Some of my favourite pieces I've created over the years have been commissioned by others. This type of work I found to be the most challenging to my creativity....because it presents a different kind of challenge...having to understand, translate and then create a piece that someone else has in mind, making it perfect enough so that they love it and are happy to pay for it.
I know now that some of the work I did back then I "gave" away....didn't charge near enough for the work....live and learn....but they were no less great pieces!
The piece I want to share with you today has a really great story to it.....and the finished piece became a surprise anniversary gift from a husband to his wife....a new piece created to replace an irreplacable posession....but what really counted was the thought.
It all started with an on-list plea for help. A gentleman had signed up on list simply to find a stitcher that could help him acquire something for his wife. The original piece that she had was created for her by her circle of friends....who had all taken a piece of a large silk scarf, cut into long strips, upon which they had stitched short phrases to describe her then fiancee....and eventual husband. It had a lot of sentimental meaning attached....as it was given to her as a wedding shower gift by all of them....and she kept it near her always....specifically on the dash of her car.
As fate would have it....she encountered an electrical short and to her horror the car caught fire! This cherished pieced was burned up in it....and she was so very upset to have lost such a precious thing. The damage to the vehicle itself was covered by insurance.....but the stitched piece was not so lucky.
While he realized that he could never give her all that was the original, Jeff's aim was to present her with a replacement...so that she would know that he realized how important it was to her...and that he spared no expense to comfort her by attempting to acquire a facsimile.
I was so touched by his plea. After contacting him directly and chatting back I got the general idea of what the original piece was like. I did a couple of sketches to make sure we meshed in concept, and he authorized me to proceed...forwarding a retainer.
I stitched a sample of the font type in whipped backstitching with black silk floss. I could not seem to find the type of trim that he was describing.....but my idea for the finishing was to use the same tiny gold tassels that I had made on Sir PAL....and while a time-consuming effort...was exactly the right thing for it. The top centre "semi-circular" piece was to be the place of honour to seat the only surviving component of the original.....a tiara....which was part of her wedding attire.
Once it was completed, paid for and shipped, I waited to hear from him....as to how it was received. He was very pleased by what I'd done.....but it was so gratifying when he told me of the presentation. He took her out for a special dinner at their favourite restaurant and gave her the gift with dessert.
When she opened it...she cried....and hugged him....and thanked him!
Awwwwwe! How cool is that!
Some things money can buy.....but when it comes to some things ....money is immaterial.