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.

He 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.

 This 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

 Jaime 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 ideas.

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 perfect ones.