Carpentry is such a handy skill to have and will always be a needed skill. Though a lot of people have started using plastics and synthetic materials, wood is something that is irreplaceable. The vintage wooden framing and custom wooden furniture gives a very homely atmosphere to any structure. To be a good carpenter, one should have the ability to use their imagination and master a particular niche. There a lot of clients out there searching for quality woodwork as well as carpenters to help them repurpose and up-cycle.
Carpentry is such a self satisfying job and most carpenters genuinely look forward to each day’s work. They enjoy creating things with their hands while using plenty of skill, precision, and creative ingenuity, making this an art in itself. More importantly, carpenters put their hearts into their jobs and are committed to building things that are meant to last. Today we caught up with a dedicated and passionate carpenter from Goa, Abdul Aziz Makandar, who has been creating art through carpentry since the age of 16 years. Knowing the opportunities he did not have growing up, Abdul now helps people from his community find employment as well. Abdul takes on any challenge and work thrown at him and ensures that the job is done well. Learn more about this journey below.
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How long have you been in Goa?
My family moved to Goa in 1976 from Savanur in Dharwad Karnataka. We moved to Chimbel in Goa white was very young. My father was a carpenter and came to Goa in search of work as he saw opportunities here. I have been living in Chimbel ever since then and now I’m happily married and have a family of my own.
Coming from a different state, how were you able to adjust in Goa especially with the language?
Initially it was difficult to communicate as our mother toungue is Kannada. We knew Hindi pretty well and would speak in Hindi to communicate. By working with many people who knew Konkani, I was able to pick up the language by asking questions and attempting to speak Konkani. I have a knack for picking up languages and I love exploring. I also managed to learn a little Marathi over the years by just listening to others speak and trying to put the words into the context.
What got you interested in Carpentry?
I helped my father with his carpentry work growing up since the age of 16 years. I was fascinated by how we could make such wonderful looking objects with wood and then my interest for the profession just grew. I picked up most of my skills from my self taught father.
How did you improve your skills over the years?
After learning a lot from my father, I later started working at Modern Furniture in Panjim. I used to earn just Rs. 2 per day but I knew that the experience would help me improve my skills. I trained with other senior carpenters as a helper in sawing and cutting wood. I observed how they worked and just picked up on that.
According to you, what skills should a good carpenter have?
A good carpenter should have good observational skills to be able to understand a problem quickly and then have the ability to fix it efficiently. The willingness to experiment is very important because then only you will be willing to take risks and come up with new innovative ways to do your work.
What do you like most about your job?
The woodwork! Being able to create finished products as well as seeing my customers more than satisfied with my work makes me love this job. Yes, it does not pay much but I am happy doing something that I am so passionate about. I just love putting together a bed, wooden showcases and dining tables and giving my own twist to the final design.
Is carpentry a dying profession in Goa?
With a lot of people opting for aluminium windows, work for my community has reduced. Today, we also get ready made wood work. I work alone through references and hence it is difficult getting work sometimes. Hence, I recently started taking an interest into masonry work.
What opportunities do you wish you had as a carpenter?
I wish was exposed or had the means to apply for training sessions in carpentry. If I did have the finances for the same, I am certain I would be able to compete or at least have myself employed in the commercial market.
What do customers like most about your work?
My customers love my fun and outgoing nature. They appreciate my work and the flexibility that I bring along in terms of time as well as commercials.
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