What started as a modest effort to raise some extra cash for Sources South Surrey White Rock Food Bank has grown into a full-blown operation, enlisting a team of five painters to design “firefly lanterns.”
Last month, the food bank contacted Peace Arch News to promote artist Bob Jadis and his effort of painting recycled wine bottles. Jadis, with input from his neighbour Rock Lamont, found that if they put a string of lights inside each bottle with an artificial cork, it gives an appearance of a lantern illuminated by fireflies.
Jadis and his wife Trude started selling the painted bottles for $50 each, with 100 per cent of the funds allocated to the food bank.
After PAN featured an article about the effort, Jadis said his phone “didn’t stop ringing off the wall.”
“Trude said to me, ‘You know what, you need some help, desperately.’ She said ‘I will take care of all the administrative aspects for you,’” Jadis said.
Trude, who also began painting bottles, started asking residents in their building to pitch in and soon they had enlisted the help of three additional artists.
This week, Jadis plans to drop off another $1,000 to the food bank, bringing his total contribution so far up to $5,000.
“About two weeks ago we had a meeting…” Jadis said. “Everybody’s happy. Everybody’s absolutely thrilled in the building because now they have something to do all day long. Some of the stuff that they’re doing is extremely detailed. The bottles are just beautiful.”
One of the artists who offered to help specializes in etching, Jadis added.
“You have to see her work to believe it. She has done hummingbirds, a fly fisherman with a salmon in the air… It took her all day long,” he said.
The etched bottles are selling for $100, Jadis said, because they’re labour-intensive.
“We no sooner put them down in our lobby and bang, away it went. They are heirlooms, they are beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.”
Jadis said his neighbour, Lamont, had little experience painting, however, he offered to lend a hand.
“All of a sudden he started painting butterflies and they just flew off the table,” Jadis added.
In another recent development, Jadis struck an agreement with the managers at Pelican Rouge Café in White Rock. The café set up a display of the bottles, and agreed to collect donations from customers who wished to purchase one.
“The display is just stunning,” Jadis said.
The artwork is done on 750 ml and 1.5 litre wine bottles. For whatever reason, Jadis said, men seem to be more interested in purchasing the 1.5 litre wine bottles while woman prefer the 750ml. The etching artist, he added, prefers to work with the bigger bottles.
For that reason, Jadis said, they “desperately need” 1.5 litre wine bottle donations.
People interested in purchasing a firefly lantern, or who can donate 1.5 litre wine bottles, are asked to contact Trude at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 778-292-1077. Alternatively, people can visit the Pelican Rouge Cafe located at 15142 North Bluff Rd.