Hand-carved African masks, sculptures and decor accents in West Africa
"My favorite pieces are the Ashanti stools, or throne ottomans, which I craft with my own designs.""My name is Raphat Asigbey and I am a woodcarver. I was born in the Volta region of Ghana in 1981. My friends describe me as respectful, calm and hardworking. I became interested in this craft when I completed high school and was unable to further my education.
"I was taught by Daniel Quarcoo, a Novica-featured artisan. Starting out on my own was very difficult when I didn't have enough money to complete orders. I went through a hard time when I didn't receive enough work to support my family. I then worked for an exporter for a while, and later began participating in exhibitions.
"To master this art, I practiced crafting more unique designs.
"My favorite pieces are the Ashanti stools, or throne ottomans, which I craft with my own designs. My assistants now help me sand down the carvings and help with the finishing. I find it most challenging when depicting animals. My creative inspiration comes from dreams and the Bible.
"I hope to one day become a recognized artist worldwide and be able to help the poor in my community."