Sunday June 24, 2012
Ahmad is still swinging the traditional way
By FARIK ZOLKEPLI
KUALA TERENGGANU: Traditional swings are rarely seen nowadays but master craftsman Ahmad Che Ali tries to ensure this art form lives on.
The third generation from his family to be involved in the business, Ahmad, 59, has been making swings for more than 30 years.
He explained that it takes between three and four weeks to complete a traditional swing.
“Making the swing requires patience and above all, creativity.
“Each swing that I make is different as it has its own pattern and uniqueness,” he said in an interview at his workshop in Pulau Duyong here yesterday.
“The process of making a swing is painstaking as the right size of wood must be chosen.
“I would usually use the kayu seraya for its beautiful shape and durability,” he said, adding that some swings even have a wooden balcony.
The swings are unique works of art and not mass produced.
“I make the swings based on orders from customers.
“I prefer that they meet me in person and discuss the kind of pattern and shapes they want,” he added.
Quality does not come cheap as Ahmad's traditional swings are priced between RM3,000 and RM5,000.
But he gives an assurance that customers will get their money's worth.
“It is very long-lasting and something that can be passed on from generation to generation,” he said.
Together with his brother Hassan, 65, Ahmad has ensured the legacy of his father Che Ali Ngah, who died 20 years ago, lives on.
“I owe my love of crafting swings to my father.
“I am thankful that I am able to carry on the family's legacy,” he said.