There is something about this caravan. It has a presence that emanates resoluteness, determination and aliveness. When you see it for yourself you will get your own sense of it.
As our restorer, Maddog, set about the work of building a plan to put it back together again he said that he felt as though it was whispering its stories to him. It is as though the caravan had waited until the right person was found to heal it.
Some of the caravan is as strong as the day it was made, other parts are so delicate and fragile that there is no way we can put them back into the whole. But, we have never been able to throw away a single piece. Each piece is part of the story, each piece has been witness and each piece holds a fragment of the energy, the life and the dream. We saved every bit, almost obsessively, not really knowing fully why, or for what purpose, other than the sense that, just like the caravan, they have a future purpose.
We have cleaned, preserved and stored them away safely waiting for the day to come when we would know why … and then it came. They are storytellers. They are little pieces of magic; dream holders. They are the touchstones for the Dream of Peace. We call them Piece Keepers.
This project is as much about beauty as love, peace, inspiration and healing. We heal when we reconnect with our beauty, we begin to shine and the world becomes more beautiful and so encapsulating the pieces as things of beauty had the most resonance. So we set out to find a jeweler who would resonate with this mission.
After a long search of several months exploring the work of over 500 jewellers we found Tim Blades. Tim is an artisan of some 50 years experience, with an unusual ability to produce exquisite pieces that are both fine and rustic at the same time. We weren’t looking to create shiny mass manufactured items. This caravan called for something personal and handmade; individual treasures, that melds the origins of the caravan with the hippie era, and yet brought all of that into the now.
Tim produces pieces which are three dimensional and naturalistic. He carves the designs under a microscope using a very hard wax which enables him to produce great detail. The pieces are then cast in silver, gold or bronze.
Tim carves each design by hand, under the microscope, adding beautiful details and motifs. It was a godsend to find him and work with him to produce our Piece Keeper Collection. We focused on the motifs of the Dove of Peace (and dove tale joint), flowers (flower power) and words. We were delighted when he gave us the first wax models and saw he really had managed to get “Sgt Pepper Gypsy Caravan 1967 PEACE” around each cufflink rim!
The settings are made in either solid 925 Sterling Silver or solid 18ct Gold. Once we receive the settings from Tim we bring the pieces in-house so that we can then add in the original caravan pieces. The caravan pieces could be be bare wood, painted wood, metal, paint, gold leaf or even a tack or nail. The cleaned up fragments are then set in a crystal clear resin which cures for 28 days. Each piece of course is unique as no two pieces can be the same and we can have extra fun with the creation of some pieces, such as the doves and cufflinks as we custom make them to their future custodian’s preference of background colours.
What we experience is that the caravan sings out its song to us; drawing us in as we set to work on gently bringing it back to the future … drawing us in so that we might know it better, and at the same time drawing us into the world and spirit of John so that we might know him better.
Although the dreams John may have had for a future were stolen away from him, they can live on through the beautiful things he created. The Sgt Peppers Caravan is one of those things, and it is returning to be a vehicle of dreams.
There are people in this world who believe in that dream, who loved John and would understand that these pieces are Timeheld Treasures. For us the idea that we could put these pieces in the hands of those people and that they would carry the dream, become custodians of the story … well that became a magical part of the Peacing Together Vision.
At first we thought that we would have to sell them, but that just didn’t feel right. It was like reducing them to a commodity or a bit of memorabilia, and they are much more than that. So, we paused to think of a better way to release them into the world. In the end we decided that they had to go to people who were really supporting the vision of peace, people who were Bringing Peace to Life.
We created 3 routes to becoming a Piece Keeper and Custodian of these Timeheld Treasures … as a Sponsor of the project, by Award (for which we are currently determining the criteria) and by fate … That is, for a short time frame, whilstwe complete the fundraising for the restoration and film, Making a Dove Tale Joint, they will be available as Prizes in our Members Only Monthly Prize Draws.
You can secure ownership of a Piece Keeper by becoming a Sponsor – CLICK HERE for details.
The Piece Keeper Award criteria will be announced soon.