Oil Drum Wall Art from Haiti

February 5, 2010 at 00:08 1 comment

It’s heart warming to see the contribution being made by so many people to the relief effort for Haiti.

A concern, of course, is what happens after the media attention switches to another story, when the relief agencies have another crisis to rush….when people just forget and move on.

That’s why Fair Trade is so critical. Fair Trade is not about short-term fixes and fire-fighting (important though those things are); Fair Trade IS about empowering communities to make a difference in the long term, to break their cycle of poverty.

At Global Fayre we don’t have many products from Haiti, but what we do have is simply stunning, especially the oil drum wall art. The cut metal ironwork from Croix des Bouquets, a small village outside of Port-au-Prince is one of Haiti’s most original art forms.  In the early 1930s Georges Liautaud formed imaginative cemetery crosses from recycled metal cut from oil drums. An artistic tradition has grown from those humble beginnings and now the village has become a center for this art, with more than 60 workshops.

Cut metal artisans cut open 55-gallon drums, hammer them flat, and then mark designs on the black metal with chalk. Using a hammer and chisel, they pound and cut through the metal to make designs. Some are left black, others are painted with bright colors.

We source our oil drum wall art from the Haitian Committee of Artisans (CAH). Since 1972, the nonprofit CAH has marketed and exported crafts made by Haitian artisans, cooperatives and craft groups. The craftspeople whose work CAH promotes have organized themselves in a variety of ways. Some are cooperative associations, some are family workshops and some are independent artisans; all depend on the efforts of CAH to market their handicrafts for a fair wage. In 1999 CAH became part of the “Fondation pour le Developpement de l’Artisanat Haitien.” CAH provides marketing and promotional expertise, other sections provide training for artisans and reference resources on handicrafts.

Here’s just a few examples:

These pieces are available in our store at 324 S Campbell, Springfield, MO and online at http://www.globalfayre.com.

You’ll find the Haiti pieces here.

20% of the proceeds from these beautiful works of art is being contributed to relief agencies working in Haiti.

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Entry filed under: Causes, fair trade, New products, Online Store. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

First Friday at Global Fayre……presenting John Long! Haiti Houses

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