Although he suffered from muscular atrophy since childhood, his legs were shriveled, and his arms were thin, Duong Quy Nghia (Long Xuyen City, An Giang) overcame difficulties and created many unique handmade products. from coconut shell.
Extraordinary energy of artisans crafting from coconut shells
Talking about the chance to come to the profession of making souvenir products from coconut shells, Mr. Duong Quy Nghia shared: “I came to this profession as well. Because at 9 months old I had polio fever, and then, my Legs and arms gradually atrophied, unable to walk anymore.
When I grow up, I also want to be independent, I want to have a job to support myself, and the opportunity came when I was able to attend a carpentry class. And most coincidentally, someone suddenly called to order me to make this and that from coconut shells. It was only a few at first, but that was the beginning for me to really stick with this profession.”
Mr. Nghia also said: “Each product I make is a separate version, it has almost the same points, but in fact the soul and features in each product are different. That is a very interesting factor. that coconut shell materials create”.
It is known that the materials to make products from coconut shells are quite cheap, but the difficulty of the workers is always creating new and strange things. For example, a night light must be equipped with a lamp or a rotating shaft to make the product highly functional and beautiful. Or the lotus flower pots, originally only natural wood color, were gradually decorated with other colors to resemble real lotus flowers to match the customer’s aesthetic taste.
Currently, Mr. Nghia’s products are sold on consignment at some souvenir shops, or posted on social networks, or through referrals from acquaintances. Although the product is quite sophisticated and beautiful, Mr. Nghia sells it at a relatively soft price, from only a few tens of thousands of dong to more than a million dong depending on the product.
Every day, Mr. Nghia always tries to make new products, especially coconut shell paintings. Nghia said, “Every picture I create is different because when I design I think so, but coconut shells have different colors, so when I start to do it, I need to make it harmonious. The color and sharpness must be clear and above all, there must be the soul and the charm of the picture so that when others see it, they will have feelings for it.
For Mr. Nghia, a finished product is the result of extraordinary efforts and unceasing determination to overcome difficulties. Because of the physical defects that have greatly affected his health and movement, his manipulation of coconut shells, each activity requires a lot of effort. But his love for the profession and the will to make a living have helped him overcome everything.
Nghia currently lives with his 80-year-old father. Every day, he drives his car to the market to buy food to cook. The rest of my time with him is with his cutting machines, coconut shell grinding machines, and regularly producing unique handicraft products.
Many people consider him a true artist, but to him, he only considers himself a person who loves and has had a predestined relationship with the profession for nearly 20 years. “I want to be able to make more technology-applied products, it’s not just handmade, but also a highly applicable and durable products for customers to use.
Even, I also want to expand the workshop and pass on the profession to those who want to learn the profession and have the same situation as me. Only in this way can the craft of making coconut shells develop sustainably and people with disabilities like me will be more confident in life, even though they are ruined but never wasted,” Nghia affirmed.