HORN + BONE //
Led by: Andre Paul LEFOND
Specialty: Horn & Bone jewelry, accessories, home goods
Team Members: 30
Location: Champ de Mars, Haiti
Andre Paul Lefond has been hand-crafting products from ethically-gathered horn and bone for over 34 years. He manages his own workshop, employing 30 men. He is one of Haiti's most well-known horn & bone artisans and has crafted for top designers and retail chains. He acts as a mentor for artisans getting their business going.
His process starts with raw goat and cow horns purchased from the local butcher that would otherwise be thrown away. The horns are then heated over charcoal until softened. They are moved to a cast iron press to be flattened, re-heated, and then molded into the desired form. The pieces will then go on to to the sanding and polishing team, which will start beveling away with shards of glass until a smooth surface is formed. The next team will then continuously sand and polish the horn surface until smooth, sealed, and properly finished.
Andre first learned the craft of turning cow & goat horn into beautiful products at the age of 14 from his uncle. Little by little he worked to buy his own tools and build up his own business. During the 2010 earthquake, Andre lost his workshop. With the help of generous supporters Andre was able to receive a grant to build a new cooperative workspace. He says the workshop is not his, but it belongs to all of the artisans. He strives to teach young men the craft his uncle first taught him, so that they don't have to learn lessons the hard way in which he did, but instead can use his knowledge to advance themselves and build their own business.