Some young people may be shocked to hear this, but there was a time (in the olden days)when Jamaica had a really impressive craft industry. This industry was nurtured by an organization called “Things Jamaica” which trained young people in producing real quality stuff. To make a long story short, Things Jamaica was converted into a prison and now the craft shops are full of colourful junk bearing the Jamaican flag, but guess what “Made in China, Taiwan…..etc”.
Since I live in hope, I am expecting that the flicker I saw over the past weekend will develop into a real flame.
On a visit to Trelawney, I ran into an artistic acquaintance of mine who told me of a course she had just completed at the Heart academy in Falmouth, making jewellery from glass. She had a few pieces on her and they were really impressive and luckily for me, (I thought) she said they would be having a display at the Academy at 1 pm the next day.
Forgetting that even training institutions have no respect for time, I was there a few minutes before 1 pm and was certainly not impressed by the level of preparation. Anyway, I must say the staff was very pleasant and took us on a tour to explain the project which they had undertaken with the kind assistance of a professor from Ghana, compliments of their government.
|THE CLAY OVEN|
I was really impressed with was I saw from the clay oven they had made from scratch to bake the glass at just under 1000 degrees, after it had been beaten and sifted, to the finished products which were beautiful, exquisite bracelets, necklaces and pendants. I really hope this will take off and not just fizz out because we really need to offer visitors and locals alike something good to come away with when we visit the resorts.
I was also very happy to see the level of cooperation between an African country and ourselves for although we pay lots of lip service to African culture and our roots, it usually stops at that.
So kudos to Heart, if they could only introduce time keeping into their curriculum.
I was a bit concerned however about the pricing of these products for the process seems quite time consuming and I couldn’t get a clear indication of where prices would end up thus allowing the craftswomen to make a decent living without pricing themselves out of the market.
Anyway I wish them the best of luck for it offers a real ray of hope for one segment of our craft industry.