<b>Latest Update</b><br><br>"When I first began working with you, it was a very difficult task as I had never worked with any group like that. I was introduced by Samuel Okyere, a colleague. You have helped me develop my work, as in coming up with new designs, and I feel you have also elevated us to the world. Today, I've been able to push my first born to the university, as well as my nieces and nephews. Some of my in-laws are living irresponsible lives, and I have taken it upon myself to cater for their kids. My family is now well taken care of by me, in terms of their fees.<br><br>"Initially, I faced many challenges. I didn't always have the funds for materials to create my popular masks and carvings and develop new designs. The other challenge is that the rainy season delays our ability to produce more. Actually, 95 percent of the designs on my page were carved by me in my house. But now I have been able to expand in scale. I have employed more people. I used to depend solely on the sales I make from my shop, but you have given me another avenue. My hope is to create more and more exciting designs for you."<br><br><b>Original Artisan Story</b><br><br>"I am a wood carver. I am a quiet person and easy-to-approach person. Victor Addo Biney is my name, and I was born in Accra, Ghana.<br><br>"I learned the art of carving from my uncle, Mr. Nortey Yeboah. I had to stay with him after my parents separated and he put me through school from the resources of his carving workshop. I used to sit in his workshop and watch him carve. It was fascinating to see how a wooden log could be used to create beautiful objects. This, I believe, initiated the desire in me to know and learn more about this art.<br><br>"After junior high school, I was working on my carving with him in the workshop to improve on my skills and, by the time I had moved on to senior high, I had become a master carver. The interest I derived from carving motivated me to pursue visual arts in senior high school.<br><br>"It was difficult for my uncle to pay my senior school fees so I had to start selling the items I was carving to pay for my fees and the books I needed. I had to work hard because that was the guarantee for my continuance at school. Due to the fact that I was good at what I did, I used to get some exporters giving me some of their works to produce for them. I earned a good income from such contracts.<br><br>"The difficult aspect of it was that I had to go to the forest to get the wood I needed and carve the pieces there in the forest, before sending them to the workshop to finish them. What helped me through those difficult moments was the reward for the hard work.<br><br>"On completion of senior high school, I built a workshop and continued with my carving venture. My workshop was strategically situated in an area where tourists could stop by to observe us carve and so pick up some of the items we had on display.<br><br>"I have trained several people and continue to train others. I also train students in second and third years of senior school who visit the workshop for assistance with their course work and more. I have trained 25 of them so far.<br><br>"I am the president of the Aburi craft village which comprises 250 artisans. Sixty percent of them are carvers while forty percent are retailers and finishers.<br><br>"My hopes, plans and dreams are to expand my workshop. My source of inspiration comes from God."
In the Andes, the Land of the Four Corners, mountains are sacred. So is culture. The Nazca lines, the Wari glyphs, the Quipu knots and the complex multi-colored textiles of the Incas are all recorded and live on the work of contemporary Peruvian artisans.