INTRODUCTION TO LOMBOK'S UNIQUE POTTERY
Earthenware ceramics represent one of the most ancient craft traditions of Indonesia. Traditionally, pottery in Lombok was used in the village household to store rice, water salt and spices.
Penujak, Banyumulek and Masbagik are the three main villages in Lombok where the pottery comes from. These villages had their own distinct styles and methods which were further developed and improved under the aid plan to an extent that now their pottery products are exported around the world.
In Penujak village for example, women makes the shape of the pots and men decorating them when they were half dry and proceed on baking and finalize them with additional methode. The decoration it self is quite specific to the pots origin in Penujak their specialty is to the design all their earthenware with gecko motifs their special mark. Banyumulek village uses rattan and old coins to decorate their products and Masbagik, being near the sea, uses the star fish motif.
Making the pots is not simple at all; in fact it is a length and complicated process to make one simple pot and this complexity increases with specific orders from buyers. The clay comes from hills nearby these three main villages, where it is brought to the potter's home by horse-drawn cart. The clay can't be used immediately and has to be inspected to ensure there aren't any stones or other impurities in it.
It is then cut into small cubes and dried in the sun. The first step takes three to four days. when the clay cubes are dried, they are pounded into a clay flour, and stored before being used as a dough. What is fascinating to see is that there is no potter's wheel. Instead, layers are continually added to the original piece of dough while the maker herself moves around the object pressing it into the desired shape. although the final shape is apparent the post is not nearly ready. It is now given to someone else for decorating.
The pots are then left in the shade to dry while waiting for the next step in the process which is the varnishing. The pots are varnished with a mixture of coconuts oil and another special type of clay which comes from a different village. Different colours are produced from different clays. The pots are again left to dry before they are scraped with a black stone so that the surface becomes shiny and ready for the next drying process. This takes places in the hot sun and takes almost a full day; it even involves a brushing in the steaming hot midday sun which further improves the luster.
For more selections of Lombok Pottery, please visit our sponsors partner in art and crafts:
"Bring Indonesia style to your country, move your home around the world."
Art & Crafts Division
Montong Kedaton Blok A/7 Meninting Batu Layar
Lombok Barat NTB 83355 Indonesia
Phone: + 62 370 643 517, Fax: + 62 370 643 517