Getting to Know More Indonesian Craft Artists


Before delving further into the artisans in Indonesia, it’s a good idea to know a little bit more about art. Art is a word with a million meanings that can affect the feelings of others, because it is expressed through a real medium. A life has a close relationship with all forms of art, both pure art and applied art.

Pure art and applied art have differences in terms of type, function, form and examples. In short, pure art is the result of work made by an artist who is solely made to enjoy its beauty, without being able to be used for daily activities. Meanwhile, applied art is a type of art whose work can be used to help human activities. In addition to containing aesthetic value, applied art must also consider other aspects such as safety, comfort and use value.

In this article, we will explore one part of pure art, namely a craft or handicraft art that has a functional value or what is known as craftsmanship.

What is craftsmanship?

It is a skill in making a product of artistic value which is carried out by the skilled hands of a craftsman or artisan artist. The products produced from these crafts are generally exclusive and have superior values both functionally and aesthetically.

So, have you ever thought about how a handicraft is made? It turns out that most of the objects around us, both functional and decorative, such as furniture, clothing, accessories, household appliances, are made by hand with raw materials that are processed from our natural resources, you know!

Indonesia is one of the countries that is productive in producing various handicrafts, because it is blessed with abundant natural wealth. This makes more or less of the Indonesian population, choose a profession as a craftsman.

One of the interesting and widely used handicrafts for daily needs is woodworking. In fact, various types of wood originating from the wealth of forests in Indonesia are of very superior quality. This is a source of interest for wood artists who come from the countryside, to be able to take advantage of it. They are people with high creativity who have the idea of ​​skills, thus creating a term, namely craftsmanship.

Did you know that the number 1 person in Indonesia was once a craftsman?

For some people, maybe not many have heard of a success story about a craftsman who came from the number one person in Indonesia, namely President Ir. H. Joko Widodo or Jokowi.


Jokowi is a graduate of the Department of Forestry, Faculty of Forestry, Gadjah Mada University. After graduating in 1985, he worked at the state-owned company PT Kertas Kraft Aceh, and was placed in the Merkusii Pine Forest area in the Gayo Highlands, Central Aceh. He migrated for two years to the island of Sumatra to raise capital to build his own business. However, after wandering for two years he decided to return to his hometown in Solo and work in his uncle, Miyono’s business, under the banner of CV Roda Jati.

Long before that, Jokowi lived life with all the difficulties he experienced, he was forced to trade, motorcycle taxis, and became a porter to find his own school needs and daily pocket money. When other children go to school by bicycle, he chooses to keep walking. He inherited his carpentry skills from his father, he started working as a sawmill at the age of 12. Jokowi learned to be independent from a young age, a tenacious and painstaking effort made Jokowi deepen his hobby and love of making furniture, which he did while listening to his favorite classical rock music.

Jokowi’s skills as a carpenter can be said to be reliable. He is good at making furniture, furniture for offices, houses from wood. In fact, “the quality presented by Jokowi is at the level of export quality, you know!” Said one who was at his house, precisely in the city of Solo. This skill made him famous internationally, until a French businessman named Bernard Chene first met him in 1999 to order furniture. The businessman used to call him Jokowi, while his relatives and friends used to call him Joko.

With his honesty and hard work, he earned his trust and was able to travel around Europe which opened his eyes. “My business is still running. My company exports furniture to Europe, America, and now a lot of them to Korea and Japan. So I know very well the ins and outs of doing business”.

From this inspiring story, we find evidence that the existence and role of the forest product industry, such as wood raw materials, has a quality that cannot be doubted, so that it can be used for the needs of human life. Keep in mind that not all types of wood can be used, you know! If you are interested in getting out of your comfort zone and trying your luck to become a wood craftsman, it’s a good idea to first learn about the types of wood that you can use.

6 Types of wood from Indonesia that are often used for craftsmanship

Wood material is commonly used for furniture, buildings, products or crafts. The climate and soil that occurs in Indonesia are very supportive of the growth of various vegetation that produces various variants of strong and good wood. In fact, the exploitation of timber in Indonesia has been going on even before independence. Until now, the land has been damaged because the wood has been looted. Nevertheless, we can still find a lot of wood today because the wood continues to be cultivated, its distribution is controlled by the government through strict regulations, the wood is used by the community for various purposes and some of it can be purchased at material stores. wood in various places. Here are 6 types of Indonesian wood that you should know and you may often find.

1. Teak Wood


You must have often heard or even seen Teak Wood. This type of wood in Indonesia, which has the title of strong wood, is often the benchmark for quality wood materials for many people. Teak wood has a characteristic general color of brown with dark brown veins. The distance between one another is a little sparse. Teak wood was brought to Indonesia around 1800 by the Dutch to Indonesia. It thrives in several hot areas on the island of Java, from West Java to East Java. High quality teak wood is usually supplied by areas that have hot temperatures and calcareous soils such as in Central Java.

Teak wood has a hardness between 630-720 Kgs/M3 and is known for its strength and density which affect the durability of this wood. The oil in teak wood is thought to make it more termite resistant. In addition, the small pores cause this wood to be very smooth in finishing. Teak wood density makes it a favorite wood for carving.

With the various characters mentioned earlier, teak wood is very suitable to be used as classy furniture and carving materials.

2. Maple Wood


Maple wood is produced from Maple Trees that store it is unique, because the color of the leaves can change depending on the season in which it grows. This tree grows a lot in America and has become the main export product from that country. Maple trees can grow anywhere and even in our country there are many people who cultivate trees with these beautiful leaves. Maple trees are also traded from seeds to trees with a height of about 2 meters as decoration.

Many people like and buy Maple trees because of their beautiful leaf color and want to see the process of changing leaf color firsthand. Maple tree seeding process is very long and the fastest is 40 days to 120 days. Seedling methods must also be carried out systematically, because if you only plant seeds on the ground, it will take years for the seeds to grow and the shoots to be visible.

Maple wood has 2 types of materials, namely hard and soft. This type of wood comes from 2 different trees so the level of hardness is also not the same. Hard Maple wood comes from trees that have broad leaves, while soft Maple wood has oval leaves. Of course, hard wood for various needs such as flooring and others. Meanwhile, soft wood is usually used for carving and carving needs such as guitars or home decoration.

Maple wood is also the choice of raw material for making wooden watches, because the shape is very strong and looks beautiful and natural. It is very suitable to be applied to accessories so that it looks more beautiful. The price of Maple wood is also economical so that it becomes an alternative to using materials from Cherry Wood.

3. Meranti Wood


Meranti wood is also known as Kalimantan wood. This type of wood is often used to make frames, furniture and panels. The nickname Kayu Kalimantan was obtained because although it can grow in various regions in Indonesia as a tropical country, Meranti Wood grows best in the Kalimantan area. Meranti trunks can grow up to 70 meters in diameter and can reach more than 4 meters. Meranti wood has a Latin language, namely Mahogany Philippines, if you look closely, Meranti wood is reddish brown and without grain. You will find Meranti Wood sold in material stores as boards or rafters. Meranti wood has a hardness between 580-770 Kgs/m

Apart from being a building material and furniture, Meranti wood can also be used as pulp for paper and Tengkawang fruit from several types of Meranti can be used as raw material for cosmetics.

4. Albasia Wood


Sengon or Albasia wood is a type of Indonesian wood that is typical of the tropics and can be easily found in various material stores in the form of rafters or boards. Albasia wood is a soft wood and it is difficult to finish directly, its hairy character and large pores and easy to break make this wood cannot be directly used as a product-making material. However, the increasing demand for Albasia from year to year provides evidence that the uses and benefits that producers are aware of for this wood are also getting wider. In fact, this easy-to-handle wood is used as the main material for the manufacture of processed wood such as plywood and blockboard, ice cream sticks, pencils, matches and raw materials for paper.

We often find Albasia wood planks and beams as temporary and buffer building materials, used for packing on shipping or pallets for goods. The color is dirty white mixed with brown without veins, large pores and soft.

5. Sandal Wood


The first impression you get on Sandalwood is that it smells good. This type of Indonesian wood, which is often used as raw material for incense and handicraft products, is actually not a tall tree, and can even be called a parasite. Sandalwood tree only grows up to 15 meters with a trunk diameter of only 30 cm, difficult to cultivate and takes a long time to be harvested but is in great demand in the market making this wood relatively expensive, even sold in kilograms in Indonesia White sandalwood can thrive in the NTT (East Nusa Tenggara) area and has been an export commodity for a long time.

Sandalwood which is converted into handicraft and furniture products should not be coated, but instead left plain so that the fragrance of this Sandalwood can be enjoyed when interacting with the product. This wood is very good and sturdy to be used as furniture and has a high economic value both at home and abroad.

6. Ebony Wood


Ebony wood has the Latin name Diospyros Celebica which is reportedly quite rare. The combination of black and brown with contrasting veins on the Indonesian wood species known as Macassar Ebony and Black Ebony makes it a wood that is highly sought after by the Japanese, Europeans and Americans. This timber export activity reached its peak in 1973 with a total of 26,000 m3 and continues to decline until now it has been designated by the IUCN and 2000 WCN (World Conservation Union) Red List of Threatened Species as protected wood.

This exotic wood with veins is often used as raw material for making musical instruments such as guitars, pianos and violins. This wood is also used as sticks, carvings, statues and jewelry.

Ebony wood is increasingly popular because various objects that use the wood go through the stages of hand work or factory processing that is maintained in quality. Ebony wood is the hunt of every collector, even though the price is very fantastic. In fact, the Japanese people make this ebony material a symbol of economic status.

Business people in Indonesia, have started to utilize Ebony Wood as a raw material in the fashion sector because it has a durable resistance and looks smooth and looks perfect without having to be polished by machine or hand a lot. In essence, Ebony Wood is no less famous than Teak Wood!

In addition to learning about the types of wood, you are also required to preserve it! Do not use wood materials without replanting the forest or what is known as reforestation.

If you are finally interested in becoming a craftsman, you can look for inspiration through a local brand in Indonesia. MATOA is here as a pioneer and a place for creative actors to use Ebony Wood and Maple Wood as quality wooden watch accessories.

The results of the creations of the two wood materials are also very diverse, you know! You can see more at MATOA Indonesia.

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