Twenty artisans from Haiti and the Dominican Republic have honed their design and craft skills following a 25-day training programme with two of Cuba’s most accomplished master artisans Maité Dumenigo and Yanel Rodriguez. The workshop hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the National Handicraft Center of the Cominican Republic (CENEDARTE) and the Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Artesanía (FUNDARTE), was held from September 7 to October 2, 2015 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Within the auspices of the Haiti-Dominican Republic Bi-National Programme, funded by the European Union (EU) under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), the workshop was an opportunity for artisans to increase their exposure to a variety of subject matters spanning from the history of metalwork (orfevrerie), to techniques for designing and transforming precious metal into beautiful jewellery and accessories.
Through learning the use of new tools and techniques, participants were able to improve their capabilities and display fresh creative flare for the manipulation metals, as well as incorprating the semi-precious stones, amber and larimer, which are only found in the Dominican Republic. Ultimately, it is hoped that as a result of the workshop the Agencies have contributed towards the improvement in the capacity of local handicraft in generating new designs, with the aim of increasing the added value for their products, while appealing to the tastes of a more sophisticated clientele often found in the targeted export markets of the EU and the United States. In addition to the practical element, the training included field trips to the mining sites, where ambar and larimar are found.
A graduation ceremony held on October 2, 2015 provided an opportunity for students to exhibit their designs. Opening remarks made by the EU Ambassador, the National Authorising Officer and Escipión Oliviera, Deputy Executive Director of Caribbean Export, among others. The participants were congratulated on the quality of the work, and thanked the Cuban professors for their collaboration.
The accessories that were created during the workshop will be exhibited in Dominicana Moda 2015 in order to further promote these talented jewellery and accessory designers.
Pictured: Participants Orfila Rodriguez and Leidi Jorge; and teachers Yaniel Rodriguez and Maite Dumenigo.