Celebrating More Original Goods!
It has been 10 years of 2nd Story Goods and we have already shared five of our classic products so now we have five more goods that have been with us from the start!
I love these pieces. They are not particularly great selling ornaments. They are not particularly easy to make. We rarely get orders for them. but I like them, i do. They speak “2nd Story”.
I like the way the smoothed glass feels in my hand, I like the way the simple sand-casted aluminum fits snugly in there with the clay bead hand-formed from real Haitian dirt.. I like it all.
Maybe it is the large amount of time spent walking through garbage. Some of you don’t know that the land between Jubilee and the sea has become the city dump.
There is a lot of glass. The dusty, sandy (sometimes muddy) ground sparkles with green, blue and brown shards. The bottle bottoms are magnets to me. When we first came here I was constantly collecting them in my bag and bringing them home to clean up.
It’s like they are broken exactly right.
Pick them up, and put them in the hands of the creative soul and they leap to life.
kind of like all of us.
The point is not to never get broken, I think.
Maybe the point is to let myself get picked up when I am. The point is that the Beloved One, the rabbi with dust between his toes… is searching for the likes of us. Broken, and honest, and surrendered to Him. Oh, what He can do with all that.
MK, August 2014
In the early days of wandering around Jubilee, praying big prayers like, “Help!. I have no idea what I am doing.” my eye would often catch the reflection of the colorful, broken glass. At times of the day, the sun would hit it and create a kind of sea of shimmer in the sand.
Without hesitation, I would drop pieces of this treasure in my burlap sack, knowing that we could make something with this.
I always felt like working near the dump was a big plus in some ways...all that reusable material at hand!
We had friends visit from the USA that brought tools and skills and lots of patience. Once we had bleached the glass pieces clean and tossed them in the rock tumbler for a while to get the sharp edges off, they taught us to wrap the pieces in a wiring pattern that made them look even perfect.
From there it was adding ear wire hooks and mourning them on our small pieces of paper to offer to visitors back at our home shop up the street.
I never tire of the look. They were one of our very first truly marketable products and 10 years later, we still sell them!
I have an undying belief that everything has value if you have eyes to see it! And it is a tremendous gift to have that gift of sight IF ( and this is a big IF) you actually do something with it.
Otherwise, I am just hoarding!
The textile industry is one of the top polluters in the world today. 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year. The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second.
So it is with great joy that we figured out a way to recycle the trims and bits of textiles we use! Confetti rugs were born!
And, it takes a LOT of labor to make these rugs. We love labor-heavy pieces because the Makers love labor-heavy pieces! More work, more pay, more happy mommas!
We made the first one and I wanted to try it out for a week or so. It became clear that you don’t want to put these at the front door for people to wipe their dirty boots on.
But they work great in the bathroom to step on after a shower, and in a kids’ room to lie on and read books and my favorite place...under my stand-up desk. It is just the pick-up I need some afternoons, to slip my shoes off and go barefoot on my Confetti rug. Like a party on the floor.
Great thanks to Monique and her team of makers that patiently gathers the pieces, prepares them to size and weaves them into these beautiful rugs
Clay Beads (Stackable Bracelets)
Te, dirt, clay, earth, Beautiful dust!
I remember clearly the afternoon that the young men came to me with the tin of beads. I stared in awe.
Where did you get these?
We made them!
With the clay and the fire.
At least with my poor Kreyol skills, that is all i understood.
It was like all the possibilities exploded in front of us!
O the things we could put together if we could make our own beads.
You see they learned from other clay builders and fashioned a kiln of sorts, using a pit and some tin. Kept that fire burning and many hours later ..Wha La!
Since that day many years ago, many of these same young men have learned to operate kilns and extruders and slab rollers and mix up dry ingredients to make their own glazes.
The beautiful thing is to watch how the bead makers collaborate with the jewelry makers and come up with these bracelets. We have many styles because, we have many options, thanks to the creatives among us!
Riding through Port Au Prince on the back of a moto I first saw the stacks of recycled Burlap Coffee Sacks. They were draped along a fence, displaying the unique stamps and colors. I asked the taxi driver to turn around, so I could investigate.
The vendor had the upper hand in the negotiations, as she could tell I was way too enthusiastic about the burlap sacks stacked up beside her.
I made it back to Gonaives and couldn’t wait to get them to the sewing room in Jubilee so we could make cool things with them. O, I wish I had some of those original pieces!
The sewing team put their creativity to work and we got some amazing one-of-a-kind totes! Over the years, and with the helpful feedback of our friends, we came up with a larger, more utilitarian tote. ( i used mine yesterday to carry clothes to the gym!) And you know what, we STILL love working with these authentic burlap coffee bags. Our Market Totes today will often still have the one-of-a-kind ink stamps across them. We love this!