The Sequeira business is based north of Mumbai in Small Giriz village, nestled in the coconut trees and banana plantations of Vasai, once a stronghold of Portuguese colonials who brought with them Catholicism and carpentry skills. The family's gilding work has also won them accolades: their painstaking restoration of Mumbai's 140-year-old Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum helped it win a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award in 2005 for cultural heritage conservation. Word-of-mouth has helped their commissions to increase both at home and abroad. In their house sit two dozen crucifixes, with flashing red bulbs depicting dripping blood, which are destined for the Middle East. - Photos by AFP

The Sequeiras say they have planned for years to make their own sculptural memorial to Michael, the founder of the family business, but they are always too busy doing client work.
The Sequeiras say they have planned for years to make their own sculptural memorial to Michael, the founder of the family business, but they are always too busy doing client work.
Word-of-mouth has helped their commissions to increase both at home and abroad. In their house sit two dozen crucifixes, with flashing red bulbs depicting dripping blood, which are destined for the Middle East.
Word-of-mouth has helped their commissions to increase both at home and abroad. In their house sit two dozen crucifixes, with flashing red bulbs depicting dripping blood, which are destined for the Middle East.
Relatives of the late Andrew Machado, a dairy farmer, commissioned the Sequeiras to complete a full-length statue that now stands proudly at the entrance to his family home in Vasai.
Relatives of the late Andrew Machado, a dairy farmer, commissioned the Sequeiras to complete a full-length statue that now stands proudly at the entrance to his family home in Vasai.
The Sequeira business is based north of Mumbai in Small Giriz village, nestled in the coconut trees and banana plantations of Vasai, once a stronghold of Portuguese colonials who brought with them Catholicism and carpentry skills.
The Sequeira business is based north of Mumbai in Small Giriz village, nestled in the coconut trees and banana plantations of Vasai, once a stronghold of Portuguese colonials who brought with them Catholicism and carpentry skills.
After several decades of producing altars and effigies, they completed their first personal memorial about 20 years ago, and demand has surged in recent times.
After several decades of producing altars and effigies, they completed their first personal memorial about 20 years ago, and demand has surged in recent times.
The family
The family's gilding work has also won them accolades: their painstaking restoration of Mumbai's 140-year-old Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum helped it win a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award in 2005 for cultural heritage conservation.
The process begins with a clay modelling, checked several times by a family member to ensure the likeness.
The process begins with a clay modelling, checked several times by a family member to ensure the likeness.
It is then recreated in wood, costing 85,000 rupees ($1,600) for a bust, or in fibreglass for a cheaper 50,000 rupees
It is then recreated in wood, costing 85,000 rupees ($1,600) for a bust, or in fibreglass for a cheaper 50,000 rupees
?We have to have a lot of patience. It
?We have to have a lot of patience. It's not a fast-paced job,? said Benzoni's older brother Mingleshwar in their workshop, where body parts lie around like the limbs of giant dolls.
?Our work is very special. We
?Our work is very special. We're very satisfied at the end of the day,? said Benzoni. The business came from humble beginnings.

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