Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Kishmet Daniels - Caribbean Craftswoman


I went out for a ramble a couple months ago and drifted into the Crafts Alive area - a cluster of shops with vendors selling everything from t-shirts to soursop juice. Most islands and tourist destinations have places like these but, in designing ours, we took a look back at the old chattel houses and then jazzed them up with vibrant colours.

ONE OF THE CRAFTS ALIVE SHOPS
Anyway, the friend I was with drew me along to visit a friend of his, Kishmet Daniels.  Kishmet has been Rastafarian since 2001 and is devoted to the natural lifestyle and to having as little impact on the environment as possible.  Though a high school drop-out at 16, she went back later and got her GED and now she teaches crafts at the Ebenezer Thomas School in Sea Cows Bay.

KISHMET DANIELS
Kishmet, herself, loves to crochet but it was her ten year-old daughter, Tehsherbbah Williams, who got her started last year on recycling plastic bags.  Now she makes wonderful clothes for her wool dolls using discarded plastic bags.  A doll like the one below takes her about an hour to make.  Her children make the head and feet to them while she makes the body which means they can make several dolls in a day. Kishmet says the dolls are her most popular item and it's clear to see why. They're cute!
CROCHET DOLL WEARING RECYCLED PLASTIC BAGS


The bag below is also made from recycled plastic bags and, these, Kishmet makes herself. Each bag can take her between two and three hours to produce.  She sells the bags for about $25 but the dolls range from $10 to $15, depending on the size.

BAG MADE FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC BAGS
In addition to the bags and the dolls, Kishmet makes several other things from recycled bags including booties and uses can rings to make one-of-a-kind earrings. If you're ever in the area, check Kishmet out!







2 comments:

  1. They look lovely. Not at all like plastic bags. Great she has her kids involved in the business. I used to have a doll business and involved my kids too.

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    1. When I first saw them, I was like "they're never plastic bags" but then I felt them. I am totally impressed!

      It's nice when your kids can be involved in what you do. Perhaps you'll pick up the doll-making again?

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