Sunday, June 24, 2012


Fingers began to plays rhythm and circular pattern movement from the hands of a craftsman. Pretty, unique and exotic but unfortunately pottery has just superannuated.
The activity of people who were harvesting their rice seemed so simple but still it stunned our eyes when we watched it.
We were once astonished when seeing it. A view with philosophy of peace and prosperity which comes down from God. We would like stay any longer but what can we say? We must go back on the track which full of rocks.
After approximately an hour trip from the center town of Garut, finally we arrived in Sandang Village, Cangkuang District, Garut.
Again, we were astonished watching the green view of this fascinating scenery. The air was still fresh. The river was also still clear, flowing calmly as if it resignedly followed the current to the midriff. The birds chirped to each other as if they were welcoming our arrival.
Our partner seemed impatient to capture the beauty of the nature with his favorite camera.
Sandang Gentong Village is one of the settlements where the people work as pottery craftsman from generation to generation.
One of them, Istiqomah or commonly called as Iis who has been sustained her ancestor’s tradition as a craftsman for 20 years. Pottery is a name used to call clay materials which are baked with certain temperature degree.
This two-child mom admitted that she gained the skill purely from observing and trying out and also from hereditary gift. “In the beginning, it was difficult to make pottery, beside that it requires great patience, mood that we feel plays important role in the making process”, said Iis (32 years old) to Health n Tourism.
Iis added that when we are in the bad mood then the result would be broken into smithereens or ‘Pagujud teu Pararuguh’ (Sundanese language). As if our hands could talk, expressing what was inside our heart.
The tools being used were quite simple. Iis and the people around the Sandang Gentong Village didn’t need paddle and wheel as the rotator. They depended merely on the skill of their hands in processing clay dough into ready to use goods like jars d mortar. Indeed, they deserve the epithet “tenacious and skillful craftsmen”.
In the process, they only used three kinds of supporting tools, they were: wooden boards the platform, carving tool from bamboo skin, and softener made from stone. The function of the platform was to put the dough which was ready to form based on the shape of the desired object. The platform could be rotated to the left or right in accordance to the desired shape pattern. We can say that the platform has the same function with the rotator.
The carving tool was made Bamboo skin with different size of circular shape. It served as the carver of the inside or outside part of the object surface so that it would have flat surface. The softener made from stone served as smoother for the surface. After that, the object was dried. The baking process took only 4-6 hours.
The weather could be a good friend and enemy as well for the craftsmen since the drying process really depended on the solar energy. When the waeher was good, the drying process could be done within one day. “Sometimes weather often became an obstacle when we were working with deadline doing large numbers of orders”, said Iis.
Unfortunately, the distribution for these pottery crafts is limited since technologically people needs are fulfilled with various products of factories. A question raised in my mind, how to save this scarce pottery making tradition from extinction. ES
source: Tourism and Health Magazine

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