PRLog - June 12, 2012 - MADISON, Wis. -- Singing Rooster's co-founders, Molly and Christophe Nicaise, travel to Haiti often. When they're there, they work long, hard hours (a 60 mile destination can take 5+hours by car, foot & sometimes motorcycle).
It's hard to imagine that this Mermaid came from an upcycled oil drum
On each visit, they're making a point to spend time enjoying Haiti for the beautiful, wonderful place that it is.
One of their goals is to meet and establish direct trade relationships with Haitian artists. Singing Rooster now features a sample of art on their website & return all proceeds from art sales to Haiti.
On Molly's last visit to Haiti, she visited the famed district of Croix-des-Bouquets -- a city about 8 miles (an hour's drive during rush hour -- and rush hour can be ANY time of the day) to the northeast of Port-au-Prince. Originally located on the shore, this vibrant city was relocated inland after the 1770 Port-au-Prince earthquake.
Many different artists call Croix-des-Bouquets home. On her last visit, Molly met an artist whose medium is trash.
Claude Baptiste is an artist who upcycles items into one-of-a-kind sculptures. For example, "Chief" is made from a discarded flip flop, metal scrap, seashells & wire. The "princess" standing next to him was made from recycled spoons, bicycle tire, metal, and jewelry.
"Their creativity is spectacular, and in Claude’s case, practical," said Nicaise. She was referring to the costs of art supplies -- which can cover an entire month's salary in Haiti. If the medium can be found on the side of the road or on the scrap heap, all the better. Paint is particularly expensive and artists are thankful when Nicaise provides gifts of paint.
What Croix-des-Bouquets is most famous for are the artists whose medium is oil drums. The process of converting a spent oil drum into a magical piece of art is special. First, the top and bottom of the drum are cut off (tops & bottoms becomes a canvas for art as well), and the drum is split down a side. Next, the hollowed out, split container is filled with banana leaves and set on fire. Once the drum is hot, the 'flattening' process is begun over a series of hours. Once the 'canvas' is completely flattened, the designers transfer their drawings onto the metal. Next, the metal workers carefully cut, snip and chiseled around the design. Glorious detail is added through hours of stippling, snipping, and chiseling.
It's a back-breaking and noisy process but the art industry employs hundreds of people in Haiti.
Singing Rooster plans to post details about how the art is made along with profile pieces about artists. "When you connect buyers to the artist & they can see his/her story, the art becomes meaningful and people want to support the work."
Singing Rooster currently retails Haitian art on their website. Haitian art is richly influenced by nature, history and religion. Singing Rooster offers a sampling of all of this:
Metal oil drum pieces are shaped into suns, mirrors, angles, mermaids, tree of life, even Noah’s Ark, gecko lizards, frogs, masks, more, soap stone sculptures, paper mache mobiles, coconut nativities, Haitian paintings.
To own a piece of Haitian artistry -- paintings, metal, stone carving, or paper Mache -- visit Singing Rooster’s website
We're Singing Rooster - a registered 501 (c)3 nonprofit; we provide direct assistance to coffee farming communities in Haiti for the sake of self-sustainability, dignity and economic autonomy.
We help farmers to cultivate and process high quality, gourmet Haitian coffee. Then we buy/export tons of it and create new markets for it: roasted coffee, green coffee, fundraising with coffee, and wholesale coffee for commercial roasters, cafes, and stores. This enables a stable outlet for our farmer partners and provides partial funding for our interrelated projects.
Great Fundraising idea: use coffee. If you're a Non-Profit, school, or charity organization, add Singing Rooster's Haitian coffee to your fund raising arsenal.
We've helped hundreds to raise thousands.
100% of Singing Rooster's efforts go BACK to Haiti
Fair Trade / Direct Trade: we're often asked if our coffee is certified fair trade & our answer is: We are Direct Traders: we work with and buy our beans directly from farmer owned cooperatives. We provide pre-harvest financing and pay well above Fair Trade prices. Most importantly, we're a nonprofit and use coffee as a means to support the extremely poor in Haiti. We return 100% of the proceeds of coffee sales back to the farmers and their communities in the form of projects that support coffee production, land management, and small business development / entrepreneurship.