Our products are “unapologetically handmade”… variations in color, shape, and construction will occur and are to be celebrated as they are a mark of human hands touching every single piece.Shelley Jean
Recycled Paper Beads
We use almost any kind of paper: magazines, scrapbook paper, cereal boxes, or other kinds of packaging material. These are cut into thin strips then carefully rolled on bamboo skewers, and varnished with a waterproof coating that serves to protect the bead. Our micro paper beads are so small they are actually rolled on needles! After the beads have dried, the artisan will mix the paper beads with seed beads, glass beads, ceramics, and other indigenous beads to make beautiful and unique jewelry.
Our clay is dug by hand from natural deposits in Haiti’s central plateau. The raw clay is broken into a fine powder and impurities are sifted out. The powdered clay is mixed with water and then dried on plater to remove excess moisture. Skilled artisans roll clay beads in a variety of sizes and shapes for jewelry. Talented potters use the same clay to create mugs, bowls, and other pieces on a potter’s wheel. Each piece is hand-painted with glaze in a variety of colors & patterns. The finished pieces are fired in our kilns which transforms the raw clay to permanent ceramic, and the raw glazes to brightly-colored glass. Each piece is unique and one of a kind.
Recycled Glass Bottles
Mineral water, wine, and a variety of other colorful glass bottles and crushed by hand and sifted until they become like beach sand. The fine powder is then placed into hand shaped molds made from our Haitian clay collection. The molds are placed into a kiln, where the fine sandy powder fuses together creating transparent beautiful medallions and beads. The process is intensive and the variables make each shape and color exquisite.
The artisans use household metals such as soup and soda cans to transform into beautiful jewelry and custom words. They to hand cut the metal into different shapes and sizes, file the edges, and hand-stamp each letter to create a unique and one of a kind piece. These have a cleaner, more chrome-like appearance than the traditional Haitian metal art, giving our artisans a broader range of expression, a broadened supply source, and another means to recycle.
Haiti has long been known for the metal art of the artisans’ village at Croix-des-Bouquets. Since the 1950’s Haitians have been flattening 55 gallon oil drums and using these steel canvases to cut, pierce, and bend intricate images and sculptures. The drums are cut down the middle, and manually flattened with time and strength until it is perfectly flat. A design is drawn onto the metal and using a hammer and chisel the design is cut out. The final details are added by hand using hammer, nails, and other durable tools. A rustproof sealant is applied and the finished piece is polished to perfection.
Hand Painted Beads
Our handmade Haitian clay beads are pit fired into permanent ceramics with a natural terracotta look. The beads are then individually hand painted with a variety of colors and designs. This is a reflection of the rich Caribbean culture of loud colors and geometric shapes. We have designed this collection with inspiration from Tap-Taps, the main form of transportation in Haiti. These are usually converted buses and trucks with additional seating added to transport passengers on their journey around the capital city, or to the countryside. Each Tap-Tap driver takes great pride in decorating their vehicle with tributes to singers, soccer players and Biblical characters.
The textile artisans are making beautiful and uniquely Haitian hand-sewn items that are crafted to stun. Many of the items are made from recycled materials such as upholstery samples, reconstituted burlap bags and second hand t-shirts. When one mother buys a beautiful handmade product, she is equipping another mother in Haiti to take care of her own child’s needs. Purchasing a hand-sewn item is making more than a fashion statement, it is communicating solidarity across cultures and economies through the sacred bond of the shared experience of motherhood.
Recycled Sheet Paper
Using shredded paper and scraps left over from our paper & cereal box bead making process, our artisans are hand- crafting high quality cold pressed and sun-dried recycled papers. Skilled bookbinders then enclose these papers in unique scrap leather and fabric covers, or hard-bind them into hinged oil drum art covers from Croix Des Bouquet to create our signature rustic metal art journals. This is a great way to use materials that would normally be piled into a landfill.