Artisan Profile: Alumada

Alumada alluminum crafting 140

There are a few shops on the side of the road selling aluminum products – pots, utensils, decoration items and jewelry – in our area of town. Most of these things come from Ambatolampy, a town along the road to Antsirabe, south of the capital Antananarivo. Josh, visiting one such vendor, discovered that the attelier (workshop) could make any product in aluminum if they had a model. He covertly swiped one of my wooden candlesticks and had the artisans at Alumada make copies in aluminum as a Christmas present for me. (Pretty creative idea, i thought 🙂 ). After seeing the work at the attelier himself, he thought it would be a neat family field trip for the boys to watch the products being made by hand. We made such a visit in January where I took these photos.

Aluminum products will be new additions in the Distaff&Spindle 2015 sale(s) and i’m hoping we can begin a new business relationship with them.

Alumada has a unique history as the current owner’s grandfather is known to be the initiator of the craft in Madagascar:

The Grandfather of the current artist, was born in 1919 in Ambatolampy. In 1939, requisitioned by the French, he joined the front in Europe. On his return in 1942, inspired by what he had seen in the world and the remains of the work of Jean Laborde, he imagined building a smelter. His early works were of bronze bells. Suspected by the French of supplying arms to the Malagasy insurgents, he was imprisoned for 2 years in Antananarivo. He escaped in 1949 and hid in the mountains near Ankaratra to be forgotten. He returned in 1951 and quietly resumed his passion: the foundry. Thus are born the first pots Ambatolampy …

During the First Republic, Mr. RANDRIANANTOANINA was awarded the distinction of the Malagasy National Order. He died in 1993 after submitting his expertise to several generations of workers, and children including his granddaughter, Stephanie Ramanantoanina.

Foundry today:
In the tradition of her father and grandfather, Stephanie Ramanantoanina is now developing a line of statuettes, ashtrays, unique decorative objects, and Aluminum jewelry. Stephanie’s creativity and craftsmanship aspect of production also allows for customization of some of these objects (text, company logo, lacquering, packaging, …).
Stephanie and her team of Alumada attach particular attention to the source of their raw materials (aluminum, copper, bronze, …). The Alumada team uses only food aluminum (white aluminum from beverage cans) to make their jewelry, which is safer to wear and less likely to cause allergies. Alumada opens its doors to visitors to discover not only its products, but also the magical world of craft founders of Madagascar.

  100% aluminium recyclé

            100% création original

                  100% équitable

Taken and adapted from http://www.hotel-niaouly.com/article-fonderie-d-aluminium-d-art-a-antananarivo-122819674.html

 

setting the mold
setting the mold
inserting the liquid aluminum tube
inserting the liquid aluminum tube
pressing the special mold dirt
pressing the special mold dirt
taking the molten aluminum from the fire
taking the molten aluminum from the fire
pouring molten aluminum into the hollowed mold
pouring molten aluminum into the hollowed mold
pouring the overflow back into the canister to use later
pouring the overflow back into the canister to use later
another mold cast
another mold cast
casting a zebu statue
casting a zebu statue

Alumada alluminum crafting 092

melting the aluminum
melting the aluminum

Alumada alluminum crafting 096

Alumada alluminum crafting 114

Alumada alluminum crafting 117

grinding and polishing beads
grinding and polishing beads

Alumada alluminum crafting 134

Alumada alluminum crafting 128

little aluminum trays
little aluminum trays

Alumada alluminum crafting 143

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s