Pedro Hormigo: A song of bronze and fire
“Bronze has always appealed to me because of the role that fire plays in the process of creating it. When I melt bronze in fire, I feel connected to some primal side of humanity. We evolved thanks to fire.” So says Pedro Hormigo, the Ibicencan sculptor who created the statue of Manuel Abad y Lasierra in Santa Gertrudis, along with the bust of Joan Marí Cardona in Sant Rafel and the monument to the salt mines in Sant Francesc de ses Salines. Craftsmanship is in his blood: his uncle, Antonio Hormigo Escandell, and his grandfather, Antonio Hormigo Josefa, were both master woodcarvers.
One of Hormigo’s most significant accomplishments has been finding his own, very effective system of casting metal. “Nobody taught me how to do it, I figured it out thanks to my experience and practice, and I try to improve upon it every day. You have to continue evolving and learning throughout life!” Hormigo’s keys to reaching his objectives are “patience, sacrifice, and breaking away from routine; the challenge is finding new solutions and ideas even when things are difficult. The artist Julio Bauzá once told me I needed to learn to delegate. At one time, I’d even make my own screws!”
Daniel C. Witte: Harvesting the salt of Ibiza
Daniel C. Witte’s parents bought a house in Ibiza in the late 1950s and he enjoyed his first of many holidays on the island when he was just three months old. To celebrate his 30th birthday, he treated friends from all over the world to paella at ses Salines restaurant El Rey de la Fideuá, with a view across the salt flats. At that time, he said to his guests: “I’m going to put that salt in bags and sell it to you.”
And that’s as far as it went. During the winters, Witte was working non-stop at his film and television production company in Germany. In 2002, the company went bankrupt. “I thought I had to come up with a way to make a living, something to get me out of bed each morning. And right away I knew that what I wanted to do had something to do with Ibiza. But it wasn’t your typical music compilation or the classic T-shirt with a message. I went back to that idea I‘d had on my birthday.”
Today Sal de Ibiza is sold all over the planet, from Europe to Japan, and from Korea to the US and Canada. “It’s a product that has become an emblem of Ibiza,” Witte points out, with the sort of enthusiasm necessary to continue expanding the brand’s product line. It’s an inspiring idea that was born of a crisis. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention.
Fumie Imaoka: drifting with no fear
“My work as a mechanic was inspired by a D1 Grand Prix, a professional drift race that I saw live in Fukushima in 2009. I was so impressed! I noticed at the time that the drivers worked on their cars themselves, so I felt that if I wanted to learn about that style of driving, I had to learn that profession.”
Fumie Imaoka, a native of Osaka, Japan, has been living in Ibiza for over 25 years. She teaches Japanese and works as a translator and interpreter, and also as a tour guide for Japanese travel agencies. “I’m always biting off more than I can chew,” she jokes. “I’d love to be able to delve deeper into everythingIdo. My approach to things is due to my mother’s influence. She always said that if I wanted to learn something, I had to find a good teacher.”
Imaoka, who has a degree in English literature, went back to high school in Ibiza to obtain a vocational degree in electromechanics. She’s proud to have achieved it, and declares that, “there’s nothing frustrating about mechanics, although maybe if the course were more practical, fewer students would abandon it”.
Nevertheless, she explains that, “when I work as a tour guide, I can get annoyed; the island is not particularly well prepared for cultural tourism”. Imaoka says it’s her husband who inspires her. “Because he’s a doctor, he’s already a specialist; but he’s also been fixing motorcycles since he was 16 and is a much better mechanic than I am.”
Jordi Salewski: the politician who gazes to sea
Jordi Salewski decided to become a geographer in order to understand how the planet works. How humans and nature are interrelated, how sociology, climatology, urban planning, geology, economics and history co-exist. Because, he adds, “the Earth is complex. Understanding it and improving our quality of life is a constant challenge.” Salewski says he’s never felt like he wanted to give up because he intends to continually reinvent himself even though, “I always end up working to improve the island.” He explains this having just taken the reins as lead councillor of the environment for Ibiza’s City Council. There’s a lot of work left to do.
But Salewski’s mission is clear: “We need to take care of the Earth. We’re only passing through, and we’re abusing it. We cannot impose our demands without taking into account the natural rhythm of the sea and the land. Fortunately, people are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that we live on an island with limited territory and resources. But it’s frustrating for me that there are still a lot of people who have no interest in anything other than immediate economic profit.”
The greatest pleasure for Salewski, this earthy politician, is “sitting on the sand for a while and gazing at the Mediterranean”.