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Haitian Metal Art - Angel and Birds - 23" x 23"

Each unique fair trade metal sculpture is hand- cut from recycled 55- gallon steel drums. To begin the process, both ends of the drum are removed and placed inside of the remaining cylinder, along with scrap paper and dried banana or sugar cane leaves. Next, the contents are set ablaze to burn off any paint or residue and strengthen the metal. When cooled, the drums are sliced down the side and flattened, effectively creating a "steel canvas" of approximately 3' x 6', upon which the design is drawn. Using a hammer, chisel and various other primitive tools, the desired image is cut out and decorative patterns are pounded into the metal. Finally, a weather-proof finish coating is applied, making these fascinating pieces of folk art perfect for displaying indoors or out. 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, but if it's not the look you're going for, fear not. Just pick up a can of spray on enamel clear coat and go to it. Once a year will do it. Piece of cake!It's easy to hang your sculpture with just a few nails. Place the first nail within two design elements that are touching or notched. Then use a second and possibly a third nail, if the sculpture is large, to straighten and secure the piece against the wall. Just make sure that you don't place a nail in an eye or a mouth. A viewer's attention will go there quite naturally and therefore, directly to the nail. You don't want that!

$69.00
 
 

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All it takes to hang this metal sculpture is a few nails and a little know-how. Here's the know-how part: Place the first nail within a closed or notched design element and hammer it into the wall. Using a second and even a third nail - if the sculpture is large - to straighten and secure the piece. Then, stand back and admire your work. That's it! Though it is protected with a weather-proof finish, this sculpture will rust over time, if exposed to outdoor weather. To prevent this from happening, grab a can of spray on enamel at the hardware store and go to it. Once a year should be plenty. It's a snap! In the village of Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, the air rings with the sound of metal banging against 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.

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Following four generations of tradition, each piece of Haitian metal art is made entirely by hand with simple tools. Starting with a cast-off steel drum, the metal is cleaned, sanded, and pounded flat. From there, the artist chalks his design onto the metal and then begins the heavy, tedious work of cutting out the pattern with a hammer and chisel and giving the piece detail and dimension. Finally, he applies a clear-coat to the piece, which protects it and makes it perfectly suited for indoor or outdoor display.

 
 
 
 

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