Lord Robert Penrose
Hand-carved African masks and wood sculptures in West Africa
"I had to learn something to begin making a living and so I learned carving. This has brought me far, by God's grace.""Lord Robert Penrose is my name. I was born on June 7, 1967, in the Ashanti region of Ghana. My friends say I am quiet, hardworking and respectful.
"One day when I was in senior high, I came home from school only to hear that my dad has passed away. He was the breadwinner of the family. It was my dad who taught me how to sketch, since he was an artist.
"I had to learn something to begin making a living and so I learned carving. This has brought me far, by God's grace.
"To master this art, I had to practice how to sketch. And I had to carve more often.
"Starting on my own was very difficult because I didn't have enough capital to purchase materials. But I gradually got the materials bit by bit. I use sese wood which is usually easy to obtain.
"What I like best about wood carving is that I am able to create new designs, which shoppers really seem to like. However, it can be challenging to transport them to my work side.
"My inspirations come from God.
"In crafting, I look for uniqueness and good finishing, and so do the artisans who work with me. So far, I've taught seven people how to carve. Some of them were foreigners and some were from the university.
"I hope to build my own house one day and I dream of having a happy family. I'd love to teach many other people who are willing to learn wood carving."