Recycled Metal Art in Haiti

A unique type of art in Haiti is the Haitian metal art. This form of art involves the re-use of used oil drums for art work.

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Steel oil drums once have been emptied are bought from the port near Port Au Prince and taken to the town of Croix-des-Bouquets which neighbors the Haitian capital. Here the process of recycling the used drums begins.

First the round ends of the used drum are removed and the drum is set on fire to remove paint and any form of residue. The cylindrical drum is then cut top down and flattened. The flat metal canvas measures about 3 x 6 inches. A chalk is used to make a drawing of the shape to be worked on the metal surface. The art is completed with primitive tools like chisels and hammers. The primitive piece of art is then signed by the artist and then covered with a protective coat.

The process yields unique designs that are treasured for many years.

The Haitian metal art came to birth in 1950's under the leadership of Georges Liautaud a humble blacksmith. Liautaud worked on metal tools which included the making of metal crosses. The artistic metal crosses were used on graves in Croix-des-Bouquets cemetery. His passion was inspired by DeWitt Peters an American teacher who opened an art center in Port au Prince.

Liautaud grew his career with the making of more creative metal sculptures for Le Centre d'Art. He discipled several artists who later were able to come up with their new designs.

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Read more: Haitian Artist, Croix-des-Bouquets, Haitian Art, Haitian Art Tips, Recycled Metal Art, Georges Liautaud

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