When I was planning my first trip to Haiti almost 20 years ago, I asked my friend Alden what I could expect. His response was both ominous and prophetic. “It is the most wonderful and most horrific place I have ever been.”
Haiti truly embodies both of these qualities. As the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, it is horrifying the conditions under which people survive, but the people are another story…the Haitian people are so very strong of spirit and full of life and vitality and creativity and resourcefulness that wondrousness abounds. From the palm baskets of the Plateau Central, to the paper mache carnival masks of Jacmel, to the recycled steel work of Croix des Bouquets, Haitian artisans find beauty everywhere in their surroundings. They are proud of their heritage and show their pride in their amazing craftsmanship born of necessity.
Nothing demonstrates their creativity more than the artisans of Croix des Bouquets. An art form and industry was created here when Georges Liautaud needed a grave marker. He created one using the material he could find – a discarded metal oil drum. From there the entire community of Croix des Bouquet started cutting and hammering and sanding and polishing the thousands of drums brought to the island. Today these artisans live and work side by side helping one another to create a wide variety of products for your home and garden. If you visit Haiti, be sure to walk through Croix des Bouquets. The streets are lined with workshops and you will enjoy watching the artisans work as you shop for that special piece to take home.
We work directly with the artisans in Croix des Bouquets to create these pieces for you. We hope you will enjoy them as much as we do.
These pieces are made of recycled steel oil drums. They are finished with a clear, matte acrylic. Over time they will age and their patina will evolve especially if used outside. If you want to keep or restore the finish, clean them with a wire brush or steel wool and reapply a clear varnish.