Beyond Borders Haitian Metal Art
Unique Metal Art Handcrafted by the Haitian People
Beyond Borders Haitian Hands was created in response to the beauty found even in the midst of the hardships and challenges of everyday life in Haiti. Using fair trade principles of fair wages, this piece helps provide the Haitian community real economic improvement and lives bettered through the creation and sharing of their beautiful art. Each Beyond Borders item is handcrafted by a Haitian artist using recycled / upcycled materials. The result is this unique and memorable gift with the highest quality craftsmanship. You’ll love the art…and the fact that you’ve contributed to the success of this unique endeavor recovery from the earthquake in 2010. Beyond Borders, an import company, works with 100 artists and imports offers retail stores and garden centers over 300 designs.
Visit their website beyondbordersfairtrade.com to view their complete portfolio.
In the 1950s, DeWitt Peters, a patron of Haitian arts, was intrigued by the crosses marking many of the above-ground tombs. Peters discovered the blacksmith who had fashioned the crosses, soon-to-be renowned Haitian artist Georges Liautaud … and so began Haitian metal art. The original raw material was iron, but with many goods shipped to Haiti in 55-gallon steel oil drums, there was a ready supply of discarded drums … the perfect canvas for the artisans. Over the years the number of Haitian metal artists has multiplied via families and mentor / students embracing the craft. Today the center of Haitian metal arts is the village of Croix-des-Bouquets, where the clang-clang of metal on metal, the workers with their tools banging out the sculptures, is a constant music. The artisans start with designs inspired by nature and culture. From cardboard patterns, they trace their design with chalk on the flattened metal from torn-down oil drums. With chisels and hammers, they carefully cut and decorate the metal. Each piece is shaped and smoothed, and on many of the pieces the artist will proudly chisel his or her name into the metal sculpture. Then the piece is coated with a weather-resistant varnish. The finish on your metal wall sculpture is ready for indoor display. If you are presenting your piece in outdoor elements for extended time, you will want to spray it with a clear gloss spray varnish (Rust-Oleum®) to keep it protected. Untreated, your piece may begin to rust. If you prefer the rusted patina, to deter further corrosion thoroughly spray it with WD-40® penetrating oil … and do not wipe the spray. For both spray treatments, you will likely need to reapply at least once a year.