Imagine being an artist with no supplies to express yourself! In economically challenged Haiti using recycled 55-gallon oil drums is very common!
The Haitian artist first removes both round ends of the drum and places these inside the cylinder along with dried banana or sugar cane leaves. This is then set on fire, to burn off any paint or residue. When cooled, the artist then cuts the round drum from top to bottom. The flattening process is a sight to behold, as one of the artists’ helpers will climb inside the drum and using all his weight, push with feet, legs, arms and shoulders to open it up. It is then pounded into a flattened "metal canvas" of approximately 3" x 6". With chalk, the design is drawn onto the metal sheet. Now, the real art work begins. Using hammer, chisel and various primitive tools, the shape is cut and the various decorative patterns are pounded into the metal, creating a unique and treasured piece of primitive art. The finished design is coated with a protective finish.
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