Dragon with Celtic Knots, Haitian Metal Wall Artwork 14" x 17"
A brilliantly executed Celtic dragon, easily signified by the intricate infinity knot at the end of his tale might seem a strange image for a Haitian artist to create. A closer look, however, reveals that it is not so strange nor completely out of context. Just as the Celts have their powerful spirits, so do the Haitians. The dragon, in Celtic mythology initially represented the First Being. His power and wisedom were absolute and he was revered accordingly. But, the Celts, just as the Haitians, were Christianized and the old symbols - if they weren't banned altogether - were transformed and took on new meanings. The dragon came to represent Satan himself; a being which saints and knights alike fought and strove to vanquish. Haitians would themselves certainly recognize those changes necessitated by new faith. The spirits of their West African origins were appropriated and re-incarnated as Saint James, The Virgin Mother, and even St. Patrick. The cultural leap isn't so great after all.
This metal sculpture is meant for display indoors or out, but if you choose to display yours outside, be aware that the protective, weather-proof coating will wear off over time. To keep your sculpture looking just like it did the day you bought it, take five minutes once a year to apply a spray-on clear enamel coating.
A few nails and a hammer are all you'll need to hang your sculpture. Look for a place where the design is joined or notched and put the first nail there. Use a second and possibly a third nail, if the piece is large, in other joined or notched design elements within the sculpture to straighten and secure it to the wall. Make sure that you avoid placing a nail into an eye or mouth, as that will draw attention to the nail. You want the nails to "disappear" into the piece.
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Following four generations of tradition, each piece of Haitian metal art is made entirely by hand with simple tools. Starting with a cast-off steel drum, the metal is cleaned, sanded, and pounded flat. From there, the artist chalks his design onto the metal and then begins the heavy, tedious work of cutting out the pattern with a hammer and chisel and giving the piece detail and dimension. Finally, he applies a clear-coat to the piece, which protects it and makes it perfectly suited for indoor or outdoor display.
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