Hobby inspired by nature’s beauty

(Below) Wai inspecting some of the wood pieces he found in Pontian.

JOHOR BARU: A man who has been collecting driftwood and broken tree branches for the past two years started turning them into hanging decorations as his newfound hobby.

Lorry rental company owner Wai Teck Yong, 56, said he stumbled upon some decaying tree trunks while driving past the peatlands in Pontian one day and immediately saw potential in the broken wood.

He said the decaying pieces that he collected ranged in size and colours, with some in shades of black, brown, red and yellow.

“I have always felt a special connection to wood.

“The random shapes and sizes of the broken tree parts really captured my interest, ” Wai explained.

“At first, I collected and kept them as outdoor decorations; each piece of wood has its own characteristics.

“Then I found myself with more time on my hands during the movement control order as my business slowed down because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That was when I started fiddling with my collection of wood pieces to see what else I could do with them, ” he said in an interview with StarMetro.

He added that such decorations were available at nurseries but sold at a higher price so he decided to make his own at home.

Wai said he broke the larger trunks into smaller pieces and added some plants into the wood’s natural nooks and crannies to turn them into hanging decorations.

“Each item took about three to four days to put together, as I will clean and sun-dry the wood to ensure there are no insects or dirt left on them.

“I mostly choose ferns as they need minimal care but flowers such as orchids can be added, depending on the colour of the wood, to make the end product more attractive.

“I would customise the pieces of wood according to my own preference and tie simple knots to add a more personalised touch, ” he elaborated.

After sharing his designs with his friends, they encouraged him to start selling the decorations.

“I only did this for fun and I doubted anyone would want to buy such items, ” he said, adding that sometimes he could spend the whole night fiddling with the wood and doing research.

Wai was surprised that people were interested in his products when he displayed them at a community fair held at a pineapple plantation in Pekan Nanas recently.

“The items are hung on the gazebo at the fair as a way to remind people about the wonders of nature.

“Hopefully, my creations can inspire others to appreciate nature and be kinder to the environment, ” he said.

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