so hard to drive in). Anyway Luke sometimes has the itch to do work - ad it turns out he
can do comparable mosaic inlay too. Just check out the finished
dragonfly. Now he's making his second dragonfly.
And even though he's the only kid in the building - he just would
not trade this place to go back to Bohol where they came from. Yes -
even the kids are happy here too.
Oops - only got this teeny weeny
picture of Jaime's very pretty wife Aimee. She's the company cook.
She's such a good chef that even if our budget is gamitoy ra - she
stii gets to make them lami and filling. Guys - tell me none of you
are going hungry - ok?
Vic, Sigfred and Jun working outside
in a part of our yard where we also put in our compost (not shown)
My nephew Jaime is the leader of
the team. He is also along with Jun jun a committed financier of
this project. (as soon as their property get sold). The three of us
as of now are still groping - not sure where the project will end
up. It could be business or non profit foundation. Whatever we hope
it brings lots of jobs and we get to demonstrate lots of uses for
what are right now simply trash.
Jaime is a master at almost
everything - maybe except the computer where I do a better job. He
is a master welder by trade - but once upon a time he was a chamion
motorcycle racer He once ad a and and sing great. Here's a video
and Junjun are sons of my Manong Emong with whom I have a lot in
command specially our love for R&D on crafts. Manong Emong has
contributed so much to the jewelry industry with his inventions and
That's Jaime's brother in law,
Aimee's brother. He's just taken over Jaime's work making the canvas
frames. Both Jaime and Jason are welders by trade. And they made all
the metal shelving we needed for all of FCQ left over stocks.
Now they're busy at work making canvases for the paintings. Good
thing these guys are handy with such work else .. well finished
canvas frames cost a lot. At first their canvasses looked terrible -
but now after a couple of months trial and error we can boast