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You are at : All > Gifts & Fruit > Haitian Metal Art

Haitian Metal Art

DeWitt Peters, patron of Haitian arts, was intrigued in the 1950s by the iron crosses protruding from many above-ground tombs. Peters discovered the blacksmith, the soon to be renowned Haitian artist Georges Liautaud, and so began Haitian metal art. The raw material was iron, and, soon, the steel oil drum. The center of this activity of Haitian arts is the village of Croix-des-Bouquets, where the clang clang of metal on metal, the chisels banging out the sculptures is a constant music. The pattern is drawn on the metal and chisels and dies and a large hammer are used to cut and mold the designs. The artist smoothes out the steel's rough edges, beats out the convex and the concave shapes, and when the highly intricate sculpture is completed and thoroughly satisfactory to the artist, he signs his name boldly with a small chisel. A uniquely Haitian form of artwork, it is an art of multiple meanings and the Haitian artists' imaginations are spectacularly fertile.

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