During the training and production days, one of the participants, Andreia took a series of pictures, which were exchanged and are posted below. These shots display some of the moments that we were not working in the project and reveals the commitment of the families with the project.
Sharing these pictures with the community was also a significant moment of the project. In my return to the community I recorded a DVD with both mine and Andreia's pictures, which the families could watch on the TV. In the forest there is no electricity supply, but there is a generator, which is run by gasoline and that we turned on. They loved to see the pictures and the children were giving everyone a buzz. Then, I used the occasion to show them pictures of the work of Doutor da Borracha, who does rubber shoes in another community, in addition to other natural rubber handcrafts made by other communities from the Amazon Rainforest. This generated a rich discussion about doing rubber products and a range of new ideas.
It was fantastic to return to the community of Seringal Veneza at Parque das Ciganas after two weeks and realise how the families own production. In the previous week it was raining a lot and the best course of reaching the community was by boat. About three boats were there waiting for me the moment I arrived, just a very friendly reception indeed. On the way Iris was telling me about the amount of rubber they produced in the meantime since I had left. She was very glad with the quality of her rubber sheets, the amount produced and the new colours that she explored.
In my arrival to the community, we all gathered at the big house's terrace to sort the work for the next days. I also remunerated them the bonus regarding to the training days. They were all satisfied and again committed with the project.
On the next day at 5 am we woke up to a intense working day, when we made a quality control of the produced rubbers, selected the best ones and analysed what kind of problems we had with the bad sheets, weighted the production, washed the material and also produced more rubber sheets in the afternoon.
During th e FSA training, on the first week of the project in Brazil, I taught the women that were participating of the training how they could work with the FSA rubber while it is still wet in order to make artefacts. How was my great surprise I had in seeing what they produced in two weeks and how enthusiastic they were with the rubber. Madalena, a very shy woman, who sometimes did not expressed her enthusiasm, also did a bag, some flowers, a tree and some armbands. Moreover, other women, as Aninha, that did not participate of the FSA training, was also making rubber artefacts.
I was surprised in seeing Aninha working with the rubber that we separated during the quality control. She was really focused on cutting the rubber delicately to do armbands while the children looked at her enchanted. Her older boy Gustavo also develop his own cuff. I really left it flow without interfere in their creative process. I also gave them some tools and materials such as hangs for earrings, threads, pliers and stylus, among others for complementing or helping them in the artefact making.
On the following day, some of the visitants bought practically all the armbands the women did. Andreia told me how she was happy in having learned how to manufacture the FSA and with the perspectives of developing her products further to sell them. She was already thinking in prices and in selling them in a local fair in 2013.
Filming day 28.11.2012
I am the design consultant of the Rainforest Fashion Project of the Sky Rainforest Rescue in partnership with WWF UK and WWF Brazil. This was initially a private blog made to share the development of the jewellery collection in Brazil with team members. Know more about the development of Lily Cole's jewellery collection.