Elias Dela Dorkenoo
"I have always been a creative person and loved art from childhood on. Getting interested in wood carving was easy because it's a beautiful craft. I love the look of the finished work. It makes me happy. <br><br> "I was born in 1948 in the Volta Region of Ghana. My friends describe me as a reserved and a creative person, but very reasonable and open. I confess, I am shy and also very careful. <br><br> "My cousin's brother in-law taught me to carve wood, and I mastered this art by being creative and persevering. I practiced a great deal to do so. <br><br> "My materials are sese wood, while aluminum and brass plate, copper, paints and polish enhance my African masks and sculptures. I sometimes find sandpapering and polishing to be challenging. I get my inspiration from nature ? clouds, shadows on the ground ? and also from other designs I see. <br><br> "Starting on my own was not easy at all. I began working together other artisans. We all worked independently, but shared the same piece of land. However, that didn't last because the land owner gave the property to estate developers and that's how my enterprise collapsed. I am still trying to revive it. <br><br> "Even so, I have taught this art to ten other people, hence giving the community a sense of livelihood. <br><br> "My most difficult moments in life were when I faced financial problems during my school days. Later on, I also suffered from a divorce. <br><br> "I have hope for the future, and dream that my carving workshop will flourish and grow. I'm delighted to work with Novica."