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Fiji Time: 10:08 AM on Sunday 20 April

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More than a hobby

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

SENIVALATI Nawawabalavu began making pottery about 20 years ago.

The 42-year-old Nakabuta villager said he started by experimenting and progressed into making jewellery using pottery more recently.

His little cottage industry is more than just a hobby — he makes a living out of fashioning pieces of clay into personal adornments.

"I make earrings and bracelets and have managed to grow my clientele and make a decent living out of it," he shared.

"We receive a lot of tours in our village, which is on the Valley Rd in Nadroga, and this steady flow of guests provides a good market for my crafts."

Mr Nawawabalavu received his Fijian Crafted licence at the Western Arts Fair on Saturday and said it not only raised the value of his handmade jewellery but also gave him a licence to teach pottery at schools.

"I realised that not every child will achieve academic excellence, so I began teaching pottery at schools in Nadroga.

"In this way, I am not only preserving the art of pottery making but also giving children an opportunity to start their own businesses," he said.

"Receiving my Fijian Crafted licence has allowed me to be recognised as an authentic Fijian craftsman and also as a teacher of Fijian art."

Fiji Crafted licensing is part of the government's Buy Fijian Made campaign.