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Emmanuel Opoku Asante captures the proud and noble stance of an elephant with this original mask. He carves the sese wood mask by hand, adding applications of white clay to give his design an aged, antique effect.
"I get my inspiration from my workers, when I see the joy with which they approach their work, and from the compliments I receive from customers on our designs."
"I was born on April 27, 1963 at Nkranza in the Central region of Ghana. I am a jovial and hardworking person.
"I specialize in antiqued and shining art. I started craft work at a youthful age and was taught by Master Peter Ampah, of blessed memories, at Mataheko in Accra. I am very good at drawing and so, when I see objects carved out of wood, I am attracted to them. I realized I could use my skill in drawing to come up with exciting designs that could be carved out of wood.
"So far, I have been able to teach eight people who are using the skill acquired to earn a living. I am currently working with my two brothers as assistants.
"I use sese wood, ebony wood and paint, which are very easy to work with. The favorite thing about my art is the finishing, where I take my time to give each item a very beautiful finish. Working with these sharp tools can be dangerous, and that is what I find challenging.
"I get my inspiration from my workers, when I see the joy with which they approach their work, and from the compliments I receive from customers on our designs.
"To be able to master this art, it takes obedience to learn, to focus and be alert anytime you are working. It also takes constant practice.
"I cut wood from the forest to get materials. My local communities derive firewood from the scrap wood at my workplace, and some of the community people are also given temporal jobs at my workshop.
"My hopes and dreams are to become an international exporter and a famous person in my locality."