How a piece of driftwood became a business

As a mom we are always very proud of our children’s artistic expressions.

From those very first scribbles on the back of a piece of card to that homemade volcano and pasta jewellery.

Sometimes we are even shocked at the talent our children actually possess when they have the opportunity to be creative.

A love of crafts

As a child I studied art at Welkom technician and so I value being able to express myself creatively.

As a teen I tried my hand at everything from calligraphy to book binding.

As a young mom I then learnt to rely on handcrafts like knitting and sewing to look after my family and often tried new crafts from clay modeling, beading and scrapbooking to candle making and my latest obsession making bath bombs.

But one of my secret loves is woodwork.

I seem to have passed this love onto Ronan who, is really creative and shocked me the other day by building a longboard…that works.

A walk on the beach

Two weeks ago he took a walk to the beach and came back with the ugliest piece of wood I’ve ever seen.

So proud of his find, he mentioned that he was indeed going to make a longboard from this piece of wood.

I remember nodding my head, not expecting him to ever actually do this.

He has made a few swords, a wooden swing and small wooden items but never tackled a project this big before.

Sawdust and breadknives

The next day I found him sitting outside on the verandah, with my bread knife…My bread knife!

Carving the design of the board. I’m sure I lost my mind and also I was secretly wondering how he was going to cut this wood with a bread knife.

I found him a hand saw and for two full days he sat meticulously cutting the design.

There was sawdust everywhere.

With a set of lino carving tools he whittled corners and then sanded down the rough edges with sand paper cut into tiny squares.

This project took a week.

Everyday you could find him sitting in the same spot focused on his craft and working to get it just right.

Finishing touches

The finishing touches involved us buying some grip tape from a local surf shop and him first drawing the design and then hand cutting each piece of tape to get the desired effect.

Finally, without a drill, he used a hammer and a screwdriver to get holes in the deck to attach the wheels.

Test drive

Two full weeks later he proudly stood before me, his creation in hand and ready to test if it would hold his weight.

Bearing in my that this was a piece of drift wood, I was dubious.

It lasted the first test run.

Next to us, are some young guys who do tricks on ramps with their boards and he handed the board over for them to test.

Tricks up and down rails. Jumps and different weights ….the board held it’s own against their expensive boards and as a mom I’ve never been so proud.

A new beginning

This has prompted me to invest in his little business and we have bought the tools and as I said to him” I will buy the lumber for your next project “because everyone deserves to have someone believe in their dreams and encourage their passions.

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