Sunday, 25 October 2009

e@Siswa - Translated Version by Haslina

See the original article in Malay here.

BIG BIG thanks to Haslina. She's the only person who answer the call and I love her translated version of the page. As promised, she will be getting a personalized stamp from me. Hehe, still owing another stamp for Miyyah, she helped me to translate this last time. Thanks so much for the time and effort guys! I really appreciate it!

Here's the translation done by Haslina! Enjoy reading to those who can't read the original version in Malay!


Generating Income from the Art of Eraser-carving

The eraser, which is synonymous with a student’s life, comes in various shapes and appearances. It sole function, at least traditionally, was to erase mistakes made in writing but over time it has acquired roles and usage that far exceed its original purpose and function. The humble eraser has become a collectible item and in the case of one creative soul, the item is used to generate income. In this edition’s Kerjaya Pilihan (Career of Choice), e@siswa features an individual who is involved in the art of eraser-carving. Our writer takes a peek at the path taken by Melannie Khairunnisa Maisarah Mujip, more popularly known as Mango in the cyber world.

How long have you been involved in this field?
I first started carving erasers to be made into stamps in February 2008 after accidentally coming across a tutorial on the Internet. I then displayed the results of my attempts at eraser-carving on my blog and before I knew it, I began receiving orders from online acquaintances.

Is this a part-time career?
For me, eraser-carving started out as a hobby. I am still in the process of learning, but because I am constantly getting orders from customers, I can say that it has gradually turned into a part-time career.

How would you describe the returns from such an effort?
Because almost all the orders I receive involve the process of creating the pattern and the design, the work is definitely time-consuming. As for the income that I get from my effort, I can say that it is rather irregular as it depends largely on the amount of time that can be used to produce the stamp. The process of carving an eraser that is to be made into a stamp takes about one to three hours, and this does not include the process of sketching, discussion with the customer, the process of tracing, cutting the wood block and so on.

Where do the ideas for the design come from?
I play around a lot with the ideas that I have in mind but of course imagination alone is never enough. I also do a bit of research on the Internet and I also refer to books. I believe that if we are keen observers, anything aound us can be used as a source of inspiration.

What are the advantages of the eraser-based stamp?
The hand-made eraser-based stamp that I produce is a unique or one-of-a-kind product. Its uniqueness also lies in the fact that I produce specific designs according to the needs of my customers. Another advantage of the hand-carved stamp is that it has deeper grooves, thus making it suitable for claywork. With hand-carved stamps, we are also able to produce different stamping effects. They are definitely not the same as machine-made stamps but they are unique.

What are the challenges you face in this field?
One of the challenges is finding erasers in large sizes. However, this problem can be solved as we can also use other medium/materials, known as Linoleum. It is available in the form of blocks or sheets. I am actually more comfortable with erasers. Admittedly, some Linoleum blocks do have the texture and surface that really resemble those of erasers but unfortunately they are not sold in Malaysia. Of course, they can be bought online but the cost is rather prohibitive as the transaction involves US dollars. Linoleum sheets can sometimes be obtained from shops selling craft equipment but the textured surface makes it rather difficult for me to make pencil markings as a guide for carving. It also has a different stamping effect compared to the use of erasers but it has its own advantages, especially in terms of size and durability.


+fnajiha said...

wow! task yang i takkan mampu nak buat.. congratulations haslina! mango, have u received the design i emailed? ;)

iYda Juhar said...

clap!! Clap!!