The ‘Rusticks’ of Jane de Beer

The village we live in (Napier, Western Cape, South Africa) has some interesting surprises even people from the village itself don’t know about.

The walking sticks or our backdoor neighbour Jane de Beer are a good example. She named it ‘Rusticks’.

She explains: “When  a seemingly useless, dead branch of a felled alien tree or shrub is handcrafted into a useful object of a different beauty, it  truly denotes innovation! That is what your pictures so splendidly portray. A creative opportunity presented itself when my observant eye spotted heaps of felled, alien pine, bluegum, myrtle and mimosa trees while walking in the open Renosterveld region”.

The dreary sight of discarded, dead wood sparked a creative flame which resulted in a radical transformation:  Novel, rustic walking sticks! These rusticks are uniquely one of a kind. Each stick is carefully sourced and sawn into an interesting shape, then debarked and scraped to expose the wood. The procedure requires enthusiasm, dedication and patience to lay bare the beauty of the wood which is finally sanded down, smooth to the touch. The sticks are repeatedly oiled to feed and protect the dry wood. It is finally fitted with a ferrule and loop. An object of surprising beauty is now ready to become any owner’s  joy forever!

“Apart from the artistic delight the crafting of the rusticks brings, my driving passion behind it all was simply to avail any enthusiastic walker the pleasure and satisfaction of walking in the veld, on the beach, or around town, owning a lifelong walking companion: A rustick of  style and character, unique in appearance, useful and with renewed value!”


Living on the edge

Last week we spend 5 days in Hondeklip Bay in the Northern Cape, South Africa. Once this small town was a flourishing fishing and mining community but that all changed. Except for one company the mining industry left (commercially not viable anymore) and the fishing industry was moved to another town 400 kilometers South of Hondeklip Bay.

One of the villagers, a business man himself, stated “Political and corporate gangsterism”. I rather stay out of politics but I could understand. After the industry left no rehabilitation was ever done. To get to Hondeklip Bay one has to drive 56 kilometre on a poorly maintained gravel road and arrive ‘rattled and shaked’ thanks to the corrugated road surface.

And the town itself? Despite poverty there is a positive attitude amongst the population (approx. 1000) but no faith in politics.

See for yourself:

There is this church … or was …

Somewhere in nowhere in a remote area far out of the village there is this church. Christened by a bishop in 1971, and by the looks of it, not much has happened since then.

It’s a pity that buildings like this are seemingly forgotten. There are those local heritage committees ‘nitpicking’ about not much by all or not allowing somebody to build a house in ‘local style’ ….

Well… heritage people I’ve got a challenge here. This church is situated in the Houtkoof area 20 km out of Napier. See for yourself…..