Disabled man brings paper art into his fold

Complex creations: Mohd Zain showing off his origami at his home in Tanah Merah, Kelantan. — Bernama

TANAH MERAH: Mohd Zain Dollah may be long past retiremen, as well as living with disabilities, but he has not let his age and impairment stand in the way of making origami to earn some income.

The 73-year-old, who hails from Kampung Bukit Kechik here, says he can produce 10 swan-shaped origami in a day – despite being born with deformed hands and feet.

“I have been making origami for the past 10 years after being taught by one of my children, Nur Fatehah, who now lives in Perak,” he said.

According to him, although it was a difficult hobby to take up, considering it takes much focus and is time-consuming, he managed to take it seriously and turned it into a business.

“If I remember correctly, it took only a day for me to learn the art, and then I kept trying out various types of origami, such as making baskets, egg containers and souvenirs such as flower vases,” said the 1.2m-tall Mohd Zain, reported Bernama.

He added that the swan-shaped origami egg containers are popular for weddings, and would be handed out to guests.

As for the flower vases, they are usually ordered by individuals as souvenirs or by government agencies as decorative pieces to be placed in the office.

“Each swan-shaped origami requires as many as four sheets of A4 paper, which will be cut into small pieces using a small knife, and then folded and glued together.

“I sell these swan-shaped decorations for RM2 each, and if the order exceeds 100, the price will be cheaper,” said Mohd Zain, who also receives monthly assistance from the Social Welfare Department.

He said for the bigger baskets, he charges up to RM50 because each basket requires more sheets of papers and glue, as well as consumes more time.

He is currently working on an upcoming wedding order for a customer from Perak.

Mohd Zain, a widower with eight children, said that before venturing into the field of handicraft, he was a wedding emcee.

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