About a year ago I was at the annual furniture society conference at MIT. There were many speakers who spoke on a wide variety of techniques and experiences. One of the speakers, Oregon College of Arts and Crafts Professor, Michael DeForrest spoke about his apprenticeship in Ghana making coffins. But the coffins he showed in the powerpoint presentation weren't your typical coffins. The coffins were fantasy coffins; coffins in the shape of fish, coke bottles, hammers and cars. I was completely intrigued with the topic and inspired as well. Michael explained how 25 year old Eric Adjetey Anang had become a master craftsmen.
I immidiately realized that this was something that I wanted to experience first-hand. After the lecture I approached Michael and asked if he thought Eric would be interested in having another American apprentice with him. Michael said he beleived Eric would be interested, so I emailed Eric several days after the conference inquiring about an apprenticeship. A couple of weeks later I received a positive response from Eric indicating that he would like to have me come down to Ghana to work in the Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop. Eric Explained that he had very slow internet, so it would be best for me to communicate with his longtime friend, Jean-Michel Rousset, who lives in Paris. This worked out wellas I was preparing to show my furniture at Maison Objet in Paris the nest month. Jean-Michel and I met in Paris and began discussing and planning for my stay in Ghana.
Jean-Michael suggested that the best length to stay in Ghana would be two months. We decided that August through the beginning of October would be the best time for me to move down to Ghana. Eric would be in Russia for a two week period in July for an artist in residency program and would be coming back about the same time I would be arriving in Ghana.
So for the past couple of months I have been busy getting BRC Designs prepared for two months of my absence. While I am in Ghana, I will still have two craftsmen working on several furniture projects back in South Carolina. Not knowing how well communication will be, I knew I had to work out all the problems that could arise on the projects before my departure. I am now confident that BRC Designs' studio will be running smoothly while I'm in Ghana. I am ready to embark on a new adventure.