The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts has been collaborating with Rose Hall Developments on a project to support and regenerate locals crafts in Jamaica, since 2009. Two parallel programmes, one for a group of potters in Kingston and the other for woodcarvers in Montego Bay, were established and tailored to the specific needs of each group.
The School has been running regular workshops with experienced teachers, who work sensitively with the skilled craftsmen, respecting their existing knowledge. The project aims to raise the standard of the craftsmen’s techniques while developing their discernment for design and an awareness of their own creative ability.
The woodcarvers at Rose Hall, Montego Bay are a tight-knit group who grew up there, climbing the old trees whose fallen or felled wood they work on. They now make beautiful, burnished bowls from mahogany, quickstick, lignum vitae and cedar, often with handmade chisels.
Potters in Rose Town, Kingston make decorated, smoke-fired pots. They have overcome all sorts of challenges facing a community decimated by gang warfare and poverty. Through the process of making these pots from their local clay, building their own kiln and restoring a derelict building to house their workshop, they have become role models in their community, showing the way forward for a better life.
Bowls and pots have been commissioned for corporate and private gifts and are also sold in various shops in Jamaica. These craft groups are literally turning the soil and the roots of their land into enduring, beautiful objects.