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Featuring one of a kind pieces of ethnographic art and specialty pieces. Purchasing of these pieces is private. Please call or email to inquire of these items.
Founded in 1992, and Fair Trade Federation member since 2007, It’s Cactus is a purveyor of exquisite Haitian metal art, a sustainable art form that’s built on long-term relationships with Haitian metal sculptors. It’s Cactus pays a fair wage, provides equal opportunity, engages in environmentally sustainable practices, provides safe working conditions, financial assistance, and in general aims to help improve the standard of living for the artists they work with.
One of the particular communities that It’s Cactus works with is Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. Beginning with a talented, local blacksmith in the 1950’s, and continuing on through the time-honored tradition of apprenticeship, Croix-des-Bouquets is now considered to be the epicenter of the Haitian metalwork movement that we know and love today.
Using old steel oil drums from the nearby city of Port-au-Prince, artists get their metal “canvas” by first burning the metal in a dry banana leaf fire (to clean off debris), then cutting the drum from top to bottom, working the drum open using their weight, and finally pounding the piece flat with a hammer.
The real artistic process begins after all that work, when complex patterns are drawn onto the metal with chalk and carved out, using such simple tools as a hammer and chisel. The final touches are added using a steel brush, to shine the metal, and a topcoat of rust preventative to ensure the work can stand the test of time!
Read more about It's Cactus HERE
According to some African mythologies, the cowrie shell is a symbol of wealth, prosperity and fertility. And that’s exactly what it brought to Ivorian designer Lafalaise Dion.
Dion always dreamt of working in the world of fashion. While studying journalism at the Institute of Science and Technology in Abidjan, she rose through the ranks of Ivory Coast’s fashion magazines.
For Dion, cowrie shells represent the African story. “It is the legacy left by my ancestors. It is a way for me to reconcile myself with the African spirituality, to show the world the richness and uniqueness of my culture,” says Dion.
After a trip to Accra, Ghana, Dion experienced an artistic awakening that led to the creation of her cowrie pieces.
Her love for cowrie pieces was born out of watching her friends work with cowrie shells. Without any prior knowledge in design, she embarked on a journey that would change her life.
Her collection features masks and headgear, and she is currently working on a series of body accessories that will be launched in August this year.
Read more of the story HERE
By Homes & Antiques
Celebrate the bold beauty of tribal arts and discover how to introduce handcrafted antiques into your home.
A century ago, artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse were waking up to the bold beauty of tribal art. The artists and their friends were regular visitors to the Trocadéro Ethnography Museum in Paris. Here they would wander the dark galleries filled with African sculptures and carvings that arrived in the city in large numbers from the 1870s, after the French colonisation of sub-Saharan Africa.
For antique pieces with soul, handcrafted with skill and finesse, give in to the lure of tribal arts from far flung corners of the world with these seven decorating tips.
Check out all the tribal art hanging tips and suggestions HERE