A timely lift for craft makers


By AVA LAI

For collectors: Beautiful paintings adorning wooden boxes.

AS the number of talented local handicraft makers increases in Sarawak, Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation (MHDC) Sarawak is prepared to be a platform for handicraft entrepreneurs.

Young entrepreneurs now have the chance to explore, learn and create their creative works through the incubator craft scheme which offers them rental of production premises at the corporation headquarters.

They can work full time under the guidance of MHDC before they are ready to operate their own business.

The few parties involved in guiding them at MHDC are Q’ra Entreprise and Bag Making Workshop in sewing bags, Artwork Life Batik and Sandora Craft Collection in drawing batik and Khasmanira Enterprise and Manita Enterprise in wooden craft.

From the designing centre where all ideas and opinions of the craftsmen are drawn to the technical lab where prototypes and samples are created prior to mass production, the corporation will ensure that essential needs of the entrepreneurs are provided.

“The centre provides a temporary start until they have their own workshop. We prepare the space for them at a minimum rate depending on the duration they are here. The scheme is open to all entrepreneurs who are interested in handicraft,” said MHDC Sarawak director Azran Arip during a press tour this week.

MHDC aims to make the corporation the top attraction in Kuching by displaying and selling handicrafts produced by the incubator scheme entrepreneurs as well as from other entrepreneurs from outside Kuching, for example Miri, Betong and Serian.

“We bring the products here and help them to sell. Entrepreneurs from the headquarters (MHDC) and outside should be prepared to supply sufficient products to the market,” Azran added.

The centre has six incubator schemes for entrepreneurs to create products from different fields such as bag stitching using rattan, bamboo, weaving and pine leaves. Other entrepreneurs can produce batik, which is made into clothes and souvenirs.

All products ranging from textiles and jungle products to metal trinkets and craft accessories are sold directly at its headquarters.

The heritage craft gallery located in the shop contains exhibits which reflect the culture, process of making, material and functions of crafts. It hopes to be able to attract and create awareness among targeted groups such as businessmen, interior designers, architects, students and tourists.

“Do visit MHDC. Here we test various activities or interesting assortments in terms of the process of producing crafts, starting from designing and developing and producing the crafts. Most importantly, the sales of quality local handicrafts are at a reasonable price,” said Azran.

MHDC is open from 8am to 5pm every weekday. Upon special request, it will open on weekends to provide services.

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