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Yup.  Its real.
I awoke on a half-deflated air mattress to Derek shaking me and saying – ‘Everythings gonna be alright.  Wake up.  Oh, and hey… she’s got a piece of mine around here somewhere, but i can’t find it.’  Off he went to gaze at everything around him.  Honestly, he was like a kid in a candy store.
Indeed – everything was fine.  My sleepy eyes came into focus and i sat straight up staring at dozens of wood objects – spoons, bowls, forms & function – there were SO many.  It teased the eye to glance sideways.
*blink… blink*
I wandered off toward the only bathroom that i could remember from last nights whirlwind tour.  There was a line… of course.  Too sleepy to find the next one – I stood there in the hallway, opened my eyes a little wider and saw a bunch of simply framed letters on the wall.  I looked closer.  It was a thank you note.  From Ronald Reagan.  Yup – the 40th president of the United States.  And theres one from another president – and another…   multiple Presidents have thanked the Breslers.  Wow.  Obviously, we were being hosted by loyal Americans.
On my way out of the bath, i made a wrong turn.  I found myself inside a personal office.  ‘Whoops…’, I turned around. But as I did… my whirling eye caught sight of a melting clock.  Whaaaa???  Within the sketch, I saw an infinitely weird character holding a melting clock and looking off into the distance.
The signature confirmed it, but i looked closer.  Yup.  Double-Wow.
Did you know, that Salvatore Dali is one of the most ripped off artists in art history?  But there it was – before my very eyes.  I have seen the pencil marks upraised on paper.  Simple sketches from a genius …or a mad man.
So exciting…
And then I took another look around.  There it was… sitting on display in a beautifully furnished office – amongst Dali sketches – a genuine “face” carved by Derek Weidman.  Amongst all the objects about the place – it was like a treasure hunt!  I couldn’t wait to tell Derek where I found it.
Heading back to the hallway, past beautiful baskets and tiny silver works, complimented by the occasional large sculpture, I turned into the kitchen and found Fleur talking with several of the residents.  A scrumptious continental breakfast lay about on the counters and we began to pick Fleur’s brain about her ideas and experience.  While it was a rare experience to be hosted in such a wondrous place as this, we simply wanted to know more from the person who made it so.

We start the day in the Bresler kitchen.

Early Morning; Fleur Bresler in her kitchen.

Fleur discusses some insight behind her discerning eye for the fine arts.

Wonjoo discovers part of the Bresler collection.

Luc and Jay check out works by master artisans.

There is so much to be learned from our elders.

Fleur shows us an example of what it means to actually preserve fine art made of wood. Its not such as easy task - which she takes very seriously. She shared many stories that gleamed with experience and in doing so, she gave us hints and shortcuts to consider as we moved forward in our own careers. In essence, there simply is no substitute for time proven experience. Thank you Fleur. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your wisdom and your home with us, so that we could learn something beyond text books and youth.