【明報專訊】Mak Ping Lam started making Chinese seals at the age of 19. Today, the 68-year-old is a master of engraving stone seals. Having learned the skill from his brother-in-law, he passed on the knowledge to his son, who works with him. His friendly personality along with his fluent English are a testament to the many people he has met over the years. Despite having been in the business for half a century, he has kept his tools simple: a few rusty knives, a small wooden vice, one scrap of sandpaper and the bottom half of a soda can as a ink tray. To make a seal, he finds the appropriate traditional Chinese characters for the job, drafts a 2cm by 2cm design, and draws a mirror image of it onto the base of the seal. Only then can he begin to etch1 it into stone. He must also find the best feng shui for the characters. While he concedes that the work does not pay well, he finds it interesting and enjoys the lifestyle.