TO KEEP up with the times, craftsman Abdul Samad Mohd Zahari needs to think out of the box, and come up with new products.
And he did just that by creating mobile phone casings made out of wood and leather, in all sizes and designs.
Abdul Samad, 42, said it took him three months to carry out the research and development, before coming up with the wooden casings.
The leather for the casings, he says, is from cow and goat hide.
“Since I came up with the new product, I have sold about 200 casings already.
“I need to follow the trend in this information and technology era, otherwise not everyone is going to buy antique wooden items,” he said.
Abdul Samad said besides coming up with modern items made out of wood, he also made traditional products which were difficult to get.
Among the items are bubu, serkap (traditional fishing traps made of bamboo), containers to keep fish and prawns that are also made out of bamboo.
“People hardly make these items any more, or even use them.
“The products are usually used for decorative purposes now,” he added.
However, he said only wooden handicraft lovers would want to purchase antique items.
On how his interest developed to make the wooden handicraft, Abdul Samad said since the age of five, each time he went on school trips for exhibitions, he used to focus on how people made the handicraft.
He said as he grew older, he started to experiment by making small wooden items, and that if he was not sure about something, he would ask the experts.
“Now my 13-year-old son is doing the same thing. I don’t pressure him when he is making something, but just observe him.
“Handicraft is something one must make using their own instincts, and it cannot be forced upon people,” he added.
He said he could make anything ranging from a traditional Malay wooden house to an old classic car.
Also in his collection are key chains, cigarette lighter casings, photo frames and tissue boxes.