So, how is this going to relate to blacksmithing? Well, If I hadn’t been a blacksmith and put some pieces into the PrairiePasttimes Gallery these people would likely never have found me and become my friends.
A couple from the gulf area drives to a rural central Kansas town a couple of times a year to visit friends, relax and hunt. They have purchased a number of the things I make for the gallery and commissioned several botanical sculpture pieces.
One of the annual events they host is the Crawfish Broil. This year, Betty and I were invited. On Sunday afternoon we drove a couple of hours west to a small town I had never heard of until I became acquainted with these friends. Actually, the site is a quarter mile east of the town cemetery on a rock road, north side.
The owners of the property are lovely smart, professional people, now retired, still vigorous and charming. Their homestead is a testimony to something like a frontier mentality of carving out a paradise from the prairie. They live in a beautiful limestone home (stone they set themselves), have manicured gardens and host a colony of martins.
The couple who provides the gulf food feast of crawfish and shrimp are my clients. They too are smart, charming professional people. They brought a monumental supply of the seafood with the equipment to broil and season and serve. Tables were lined up on the drive covered with newspaper and stocked with melted butter and shrimp sauce. Everyone brought their own brand of beer and their were many sides and deserts including home made ice cream and a special chocolate treat from New Orleans. I think it was called Doberge cake. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doberge_cake
There were some thunderstorms in the morning bringing less rain than we hoped for but the afternoon was sunny, warm and breezy. Betty and I met almost every one of the 30 or so guests for the first time and found them to be a very convivial group.
The event was one of those social treasures. A friend once advised me, “If you ever have to pick between justice and grace, always choose grace.” I don’t know if we justly deserved an invitation but we gracefully accepted it and will remember it fondly.
I have been working on a botanical sculpture for these clients and intended to have it finished for them to take home this week. I could list the excuses for why I might fail this deadline by a few days but that would waste our time. All the elements are finished but there is the assembly and tweaking and finish details that remain. These things can’t be rushed. This is a piece of work I want be proud of it.
On the other hand, the client might find it is not what they want. That is OK with me. In fact, I believe the most important thing is that the client gets what they want. Delivering that satisfaction is what establishes a successful business. Even more important, delivering what clients want could make them friends. We’re especially lucky if those friends know where to procure great seafood.
|Palm trunk test piece.|