Turn Coconut Shells into Works of Art

Turn Coconut Shells into Works of Art

It seems that there is no market value but with sculpting skills, Mr. Dang Hong Diem (58 years old; living in the alley 38, Street 3-2, Hung Loi Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City) made beautiful coconut shells, sharper and quite high selling price.

Dry coconut husks are often used to store teapots, keeping tea hot is a familiar image in many families in the West. But not stopping at this use, Mr. Diem has made the coconut husks more artistic and of higher economic value by carving dragon, phoenix or other works at the request of guests.

Mr. Diem shared: “Around 1983, I happened to visit Mr. Tam Ly’s sculpture shop on Pham Ngu Lao Street (An Hoa Ward, Ninh Kieu District). Looking at Mr. Ly’s sculptures I really admired and loved it so I begged him to accept me as a “disciple” to study sculpture. ”

Mr. Dang Hong Diem sculpted on dried coconut shells prepared for delivery to customers

After mastering the profession, Mr. Diem decided to test his talent on coconut husks because he wanted to create works on toxic and strange materials. “Usually the same is the case, there must be something” different” for customers to buy. At first, the coconut shells sculpted were also picky customers, so I sent the product in retail stores. , I have an acquaintance in Ho Chi Minh City so I sent my products up there, no doubt the sales were very good, “Mr. Diem said.Carving on the coconut husks requires meticulousness

When choosing dried coconuts to choose large left, round

Most of the coconut shells are carved by Mr. Diem in the form of a dragon or a lotus, a lotus, 4 seasons of spring, summer, autumn, winter … If a customer asks for a photo, he carves it. To make a complete product is also very elaborate. First, you have to choose the dried, round and large coconut and leave it in a dry place for the coconut to dream because, at this time, the coconut shell is hard, easy to engrave the picture on. Next, about 5 parts of the left tail to make a lid, and the body will be carved.

“The stage to remove the coconut shell must be very meticulous so that the time to add the tea jar is just right but leave a part of the coconut shell so that the shell doesn’t crack when it is dry,” Mr. Diem noted.

When the above stages are finished, Mr. Diem draws a sketched shape on the coconut body and uses a knife to carve it. Mr. Diem said: “Dry coconut husk is characterized by non-hardening material which is not soft, so it is difficult to engrave every detail. Therefore, when doing it, I have to pay close attention to where to engrave the bold and where. shallow strokes or wavy lines “. Coconut shells after carving will be varnished, painted and finally covered with PU paint. To complete a product, Mr. Diem usually takes about 5 days.

The Dried coconuts are left with about 5 centimeters of the left tail to cut into lids

Preserving traditional culture

Currently, this product is not sold in the Western market but is distributed by Mr. Diem in the HCM City market. “Each product costs from VND 800,000 to VND 1.2 million, depending on the size of the coconut shell, large or small or sculpted shape. At one time I sold about 100 pieces a year but now on average every month. I only made 4-5 ones, because some customers ordered it. Even overseas Vietnamese bought it and took it abroad. I made sure that the dried coconut with this teapot was used forever, “Mr. Diem said confidently.

Works after being carved

Dry coconut shells are carved and painted completely

Knowing that Mr. Diem’s were unique products, Mr. Nguyen Van Tai and his wife (60 years old, living in An Khanh ward, Ninh Kieu district) came to him and asked Mr. Diem to make a dry coconut shell containing a 1-liter tea jar. However, Mr. Diem rendezvous at another time because now he is looking for a large dry coconut shell to contain such a type of tea.

This carved coconut shell holds a half-liter teapot

Some sculptures on other materials of Mr. Diem

In addition to sculpting on dried coconut shells, Mr. Diem transforms his talents on other materials into works of art for indoor display. Those are dried coconut shells carved into the shape of a snake to grow flowers, or a bamboo root, coconut root carved into the national heroes … The artisan expressed: “Now older, not healthy to do as In the past, I worked mainly because my customers ordered the reason why I chose dried coconut husk, bamboo root, coconut root … to sculpt because these things are close to my life and I also want to preserve the culture for my children and grandchildren later.”

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