Time to improve our craft

December 22, 2017
Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dr. Andrew Spencer, admires a bust of National Hero Marcus Garvey done by sculptor Dwight Thomas of Negril.
Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dr. Andrew Spencer (centre), examines a basket being made by Evelyn Gaybe of Lennox Bigwood in Wextmoreland.
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Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) Dr Andrew Spencer is encouraging members of the local craft sector to keep refining their skills and innovations in order to remain competitive and meet the needs of consumers.

Jamaican craft vendors have been encouraged to improve the craft items that they now offer for sale.

"You have to keep abreast of what is happening, but not only keep abreast, you have to be ahead of the game. You have to be cutting-edge. You have to always be developing new skills because you don't want the game to move ahead of you and then you are trying to play catch-up," Spencer said.

Spencer was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Uniquely 876 Craft Fair at Whitter Village in Ironshore, Montego Bay, on December 14.

He said that the Craft Development Institute, which is to be established by TPDCo at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, will be tasked to ensure that the country's artisans are "producing in the quantities that we need and at the quality that we need".

"We have engaged in a partnership with the Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts to ensure that individuals don't just engage in training, but they are certified," he said.

"We want more of our products to be out there, so we have to teach new skills, refine old skills, and get more diverse products out there. We have an endgame, and that endgame is to ensure that people buy in Jamaica what is made in Jamaica," Spencer added.

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