Craftsman Zay Yar presents handicrafts at his workroom in Yangon, Myanmar, Aug. 20, 2019. Zay Yar is a craftsman who has been making wooden miniatures of vehicles dated back to bygone era in Myanmar's largest city Yangon for three years. Being into old generations' vehicles produced around World War II and were broadly used as public transports in Myanmar, Zay Yar initiated his model making hobby in 2016 after working at a auto body shop for a decade. (Xinhua/U Aung)
by Khin Zar Thwe
YANGON, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Zay Yar is a craftsman who has been making wooden miniatures of vehicles dated back to bygone era in Myanmar's largest city Yangon for three years.
Being into old generations' vehicles produced around World War II and were broadly used as public transports in Myanmar, Zay Yar initiated his model making hobby in 2016 after working at a auto body shop for a decade.
"My crafts are mainly made of timber woods which are easy to carve. Model making is not that difficult for me as I am familiar with automobiles since my childhood days," Zay Yar told Xinhua.
"My father was a driver and most of my childhood was spent on cars. My love on vehicles blossomed since that time and I decided to create mini-versions of models that I grew up with," Zay Yar said.
Three years on, compulsive collectors are chasing after his crafts which are well-known for detailedness, making him often booked for next two months.
Models of the miniatures handcrafted by him range from Mazda K360, B 360, B 600, three-wheeled vehicle to Hino's BM, TE and Chevrolet buses and old Dodge trucks which are disappearing from the market in Myanmar, with prices ranging from at least 70,000 kyats (46.7 U.S. dollars) to 200,000 kyats (133.3 U.S. dollars).
Collecting miniatures by adults is not uncommon and so his clients include those who want to preserve old memories of public transports which are fading away from Myanmar these days.
"I'm fond of old generations' models, especially those in 1932-35, but I'm not into the latest generations of these days," said Zay Yar.
About 90 percent of his miniature models are made of wood and some parts including steering wheels are made of iron plates and bronze.
"It takes at least about five days to make one model as some of the orders need to be precise-detailed with working steering and opening doors," he said.
Every part of miniature cars are designed and handcrafted by him, even wheels, and real car color spray is used to paint his models.
Zay Yar's efforts have been paid off as customers admire his craftsmanship. "The quality of his latest products reflects the improvements of his skills and his model cars look closest to the real ones," Zwe Ko Ko Myint, one of the customers of craftsman Zay Yar, told Xinhua.
"I have six or seven models of his products since 2017 and of them, the most expensive one cost around 180,000 kyats (120 U.S. dollars)," he added.
The 39-year-old Zay Yar has his daily working schedule -- from early morning till 5 p.m. "I stop working at night as I'm afraid if my neighbours are disturbed by sounds from my machines," he said.
Despite having orders from many collectors, Zay Yar has no intention of expanding this business, accepting at most 10 orders and producing no more than four miniatures in a month.