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The Four Pillars community of makers continues to grow, this time with the sculpting talents of local artist Clare James - the imagination and crafting skills behind our curious crawling Christmas critters.

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With the arrival of Darren Song’s eclectic Christmas beetle artwork that graces the label of our Australian Christmas Gin, came the chance to build this theme out for the festive season. Enter Clare James, the very talented local water colour and sculpture artist, and the woman behind the elaborate Christmas beetles that presided over our distillery door bar, adding a touch of Christmas to cocktail hour every day.

"I’ve made things my entire life. There has never been a time when I wasn’t tinkering away. I began making collections of oversized life-like slugs for an exhibition and these slugs have slowly become more elaborate as I began making amour/clothing/protection for them."

This love of creating things that creep and crawl grew out of her adoration for all things nature. Green-thumbed, she spends her time gardening and bush walking and investigating and drawing inspiration from the many invertebrates and anthropoids that populate the local area.

"I have great concern for our environment and try to find ways of making deeper connections with it in the hope that other’s might look a little closer or care a little bit more about the enormous stress our planet is under. "

Her custom beetles that took up residence in our bar were indeed a talking point - curious and colourful, metallic and elaborately detailed, truly a festive feast for the eyes. Upon closure inspection they were in fact built out of recycled bits and bobs, little treasures from op shops and off-cuts and tools from hardware stores.

Today these beautiful beetles live in their new homes. We sold them via charity silent auction over the course of our Four Pillars of the Community Weekend in 2017. No doubt they added some exquisite cheer to the Christmas festivities of the very generous winning bidders.

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