The thing that is immediately apparent about this man is that he is kind. The sort of person who immediately makes you feel at ease. If you set foot on this little island and he is there, he will most certainly greet you with a smile. His face is warm and his eyes are gentle and in the constant half-moon shape of a soft grin. When we approached him he was quietly working, painting one of his beautiful clay masks which he makes from molds and fires in a rudimentary clay oven in his workshop. Once he saw we had little ones in tow, he immediately got up with a beaming grin and asked in his French accented english, "Would the children like to paint?" Yes. Yes they would.
What followed was an hour of painting and working with clay with our new artist friend. He was so sweet and patient with the kiddos, helping them use a few basic tools (bottle caps, forks, marbles and what not) to make shapes and designs in the clay and assisting them in painting their little masterpieces. All the while he continued working on painting his masks alongside them with a content smile on his face.
When we left with the art Isla and Stormer had created and our thoughtfully selected masks of Ulrich's to adorn our walls, he called out to us eagerly asking when and if we would return. We assured him we'd be back, but that next time we'd have not one but three little girls in tow. He laughed and smiled warmly as he waved us goodbye and resumed his painting in content solitude.
|Our new mask, made and painted by Ulrich|