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Old 04-14-2016, 09:48 AM
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joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
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Default The Great West Chocolate Company

My dear wife was looking through old 35mm prints when she found these photos. They brought to mind the story of The Great West Chocolate Company, and I hope you will enjoy it.
It was 1995, and I was working a dark clay relief of a large buffalo head that I hoped to sell to the new bank that was opening in Cody Wyoming, whose logo was the buffalo.
One evening, a wine salesman that had finished taking an order for our restaurant was visiting my engraving shop. I showed him the sculpture I was working on, “Wouldn’t this make a great chocolate?”I asked. His reply was “It’s too big, but I think if you made them smaller you could sell hundreds of them.
That was the beginning idea of The Great West Chocolate Company.
Over the next few months I found a box maker in N.Y. a mold maker in Kansas, and a specialty chocolate maker in Ohio that would fill my molds and the 1000 boxes of chocolates required as a minimum order.
In the meantime I was working diligently on several low relief pieces that I felt would appeal to the many tourists that migrated through Cody on their way to Yellowstone Park.
After a year of planning, designing, and paying, I received my first shipment of six very large boxes full of delicious milk chocolate sculpture.
I was sure that this was the answer to the financial problems that all free spirited people experience.
Soon I would find a distributor, sell chocolates by the freight car full, make a lot of money, and then retire from the wind and cold winters in Wyoming to a sunny warm beach in Mexico.
My first problem was that the cartons of chocolate took up a lot of space, so I moved them down to the cellar where it was cool and they would not melt.
It was with joy and excitement that I opened the cartons, took out and examined the fruits of my labors. Then the realization hit me. Who was going to sell them? I had my full schedule of engraving work, plus I was waiting on tables for Franca at night.
I decided I needed to hire someone to market them for me as I opened one box; broke the work of art into pieces put a large chunk in my mouth and let the sweetness melt away my marketing worries.
One month later the person I hired came to me with her bill for travel, hotels, advertising, phone, and wages. The expenses put the Great West Chocolate Co. into dire financial distress as the net profits on each box sold were $2.75cents.
Time passed and the chocolates began to turn from a rich brown to an unappetizing grayish. It was then that this great enterprise died. The chocolates were given to anyone who expressed even the faintest interest in them. I finally got rid of the whole lot by donating them to the cancer drive, the old folk’s home, the local library and kids
I did manage to recover my expenses by casting the images in bronze over the course of several years.
The best part of this project was touching those boxes of chocolates that once existed only in my imagination. Take an idea then turn it into something visible and tangible is what I still love doing .Here also are a couple of recent paintings that I hope you also find interesting.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bronze relief 1.JPG (50.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Bronze relief 3.JPG (43.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Bronze relief 4.JPG (58.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg bronze relief2.JPG (57.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN5549.JPG (61.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN5552.JPG (60.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN5555.JPG (51.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Irma.JPG (66.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Portrait of Ann 3.jpg (38.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 005.jpg (81.8 KB, 0 views)
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
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