“Vi­sion”, the Au­then­tic Lo­cal Crafts­man

The Star (St. Lucia) - Life Begins 2 Nite - - POP-POURRI -

Meet Vi­sion the au­then­tic lo­cal crafts­man, emerg­ing from the La Croix Main­got com­mu­nity. He earns a liv­ing by sell­ing his hand­i­work at the Cas­tries Craft Mar­ket, where he of­fers a va­ri­ety of sou­venirs and craft items to both tourists and lo­cals alike. Those who know him well will de­clare Vi­sion as be­ing self-driven, self-mo­ti­vated and an en­tre­pre­neur who is self taught in the art form of sculpting. He fash­ions ev­ery imag­in­able crea­ture from the shell and husks of dry co­conuts, such as mon­keys, birds, ele­phants and crabs, just to name a few. The ul­ti­mate form of re­cy­cling of our nat­u­ral re­sources many craftsper­son’s would agree.

When asked how he got started within the sculpting pro­fes­sion he told 2Nite Mag­a­zine, ‘I was work­ing at Le Sport Ho­tel and a friend of mine worked there at the time do­ing the very thing I am do­ing to­day. I used to bring him food and I ob­served what he was do­ing and re­tained it. I later trav­eled to Saint Martin where there was no work avail­able, so I saw the co­conuts, bought a knife and put what I had learnt into ef­fect. This is how I be­gan to earn a liv­ing through my skill; no one showed me, I ob­served peo­ple mak­ing carv­ings and picked up the craft, the art form on my own.”

Vi­sion says he makes good sales from his work and that it is in­deed a prof­itable busi­ness. Sev­eral tourists pass­ing through the ven­dors’ ar­cade usu­ally pa­tron­ize him; in fact, 2Nite Mag­a­zine’s very in­ter­view with him was in­ter­rupted by two groups of vis­i­tors who stopped to en­quire about his in­ter­est­ing pieces; (he man­aged to lock a few sales by the way). Vi­sion’s cre­ativ­ity does not limit him to Saint Lu­cia though, his work al­lows him op­por­tu­ni­ties for travel to Bar­ba­dos, Saint Martin and Canada. “I love what I do, its very nice and I earn a liv­ing out of it”.

When asked about the cre­ative process by which he fash­ions his pieces, he ex­plained, “With the birds for in­stance, I re­move the skin, I smooth it - it takes a lot of time, about four or five hours.” The items he uses to man­u­fac­ture his pieces are very min­i­mal; just co­conut husks and lucky beads are used for his bird feed­ers for ex­am­ple.

Vi­sion has plans to upgrade his stock and take his craft to an­other level within the com­ing months, by of­fer­ing an el­e­gant, au­then­tic and unique prod­uct by var­nish­ing his cur­rently un­treated pieces. "At the mo­ment, all my pieces are 100% nat­u­ral and un­treated, but some tourists re­quest var­nished pieces, so I will be in­tro­duc­ing this into my busi­ness soon," he says.

Cre­ativ­ity does in­deed come in all shapes and sizes and stand­ing not much taller than a lit­tle over five feet, this St. Lu­cian man’s dreams and ‘vi­sion’ for him­self are in­deed larger than life it­self. - by Faye Chantelle Mon­de­sir.

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