CERAMIC VILLAGE IN MALANG

Ceramic Village in Malang is an interesting option of Malang activities. It is located in Dinoyo and also known from its old name, Betek. In 1957 there was a ceramic factory in this area. The building is still there. It is a quite big factory but I couldn’t enter it when I was there.

Ceramic Village

This factory is closed about seven years ago (2004). The reason was not clear but they thought because of the mismanagement. There is a very big banyan tree inside the front yard of the old factory which gives lots of shadow to the area and a bit mysterious effect.

Closed Ceramic factory in Malang

Closed Ceramic factory in Malang


When the factory was closed, more ex-workers of that factory started to make ceramic for their own shops or just opened a shop to sell ceramics. So that’s the beginning of ceramic village here. In this village you see small shops of homemade ceramics on both sides of the street.

The shop that I visited is owned by Mr. Syamsul. He started the shop in 1988 and he is the president of the association of the shops in the village. Behind his shop is a working area where the ceramics are made. The main material is mixture of different materials. Some comes from other cities close to Malang, like Blitar and some is from far away, like Belitung, a small island at South Sumatra.

The front side of Mr. Syamsul’s ceramic shop

First they used kerosene as fuel and traditional stove. It caused lots of pollution and then they change it to LPG.

Mr. Syamsul told me about steps of making ceramic. Here are they :

  1. Mixing the material
    The raw materials are kaolin, felspard, kwarsa and ball clay. You mix them and add water. The mixture is the main material.

    the material

    the mixture of the raw material

  2. Filtering
    The mixture must be filtered to get the smooth one. Here are filters they use.

    Filters

  3. Forming
    Pour the mixture in a cast. Then pour the rest out of the cast. Wait till it dries. It will take some time. Then take the cast out. Refine the ceramic with water and let it dry.

    Forming the material

    The ceramic are ready to be baked

  4. Firing
    They put the ceramic in the oven which has heat till 1.220 degrees Celcius. Hmmm… clear warning to stay away from it. It takes 10 hours for firing and 24 hours for cooling down. During the cooling down the door of the oven must be opened a bit. After 24 hours you can take them out of the oven.

    Mr. Syamsul in front of the oven

    The oven is open for cooling down

  5. Decorating
    You can decorate them with colors or drawing you want. For his ceramic Mr. Syamsul uses oxidant coloring so it will not brake in high temperature. Before decorating it must be refined first.

    Finishing the formed ceramic

    Working on decorating

    and....it's finished

Mr. Syamsul makes different kinds of ceramic; cups, cups coaster, vase, oil burner with different sizes, etc.

He sells the ceramics just for domestic market because he does not yet have the ability to produce it in bulks for export. He hopes to be able to make it happen in the future.

The ceramic are ready to be baked

The vases are ready to be baked

You can place your order in this ceramic village. Depending on the form the number of minimum order is 100-200 pieces. If they have to make a new cast for your order it will take 2 months. If you use the cast they already have then it will take 1 month.

Mr. Syamsul has also workshop for people (children and adults) who wants to learn making ceramic in different period, 3 days or 1 week or 1 month. But he also offers a short workshop for school students. It takes 3 hours and costs Rp 20,000/child and minimum 10 children. You don’t have to bring anything, all tools are available there. At the time that you read this story the price might be changed. For more information you can contact Mr. Akbar, the contact person, at his cell phone 085259234923. The name of the shop is Cendera Mata Syamsul Arifin and the phone number is +62-341-580562.

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