Even though times have turned modern and sophisticated, pottery, the objects made from clay, are still around the life of Balinese people. Understandably, these objects function more as ceremonial objects. On that account, pottery craftsmen at Banjar Basang Tamiang, Kapal Village, Mengwi Subdistrict, Badung, are still sustainable today. For instance, Adi Putra is one of the local pottery craftsmen. This pottery business is now being continued by young people who do not want the tradition of making pottery to disappear with time.
I Putu Agus Adi Putra, is the name of this creative young man. He is always enthusiastic about continuing the business started by his ancestors. This business has been passed down from his ancestors until now. “Honestly, I don’t know which generation of pottery makers I am. Since birth, I have discovered the family culture of making ceremonial tools made from clay. Moreover, the school fees come from the results of this pottery craft,” said Agus Adi Putra in the middle of his pottery making activity, Thursday (Nov 16).
The type of pottery made is especially used in traditional and religious ceremonies, such as cremation ceremonies, mamukur, mekarya and other rituals. All ceremonial equipment in particular is made from this clay which continues to be carried out. “In today’s millennial era, it is quite difficult to find new generation to make this type of pottery. Therefore, the existing goods cannot be made as before. Now it’s just barely. I, who usually burn pottery, must be willing to share with other pottery burners. Apart from making pottery, we also provide a pottery kiln,” he said.
To get good quality pottery, the firing process is very important. Once the pottery is finished, it cannot be burned immediately because the clay is still covered in water, it must be dried in the sun. However, during the rainy season like now, it has to be dried using a furnace. The method is that not all the potteries are put inside the furnace. Only a few are warmed under sunlight. Once dry, they are then put back into the burning container until they are approximately one meter high.
If the pottery is of small size, such as coblong, junpere, caratan and others, the furnace can hold around two thousand pieces in one combustion. In contrast to large-sized pottery, such as sende, ari-ari, pane and others, of course the quantity is smaller. After the heating process is complete, and the pottery is completely dry, which is usually indicated by no more smoke, the firing process continues for two hours.
Even though the combustion has been as much as possible, the results will not be as smooth as expected. Of course, there will be some that are not red because of the lack of heat from the fire. There is also a black color which also lacks fire. “Red pottery means that it is baked perfectly. We then package them, especially small potteries, and they are ready to be sent to the market. Similarly, there are people who come here to look for it. The point is that even though many people come here, we still make and burn, so that we have stock,” said the musician.
Agus Adi Putra further added that almost all of the residents in Banjar Basang Tamiang, Kapal, work as pottery makers. This has been done for generations. However, after the development of tourism and other things, several pottery craftsmen had no successors. “According to old people’s stories, the residents in our Banjar (hamlet) were almost 100 percent involved in the field of pottery making. Now, it is extremely different where only around 70-80 percent of them remain to survive. Many young people leave the village to try their luck,” he explained.
Then, he himself admitted that he was very serious about pursuing this business. After graduating from the Information Technology Vocational School (SMK), he immediately took over to replace his parents. “I chose this job because it can be done from home. Moreover, as a Balinese community member who has a family, we have to be involved in social works such as menyama braya and ngayah. On that account, I chose this business to continue the legacy of my ancestors,” concluded this man seriously. (BTN/015)