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As our friends and clients know, every year at around this time we try our best to come up with a gift that is useful and usable, sustainable and beautiful. We’ve had beer, a beautiful glass water bottle, even a game!

This year, we focused on the one tool that sets us apart from beasts – our mind.

It has been, I’m sure you will agree, one hell of a year. I can of course only speak for myself, but the past 12 months (and a little bit before that too), have likely been the busiest, most stressful period of my life thus far; a period of immense changes, great indecision, loss of control, and general difficulty in ensuring that we keep moving forward and upward even in a harsh time of enormous recovery efforts for ourselves, our country, and our entire planet. 

One’s base is important in this process, and that includes family, friends, colleagues, clients.

Poetically speaking, in our gift this year, we started with a base from an olive tree, which extends a branch to you in a gesture of gratitude, hope, and peace. 

The base, however, needed to be emblazoned or somehow marked, and what better way to brand an item than to literally brand it?

So, off I went to my friend Philip who’s handy with metals and tooling.

Start from a blank piece of metal and on paper, make a template of the shape you want in the metal.
Introduce metal to cutting implement and start shaping.
Refine with lathe.

Metal stamp done, it was time to introduce the trial by fire. Into the BBQ you go.

First of many, DONE. Tesla not that impressed.
Heat, Press, Hold, Repeat.
Many hours later and that is much better.

After all that, what exactly goes on top of the base?

So long as we’re looking for meaning, we couldn’t do better than wisdom; not our own, but of great humans.

Knowledge of oneself and one’s mind is fundamental to fulfilment. A pithy saying at a crucial moment can be of enormous help. With that in mind, I picked a handful of quotes which have personally lit the way for me at crucial moments in my life. 

First, we mocked up the design and printed it on regular old plain white paper, to get an idea of what it looks like. 

Then, we got the quotes printed on some awesome heavy paper.

After that, it was only a matter of assembly. 

It is my hope that you too will find the quote we’ve chosen for you just as useful as perhaps I have found it in the days, months, and years ahead. And if not, at least you have something pretty and unique to put on a shelf or on your desk.  

Here’s to a great 2022!


Mark Debono

Author Mark Debono

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