Not your everyday talent | Artist showcases skill in handmade polythene craft
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Raul Harmon with his handmade polythene bags. – Elvin Croker Photo.
Raul Harmon with his handmade polythene bags. – Elvin Croker Photo.

By Jared Liddell

CRAFT takes many forms and influences creators in many different ways. It enables them to come up with creative and ingenious ways of sharing their gifts with the world, while showing an unexplored territory of sustaining themselves financially.

Many persons are taught craft ideas and techniques by their parents and have time and time again passed it down from generation to generation. The Pepperpot Magazine caught up with Raul Harmon, who makes a living by selling his handmade polythene bags in the heart of Georgetown.

The colourful and eye-catching bags are all handmade by Harmon and have been sustaining him and his family for the past year. He told the Pepperpot Magazine that he had the skill of making bags from the age of nine years old when he was taught by his aunt. He said that at that age, he started helping his aunt make bags for his grandmother to sell.

The intricately designed polythene bags. – Elvin Croker Photo.

Harmon said that he had been doing this as his only job for the past year and has been able to comfortably support himself and family. When asked why he chose to make and sell bags, Harmon responded, “Well I decide to start making them now cause I do all kind of work in this country. I was a sounder, a police, a pork-knocker, security but I find you know all these years working you ain’t really getting no way, cause most of the time the cost of living is higher than your salary and you have responsibilities,”he said. “So one day I was doing a security work in Georgetown and we used to work every day, New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, just to make ends meet, and one day in last year I said to myself, you got a skill why you don’t use it.”

He explained that this is where his journey started, stating that he wanted something a little more fulfilling than the jobs he had done previously and he had remembered how fulfilling it would be to work at his own pace while doing something he was passionate about. This led Harmon to purchase all the materials he needed, leave his job as a security guard and begin exercising the craft he had learnt all those years ago. He stated that although he had not practised or made any bags in several years, it was something that never left him and he was able to utilise his skill.

Harmon explained that he understands the value of a skill and says that he is appreciative of his aunt for taking the time to pass down the talent she possessed to him, allowing him to not only be able to earn and sustain himself, but also to have a sense of peace and calm in his life as he does so.

Harmon stated that he would encourage everyone to utilise their skills, especially having seen the effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on the job market. As such, he believes that there has never been a better time to utilise their talents to continue to sustain one’s family.

“Most of the people looking fuh big money, but as long as you’re contented you’ll be alright. Use your skills; use it to your advantage and don’t just sit down on it. But I’d also say to love it. You’ll realise that using your skill or craft is going to be better for you, just put that extra effort into it, have patience, skill is patience and determination. To me, once you have that skill and that determination it gon work, yuh just gotta believe in that,” he said.

Harmon told the Pepperpot Magazine that like his aunt who passed down her knowledge of the craft to him, he is working to pass it down to the younger members of his family to ensure that they always have a talent that could sustain them.

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