"One thing I have come to love about carving is that there is no waste of wood. Every small piece of wood can be used to create small creatures."
"The skill to design is inborn. I can create sketches of styles for fabric before sending them to the seamstress and I'm also particular about details on every dress sewn for me.
"I was born on December 10 in Accra, the capital of Ghana. I am a jovial person. I try to make the people who come close to me happy. I like dancing and having fun.
"I got the opportunity to work as an art vendor. During that time, I visited several art workshops and observed carvers busy at work. Because of my love for design, I took particular interest in the way products were designed in wood. I also took keen interest in the final pieces. When my employers noticed my ability to identify the slightest differences in products, I was promoted to quality control personnel for the company.
"When this company finally left the country, I had developed an interest in arts and crafts, and was encouraged to attend an export school. After completion of the course, I sought out several carvers to collaborate with me. I'd sketch the designs on paper, then sit close to them as they did the carving. I also learned to nail the aluminum on the wood. Working with my hands was so interesting!
"One thing I have come to love about carving is that there is no waste of wood. Every small piece of wood can be used to create small creatures. It gives me so much joy to see finished designs being admired, and my design work helps me pay for my children's education.
"When I first got involved with carving, some of the carvers ran away with the money intended to purchase wood for designs. It was not easy at all. I learned a lot from those experiences, and learned how to negotiate with the carvers. Paying them promptly for their help encouraged the carvers to give me their best efforts. They also spread the news about my faithful dealings with them, so I don't struggle when I need more carvers to assist me. These were lessons I learned the hard way.
"I have trained two people and I also work with three experienced designers. At the moment, I provide jobs for ten artisans. It is my dream to increase in sales and be able to expand my workshop."
Wild antelopes of mysterious nature, these statuettes resemble those worn as headdresses by the people of Mali. Victor Yao Delanyo carves the two pieces by hand with exquisite detail. Sese wood's noble grain allows the master carver to easily stylize....read more
Victor Yao Delano carves an extraordinary replica of a comb once worn by a Ewe priestess from the village of Aveme, located in the Volta region of Ghana. The comb features a striking and expressive face, which is why it's usually referred to as the Nkume....read more
"There is strength in oneness," Francis Agbete says, quoting an old Ghanaian saying. To illustrate the point, he carves an elephant family of ebony wood. The five march through the forest together, aligning themselves from smallest to largest.
"In West Africa, it is thought that the horse was the first creature to inhabit the earth," says Ghanaian artisan Salihu Ibrahim. Working in native sese wood, he carves a bearded man from the Dogon tribe on horseback.
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