The Clay Makers
Our clay group is made up of 14 people which brings support to up to 20 families here in Gonaives. Only one among this group had a job before he had this job with clay. These clay artisans love it so much that they want to open a school in Jubilee to share their passion with people in their neighborhood!
We begin with clay, sourced from central Haiti. We bring it in 100 lb. bags.
It comes in dry. The team reconstitutes it in a drum of water and then presses through a screen to purify it further. Then it dries in the bins for a day or two until it is ready to be kneaded into shape. The beautiful red color is the natural color of the clay from this region. It is first bisque fired in the large kiln and then we add the colored glaze to give it a lovely finish and it is fired again.
The group started with just two people. They only had 50 HTG (equivalent to 50 cents US now) that they used to buy a small amount of clay and an aluminum bowl to use as a kiln. The result wasn't perfect but they didn't stop there!
Now today with a real kiln and quite a bit more than 50 HTG invested over the years, we're able to make all the beads for our jewelry! We also make clay ornaments and are exploring new product development all the time (be on the look out for new products from this group in the future!). This enables the pieces of our products to go through more Haitian hands and provide income for more families!