A COMMUNITY OF CLASSICS
Wixworth was created by exploring various recipes for a classic dry gin. A formula that has been around for many years. We took what we learned, and did not conform. We created a classic dry gin our way. A classic. Originally created. We are building a community with those who also believe in staying true to themselves. Their trade might not be their own. But their recipe is. Our community of classics comprises those who contribute and conserve to our people, our places and our way of life. To what has been. To what may come. We are classic. Our spirit is one.
#Donotconform #BeAclassic #originallycreated
A passion forged in fire
and shaped in steel
“Every time I work, I learn and discover something new about the material and myself.’’ – Alon Fainstein, blacksmith, artist, and Wixworth classic.
Alon’s blacksmith journey began in 1995 when he learned how to weld and fabricate steel furniture. This experience sparked an interest in metalworking, but the way he viewed the medium changed when he was introduced to a seasoned blacksmith.
“The second I walked into the workshop of an elderly Italian blacksmith, it struck me that this was the medium I was destined to work with. I learned that, when this stubborn material is heated, I can manipulate it into whatever I my imagination renders”.
Alon’s artistic roots run deep. As an introverted young boy, the art room in junior school was the only place where he felt that he could fit into the world. His teacher recognised that he had a unique talent and gave him the freedom to create his own work, while the rest of the class was restricted to the curriculum.
“My parents understood and supported my gravitation towards art. I painted for hours and hours, and loved ceramics. Even when my mom arranged play dates, I would lock myself in my room away from the world so that I could create art. Outside of that environment, I felt like a fish out of water. It was the only thing that really made sense to me and it was liberating, even at a young age.”
After creating traditional steelworks for over 15 years, Alon realised that something was missing. The artistic freedom he experienced all those years ago was what he needed to rekindle, and he decided to dive back into his art form to express himself: “It felt like something was gnawing at me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Creating my own works from the inspiration that lay deep within me was artistically liberating – I could listen to my inner voice rather than a client’s strict brief.”
This reawakening inspired Alon to build a studio which supported the scale of his work, and in which he could immerse himself and fill with his creative energy. It was a space in which he connected with steel and his true self on a different level, and crafted the first piece of his first solo exhibition – a chair aptly named, ‘Connect’.
“In this beautiful domain of the unknown, I found my biggest inspiration – it was unlearning everything I had learned up until this point. Giving up control and letting the work guide me.”
Alon Fainstein is a blacksmith and artist who creates steel artworks in his studio in Cape Town, South Africa.
#Donotconform #BeAclassic #originallycreated
From breaking into song on the streets to breaking onto the world stage
It’s Christmas Day in 2010 and cousins Callen Petersen and Jody Abel are opening their Christmas presents – a violin and an acoustic guitar are unwrapped. They proceed to serenade the suburb of Goodwood in Cape Town with Christmas carols as they make their way to their uncle’s house, with their musical instruments in tow. Uncle Leon gives them R50 for their efforts. Little do they know, the spontaneous musical rendezvous is the moment that their music career begins.
Fast forward a few years and Callen and Jody combine their love of pop music and classical instruments to form a duo under the musical moniker, ‘Acoustic Element’. One part violin, one part guitar/beatbox, it’s a unique dynamism that transforms a once part-time passion project into a sought-after live act the world over.
But, the cousins’ journey is not one of overnight success. As a little-known duo performing at weddings, private functions, and markets, Callen and Jody pay their dues while studying towards degrees in fashion design and marketing, respectively.
After a short stint in the corporate world, they decide it’s time to call it quits. Callen and Jody walk away from their corporate careers they worked so hard for, with little else than a handful of live performances and a debut record deal under their belts. They set their sights on making a name for themselves in the music industry.
“Looking back, it was risky ditching our day jobs in pursuit of our musical dreams, but we believed we had what it took and never looked back. We knew that we had something special to offer and knew it was possible,” violinist Callen explains.
A few months later, the leap of faith finally starts to show signs of fruition: “We started to turn heads and realised that people really enjoyed our unique sound of contemporary pop- meets-classical,” guitarist Jody points out.
The duo lands a residency at The One and Only Hotel in downtown Cape Town – the establishment proves to be the springboard for breaking through onto the international music circuit. Speaking about their time there, Callen explains: “We got booked for our first ever international gig from putting in a string of solid performances at The One and Only. The first of many overseas gigs was in Stockholm, Sweden, where we performed alongside some legendary local artists in front of an awesome crowd”.
From those humble beginnings of playing Christmas carols in the streets all those years ago, to performing alongside some of the biggest international superstars, the Acoustic Element journey has come full circle. On Christmas Day in 2019, Callen and Jody retraced their steps and walked down the very same street in Goodwood to play Christmas carols for Uncle Leon and the rest of the neighbourhood: “My uncle and his wife came dancing out of their house after we surprised them with an impromptu performance to repay him for his act of goodwill. We ended up staying and playing a few songs, and neighbours (some of whom we had never met) ended up staying until late in the evening on this memorable Christmas Day. It was truly a special homecoming for us,” says Jody.
Acoustic Element is based in Cape Town and has performed alongside some of South Africa’s hottest artists – like Lira, Freshlyground, Beatenberg, Cassper Nvoyest, Jimmy Nevis, and Matthew Mole – and with a host of renowned international artists in Austria, Germany, the UK, Greece, Qatar, and India.
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