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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Sign Writing - Die Rooi Container

During my stay here in Hondeklipbaai, I came across a project that has touched a chord with me. My hosts have made a red shipping container available free of charge to be used as a charity shop for the community. Visitors can donate clothes and other household items to the Rooi Container, as it is called, which would then be sold very cheaply to the community. This creates an opportunity for the person running the shop to generate an income, as she gets to keep 50% of all sales. The remainder of the money is collected and at the end it is donated to a worthy cause in the community. The community of Hondeklipbaai is very poor and unemployment is rife. With the closest shops roughly 100 km away, this project is a true god-sent. When it was mentioned that the Rooi Container needed a sign for its name, I volunteered my services. In today's blog, I show you how this sign was painted with collaboration from two partners.


If you ever make your way over to Hondeklipbaai in lovely Namaqualand on the South African West Coast, please consider bringing your unwanted items to the Rooi Container. You will find it prominently placed next to The Shack coffee shop in one of the only roads in town. It is a quaint little settlement with only roughly 650 permanent inhabitants. Alternatively, you can have your donations delivered to L. Olivier at


This photo give you a good idea of what the Rooi Container looks like on the inside.


The taxis charge roughly R300 to transport people from Hondeklipbaai to Springbok, the nearest town for medical services, clothing and household items. This is why the support of the Rooi Container is invaluable to the community.


There is even a shelf where consignment items from the community is sold.


I started on a lovely clean metal surface, which the groundsman had painted with two coats of white enamel paint. Chirelda, the lady in charge of the Rooi Container, then used a stencil to add the lettering for the sign. This was done in pencil.


She wanted the words to be in red and black with the heart in purple.


I started with Ivory Black. Normally, you would do this with enamel paint, but I had to make do with what I had available.


The heart was outlined in black.


This was followed by the letters being outlined in black.


Progress photo.


I then opted to use Alizarin Crimson for the red.


I filled in the centers of the letters.


Progress photo.


I then opted to mix my own purple, rather than using an existing one. I used the red already on the canvas, combined with Cerulean Blue and Titanium White to mix my purple.


A palette knife works brilliantly for mixing colours.


The center of the heart was filled in.


The sign now had to be left to dry completely.


Les, the groundsman, then varnished the sign to seal in the oil paints, which aren't strictly meant for outdoor use, and the sign was left to dry yet again.


I gathered some soft dark wax to create a weathered and aged look, as requested.


Applying the wax with a sponge, I dabbed at the sign.


This met with the approval of the lady running Die Rooi Container.


We once again called on Les to put the sign up for us. Done!


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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