Fair trade is vital to the village of Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, where 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.
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?
Ancient cultures as diverse as the Egyptians, Sumerians, and Mayans all viewed the Tree of Life as the source of all Creation. Today, it is a timeless classic; graceful, elegant, and naturally appealing. Fair trade is the name of the game and it's the only way we play. Color variations from dark silver to brown rustic tones. It's Cactus Metal Art Haiti