Ceramics, Stone Carving & Clay Products – High Quality Arts To Find in Java
In Central Java lies the city of Yogjakarta. The “Special Region of Yogyakarta” is a province of Indonesia on the island of Java. It is the only province in Indonesia that is still formally governed by a precolonial Sultanate. Here, hundreds and hundreds of small and large factories can be found, producing accessories, stone carving articles handmade of natural mountain stone (e.g. lava stone, limestone, sandstone) as well as clay & ceramic items, mainly clay pot or ceramics vases.
There is a temple to be found in very close proximity to Yogjakarta: the ancient Buddhist stone temple of Borobudur, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in the world. It was built to resemble a microcosm of the universe and its purpose was to provide a visual image of the teachings of the Buddha. Reliefs depicting the life of the Buddha cover the upper half of the main wall all around the first gallery of the monument, a total of 120 panels.
These reliefs were carved to illustrate a text entitled the Lalitavistara, “The Unfolding of the Play.” In the period 600 AD to 800 AD there was a golden age of temple construction throughout India, Ceylon and South East Asia. It was a time when Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished and men raised magnificent monuments to heaven in praise of their gods.
In Yogjakarta, similar reliefs and much more (e.g. Sculptures, Lamps, Reliefs of Borobudur, Elephants, Statues, Vases, Buddhas, Lava stone, sand stone, limestone items, Garden & Landscaping items, Pillars, Wells & Fountains) are offered by the local craft shops, and buyers of the products will be impressed about the professional skills of the masons, and especially about the variety of stone and clay & ceramic products they are able to produce with their bare hands.
The local craftsmen sit together in dusty rooms, or even under the blazing sun, and swing their hammers down to their chisels to form figures out of the bare stone blocks. They sweat together in hot clay factories, firing the ovens to harden the material, and color, sand and polish their precious products. One is tempted to just grab some items right now, as gracefully hand carved pieces can be seen everywhere.
The international buyer in Yogjakarta is encouraged to purchase in bulk, otherwise the overall costs for both the seller and the buyer are too high. Regarding the packing and shipping of the products a simple but reliable system is in place: the fragile and sometimes quite large ceramic and stone products are wrapped and then a wooden frame is constructed to hold and protect the object during shipment. The items will then be sent north, to Java’s port of Semarang, and from there being shipped to anywhere in the world.