Victor Yao Delanyo, artisan from Ghana
Hand-carved wood masks
"My works have been exhibited in the United States, as well as in Germany, Belgium, France and Australia."
"My name is Victor Yao Delanyo; I was born in January 28, 1966 in the Volta Region of Ghana. I completed my elementary school education in 1982. Due to financial difficulties I could not further my education, so I joined my brother-in-law who was a master carver, specializing in traditional African objects.
"I have been working independently for the past ten years and I am proud to mention that my works have been exhibited in the United States, as well as in Germany, Belgium, France and Australia.
"I work with ten experienced carvers. We acquire a type of hardwood known as sese for carving masks. The image is first sketched on paper, and then given to the apprentices to carve. We chip at the wood to get the desired figure or shape, then use sandpaper and polish to achieve a smooth object of good quality. I use red and black emulsion paint for the finishing. Other materials used to decorate and preserve our works are metal plates and sometimes clay."