Category Archives: recycling

Recycled Haitian metal art: new arrivals

Three Stone Steps picked up a lot of great new recycled metal art pieces on our trip to Haiti some weeks ago.  While we’re always looking for great pieces, we especially wanted new larger artwork.

Larger artwork is a challenge to photograph.  (And, is a hassle to ship.)  But, we decided to take advantage of the crisp, October weather to shoot a few pieces in Three Stone Steps’ worldwide headquarters rowhouse backyard.

And, here you have a really fantastic recycled metal wreath.

recycled metal wreath from Haiti

Really, it’s an evergreen, since you can use it to adorn your door Christmas after Christmas.

With less success, we tried to photograph a great sunflower piece.


There are more pieces.  But we needed more nails and we were too dejected from last night’s heartbreaking Orioles loss to walk down to our very neighborhood-y hardware store.

We hope to get more products photographed tomorrow, especially after a win by our beloved O’s.  Stay tuned and BuckleUp!



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Filed under Christmas, Haiti, metal art, new products, recycled, recycling

Keeping it green

Three Stone Steps is a people and planet friendly company.  While we’ve blogged quite a bit about the artisans we work with and our fair trade producers, we don’t spend enough time on our eco-friendly side:  our metal art from Haiti is made from recycled oil drums using only hand tools, so there’s no carbon footprint (besides it getting from Haiti to where it’s sold);  our silk and cotton accessories from Cambodia are made with AZO-free dyes.  And, as we head towards the gifting season, you should know that our ornaments and dreidels are made by hand of recycled paper in the Philippines, and we have a new line of papier-mâché ornaments from Haiti made from recycled cement bags.

If you’re not in the market for wall art, or ornaments and dreidels, or fashion accessories, and you want to do some eco-friendly shopping head straight to Pristine Planet.  They’ve a great easy to navigate site and green products in scads of categories.  (And in the interest of full disclosure:  Three Stone Steps has listed with Pristine Planet for years.  If you’re a merchant of green goods they’re amazingly personable people with make you swoon customer service.)

We definitely don’t want to pretend that shopping will save the planet, but if keeping things green is on your list, Pristine Planet is a good place to begin.


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Filed under Cambodia, Christmas, cotton, cotton wallet, eco-chic, eco-fashion, environment, fashion accessories, green commerce, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, ornaments, Philippines, pristine planet, recycled, recycling, shopping

Friday Photo: Think cool thoughts

Like (almost) everyone else, I’m trying to keep cool.   And, while I’m definitely not a Christmas in July type–except for the fact that I’m in the midst of wholesaling Three Stone Steps’  line of recycled ornaments, trees, dreidels, and menorahs now– I thought a photo of a very cool, blue ornament wouldn’t be such a bad idea for a Friday Photo.

And, while global warming is pretty much at the top of a lot of people’s mind,  you should know that this papier-mâché ornament is made by hand from recycled cement bags outdoors in Jacmel, Haiti (where it’s actually cooler than it is here in Baltimore) by a mother and daughter team, so besides the shipping, there’s really no carbon footprint. And, should you not care for this cool blue, other colors and styles are available.

Happy (hot) Friday.

Papier-mâché ornament with flower

Blue and cool.


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Filed under Baltimore, Christmas, environment, fair trade, friday photo, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, judaica, new products, ornaments, recycled, recycling, sustainable

Friday Photo: Recycled Judaica (it’s not just for Hanukkah)

Yes, it’s June.  And, if you’re on the Eastern seaboard, it’s really hot.  But for retailers and wholesalers like us here at Three Stone Steps,  Hanukkah and Christmas are right around the corner.  And, if you’re a retailer trying to put together a fair trade, recycled holiday collection, this link would be a good place to start. (You’ll find fabulous recycled ornaments, recycled dreidels, and recycled menorahs, and more.)  If you want to know more, please contact me at ellen[at]threestonesteps[dot]come.

But, let’s say that like most of us, you’re not a retailer, but would like to find some recycled, fair trade Judaica.  You need a Bar or Bat Mitzvah or wedding gift, and don’t know what will fit the bill.  Well, then, check this out:

Haitian metal art, shalom

read from right to left, silly!

You can find more information of this great piece of indoor/outdoor art on the Three Stone Steps site right here.  And, if you’re not in the market for recycled, fair trade Judaica, you can find other great recycled art here.

Really cute, huh?

And, have a great PEACEful weekend!

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Filed under fair trade, friday photo, friday photo, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, judaica, metal art, peace, recycled, recycling

FUNctional Art on loan

Today I went over to Port Discovery children’s museum to view their FUNctional Art exhibit, which focuses on art made of recycled materials.  I’ve loaned quite a few recycled metal art pieces from Haiti for this exhibit, including doves, suns, dragonflies, and crescent moon faces.  You can find most of those pieces here.   I also put on loan some of my “trashy purses” made from recycled juice packs from the Philippines.

Since it was such a kick seeing the work I carry in such an odd context for me, I thought I’d share some of the photos.  Of course, should you be heading to Port Discovery,  you can check it out yourself.

art studio entrance Port Discovery

entrance to FUNctional Art exhibit


making recycled bags

learning about recycling and art


doves in window

doves flying around on the inside

art in case

some description of the process

sign with recycled juice pack purses

hey, that's Three Stone Steps!



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Filed under Baltimore, manila, Philippines, recycled, recycling, reuse, trash bag

Ghetto Biennale and other recycled art in Haiti

This current trip is my fifth to Haiti.  Usually, for a variety of factors, mostly involving the high cost of travel there, I rush through and do absolutely what I have to do and head home.   I changed things this time.

This has been by far my best trip to Haiti, in fact, one of the best travel experiences anywhere.  I gained new insights.   I met interesting people.  I listened to a variety of music that provided the perfect soundtrack to what I was seeing.  In a first for me in Haiti–although it tends to be my passion just about everywhere else–I ate street food.  I saw loads of art.

Yes, my first full day in Haiti was a very good day.

The first stop happened by chance, when I spotted a yard, if you can call it that, crammed with art from rusty old metal pieces and a sign that read “Ghetto Biennale.” (Despite the name, I think this is up all year long.)

There were a shocking large number of pieces of art with erections.  This was pointed out to me in case I missed it.  I hadn’t.  I’ve never quite thought about that subject in art, and I’m sure I’d have remembered it from Art History 101 had it ever been brought up.   I was, however, assured that it was an optimistic sign, a happy until the end kind of thing.

As I toured the space  it dawned on me that I had seen this gallery on the Haiti episode of No Reservations.  (A show I’ve watched the one time when it was about the country.)    I brought this up to the artist, and he didn’t at all recall meeting a famous American chef.  (And, strangely, this made me happy. )  Also, as I recall the episode, and I could very well be misremembering it,  Bourdain found the art deeply disturbing.  Perhaps he missed  a thing or two.

Nearby I visited another artist who works mostly with used auto parts.  (And, it doesn’t really hurt that I was in the section of Port-au-Prince where there are tons of used auto part stores.)  Some of these photos are included in the slideshow below.

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Amazing art and experiences continued since this first full day in Haiti a mere two days ago.  And, I’ll be back here writing more about it.

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Filed under artisans, food, Haiti, metal art, recycled, recycling, sustainable, travel

Friday Photo(s): Art in the streets (of Detroit)

I just returned from the Detroit Metro area, and forgot all about my Friday Photo.  I’ll make this quick, and maybe one day I’ll blog more about this project.  But, if you want to know more about the Heidelberg Project, please check out their website.


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Filed under friday photo, friday photo, recycled, recycling, travel