Interventional approach to plaque design in Ghana; Tafo cemetery for a study

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June, 2016
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Plaques have been used in Ghana for many years. They have been used to commemorate buildings, monuments and the dead. In spite of the numerous purposes they serve and their usage in the country, it is one of the profitable local industries that much attention has not been given to. The advocacy for developing small scale industries to reduce unemployment rate in the country is of paramount importance to every nation, which the local plaque industry is no exception. However, a major setback identified in the local plaque industry, specifically on plaques produced at Tafo cemetery is that, “the text on the base material fades easily” debasing the desired effect of the plaque; imperatively, plaque is supposed to last for a lifetime to be able to serve its intended purposes. Moreover, findings made reveal that no proper research work has been done to study the local plaque industry to explore its avenues to see where it falls short and how it could be improved to support national development and livelihood. The researcher is of the view that developing the local plaque industry in terms of plaque production is another important ground for national development since it is one of the lucrative industries which when looked into will generate avenue for employment for the unemployed graduate artists and also improve the quality of plaque produced by the industry. It is in this light that this research into local plaque industry in Ghana has been done. The researcher adopted the experimental, descriptive and case study research methods based on the qualitative research approach for the study; this was used to analyze and describe the processes, methods employed to execute the project work as well as the experiments conducted in manipulating the selected materials, processes and techniques adopted through data collected towards the production of the sample plaque(s). The purposive sampling was iv employed to select artist or artisans who must have produced a plaque(s) for academic work/project or artists/artisans who produce plaques for commercial purpose. Simple random sampling was also used to select plaque buyers and scrap dealers. Moreover, the researcher used interview guide and observation as data collection instruments for the study. Findings made are as follows: 1. Aluminium and ceramics can be manipulated creatively to produce plaques 2. Silicone sealant can be used to create permanent text inscription on ceramic base 3. Anodize/painted aluminium can be used to create text that can resist corrosion 4. Metals can be used in their smaller quantities to make them unattractive for stealing.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Product Design Technology.