In the village of Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, metal workshops line the streets of the village and outside each are stacks of discarded 55-gallon drums awaiting transformation. To begin the process, the tops of the barrels are removed and the open barrel is stuffed with straw and dried banana leaves and then set ablaze. This burns out the residue and old paint and strengthens the metal. After the barrels have cooled, they are slit down the side, pried open, pounded flat and sanded down, giving the artist a smooth flat surface, much like a painter’s canvas.
The artist chalks his design onto the metal and then, using a hammer and chisel, begins the work of cutting the sculpture and giving it form, detail and dimension. When he is satisfied with his results, he pounds his signature onto the sculpture and seals it with a protective, weather-proof finish. Like magic…Haitian metal sculptures all come with a clear, weather-proof coating but if exposed to the elements, they will begin to rust over time.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just pick up a can of enamel clear coat. Spray it once a year to keep it looking new.
Ancient cultures like the Egyptians, Sumerians and Mayans all viewed the Tree of Life as the source of all Creation.
This wall hanging is 23″ X 23″ and is Fair Trade Federation Certified.