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beyond borders
Beyond Borders
metal sculptures from Haiti

In the small artisan villages of Haiti, the air rings with the sound of metal banging against metal.  This traditional cottage industry art of converting cast off steel oil drums into metal sculptures has been passed down through four generations in Haiti in and around Port-au-Prince.  It is a true mark of man’s imagination and his resourcefulness in the face of dire economic circumstances.

Using 55-gallon steel oil drums, the artist first removes both ends of the drum, reserving those pieces for smaller sculptures and the popular 23 inch round lid designs. Next, he stuffs the drum with straw, igniting it to burn out any residues while also removing any paint on the drum. When it has cooled, he slices it down one side and pounds it into a flat four-by-six foot piece of metal “canvas.” With a stick of chalk, the artist then draws his intended design on to the metal sheet. Finally, he applies a hammer and chisel to the task; cutting, shaping, and contouring the piece to its completion.  No electricity, machinery, welding or repetitive stamping in used to create these metal sculptures.

The 100 artisans who work with Beyond Borders are folk artists in the classic sense.  They use materials around them in new and inventive ways to create wonderful pieces of art.  At the same time they are able to create better lives for themselves and their families through trade.  By purchasing a handcrafted item from Beyond Borders, you can be absolutely sure that the artist who made it has been well-compensated.  We commend your support of socially aware and environmentally sound trade practices.


Each metal sculpture comes with a weather-proof coating that will wear over time outdoors, resulting in an appealing rusty natural patina.  If preferred, the shiny metal finish can be maintained by simply applying a spray-on enamel clear coat every year or two, and the sculpture will continue to look the same as the day you bought it.

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-Bulk Coffee & Tea
-Tea brewing accessories
-Garden Art
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…just to list a few. Gift cards too!

teapots & cups          Hand-blown glass orbs