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!
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.
The traditional Haitian method of creating metal sculptures from discarded oil drums has changed very little since the technique was first developed by Georges Liataud in the 1950's. To begin, the drums are burned out, cleaned up, sanded down and pounded flat. Next, the artist chalks his intended design onto the prepared metal and begins the heavy and tedious work of cutting and detailing, using only a hammer and chisel. Finally, the sculpture is sealed with a weather-proof finish, so that the sculpture may be displayed easily indoors or out.Hanging your art is easy once you know how. Choose a point where the design element is joined or notched and use a nail to hang it from that point on the wall. Use a second and a third nail (if necessary) within other design elements to straighten and secure the piece. Then stand back and admire your work. You'll see that the nails "disappear" into the sculpture. Beautiful! Though your sculpture comes with a protective weather-proof coating, it will wear off over time outdoors and rusting can occur. You can prevent this from happening by spraying on a clear enamel coating. Once a year is plenty. Now, how easy is that?
Hanging your metal art is easy, once you know how. Choose a place it within two design elements that are touching or notched toward the center of the piece and drive a nail into the wall at that point. Using a second and possibly a third nail, place those in other notched areas within the design to secure it firmly. Avoid placing nails in the eyes or mouth. A viewer's eye will go straight to those elements and a nail there will draw attention to itself. You don't want the nails to become part of the details - you want them to "disappear." This sculpture has been finished with a clear enamel coating, which will protect it from the elements. However, if it is displayed outdoors, we recommend applying a spray-on clear coat in order to maintain it's fresh-out-of the box look. Five minutes once a year is all it takes. Easy!