We are The Kempsons!
Eric, Philippa & Our Daughter Ej
Originally from the UK we moved to the island of Lesvos Greece in 2000, and live in an area called Eftalou. Eric is an artist a painter and sculptor. The sculptures and other items he creates are handmade from local olive wood.
Philippa takes care of our business and small shop at our home here in Eftalou.
Ej is also a talented artist, a musician singer song writer who also loves photography to paint sculpt, painting and sculpture. Since early 2015, we have been rescuing and providing aid to refugees arriving on the shores of north coast of Lesvos. In the beginning it was just the three of us doing the best we could to help, however later in 2015 we had volunteers from all around the world arrive to help us.
They estimate that in 2015/2016 600000 refugee status arrived on the northern shores of Lesvos, Although the mass numbers of arrivals have dropped, boats are still arriving and we continue to help.
Our shop was named after our daughter when she was very young – Elleni’s Workshop
We now also have an exciting and exclusive range of olive-wood gifts to suit all budgets and all individually handmade by us in our workshop/ home.
This amazing tree is very hardy: drought, disease, and fire-resistant, it can live to a great age. Its root system is robust and capable of regenerating the tree even if the above-ground structure is destroyed. The older an olive tree is the broader and more gnarled its trunk appears. Many olive trees in our groves are said to be hundreds of years old, while an age of 2,000 years for a number of trees has been verified scientifically.
Olive wood is an extremely difficult wood to work; we were once told by an Italian sculptor that what Eric does is impossible! A few years ago we provided a young couple with two blocks of wood; they wanted to send them to a craftsman in Hawaii who makes gold and wood wedding rings. They returned to Lesvos for their honeymoon, thanked us for helping and bringing a message from the Hawaiian craftsman stating he will never work with olive wood again. He later amended his advertising that said “I will work with any wood” he added “except olive”