Castries, Saint Lucia: Saint Lucia organized a three-week workshop. “Bamboo Works” focuses on beautiful and naturally sustainable crafted creations by using various techniques. This will grow, harvest, shape and treat bamboo into marketable items.
The official opening ceremony was held in the CDF conference room on Monday.
The workshop was held with the support of the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) in partnership with the Ambassy of Taiwan, and the activity fell under the Youth and Women Empowerment Project, which is a creation of Minister of Tourism- Ernest Hilaire.
Bamboo is considered the national plant of Saint Lucia, and during the workshop, the local artisans will acquire knowledge in the handling and design of bamboo.
It is to be added in the remarks of Taiwan’s Ambassador, H.E. Peter Chen, that the knowledge gained will allow participants to become economically independent.
The coordinator of the workshop is Ya Ching Lee, and this is her second workshop in Saint Lucia, as she facilitated a similar workshop for hand-crafters in Choiseul in 2021.
Lee extended her support to the participants to teach them how to mould bamboo fibres properly, as he has been working in full product design for eight years now.
Notably, she stated that she would combine different materials to bring off the end products as her brand experts in the contemporary product design and craft of bamboo webbing and mixing materials.
“My brand specializes in the craft of bamboo webbing and mixing materials. I will combine different materials to achieve the end product”, she said.
Participant from Crafty Islander, Mr Alva Preville, expressed that she eagerly looked forward to learning more about the bamboo craft as she welcomed the workshop.
It is to be noted that Mr Preville is the founder of The Crafty Islander, and they have made many products since 2020, specializing in eco-friendly cups and straws.
He further shared that this is not something that they have done in the past. However, it is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agenda of the workshop
The “Bamboo Work” workshop aims to guide local youth and women to become financially secure by designing and publicizing bamboo handicraft artworks to foreign tourists as Saint Lucia welcomed the opening of the cruise ship season.
Ambassador Chen stated that the crafting skills, creative ideas and knowledge that local hand-crafters learned had equipped them with better expertise.
By a far sight, he believed that after two years, bamboo artworks should be more than a tool for supporting people’s living when the tourism industry of Saint Lucia has revived and become vigorous.