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ART-ICKLES BUYS ONLY FROM THE ARTISANS OR FROM AFFILIATES OF FAIR TRADE ORGANIZATIONS.

 

Your purchases on this home decor and gifts site will create a worldwide marketplace for the products of our artisans, ensuring that they can earn a decent living and at the same time preserve their cultural traditions.
 

Most of our home decorating items are made with RECYCLED materials: the metal comes from used drums that brought chemicals, oil and food in Haiti, the paper and cardboard in our Papier-mâché comes from scraps taken from old cement bags and rejects of cardboard and boxes from factories.

The companies that we deal with are members of Fair Trade Organizations and do not use child labor. Often the artisans work from their home or in small workshops in the countryside.

METAL SCULPTURES

The cut steel, sculptured home decorating items are made from RECYCLED DRUMS - the same recycled containers from which the famous Caribbean Steel Band Musicians fashion their instrument. Our artists create a different type of art from this material - an art with an original and exciting tempo of its own - full of vibrant, dancing, tropical colors. What starts as "waste" is chiseled, primed, cured, painted and varnished until it becomes a creative work of art.

The steel drum is first burned to remove its coating, and then sliced open and flattened. Designs are sketched onto it, before being handed over to the team of sculptors, who cut around the contour of the design using a hammer and chisel, and then give the piece depth by embossing areas with the rounded ends of their hammers.

The metal sculpture, when meant to be painted over, is treated with a non toxic, high quality rust preventing primer, and a white oil base, and passed on to the next group of artists - the painters. Once the painters are satisfied with their part of the creative process, the items are varnished and carefully packed, ready for delivery.

Our line of unpainted metal sculptures, which are considered as more art objects than home decor crafts, calls for a more elaborate work on the part of the sculptors as the texture is very important to give life to the sculpture. These works of art will acquire more value in time, now that the modern 55 gallon drum is made of plastic. As the steel drum disappears from the scene, the art of steel drum sculpture will become increasingly rare. 

Sometimes called 'Haitian ironwork', or 'Haitian metal cut-outs', these pieces are great additions as accents in ethnic interior design schemes, especially those with an African, or Caribbean theme. Haiti is the only country where this kind of art can be found.

Characteristics of metal sculptures include:

  •  areas that are concave or convex to create depth,

  •  intricate patterns created by hammering in "bumps" of different heights to create texture,

  •  lines chiseled in to define characteristics of the object (e.g.: folds in clothing, veins on a leaf),

  •  metal finished with a clear sealer or in a brown hue

PAPER MACHE

The papier-mâché objects are made by applying a series of starched wet paper bands on molds of clay, wood or fiberglass. The paper comes from rejects of cement bags and cardboards. The glue is purely vegetal and dries fast under the Caribbean sun. The finished product is both light weight and rigid. Once the sculptor has finished his work, the object is coated with a white oil base paint and given to a painter, who applies bright acrylic colors to it. The pieces are then varnished and packed. Best suited in children's room decor our paper mache sculptures are also used in other parts of the house to put some colors, warmth and fun in the home decor.

 

WOODCRAFT

Our main provider uses only the highest quality woods and hardboard, which we import in Haiti to avoid becoming part of the unfortunate deforestation taking place in here. Once the original designs have been meticulously transferred, the wood is  machine cut before been passed on to their talented team of painters.

Some of the items we sell are traditional Haitian wood sculpture. They are made in the slums of Port-au-Prince with either local wood or, more and more, from small pieces, rejects of wood working plants.

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Xmas Hanger - painted 1 side - Angel
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Due to the conditions in Haiti after the earthquake, orders can take 4 to 6 weeks before shipping



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