Mas village in Ubud has indeed been famous for its wood crafts since long time ago. However, not far from the village, there is a village producing wooden art crafts. This area is known as Dangin Labak hamlet, Singakerta village, Ubud. The artisans in this region develop because of the growing impact of Mas village that has first become a tourist destination. In addition, the highway in the region becomes the connecting path to the tourist objects in Ubud. Even though these two villages are located adjacent, the yields of wooden handicrafts produced are much different.
One of the wood crafters on Jalan Raya Dangin Labak, I Made Kartu, said that his sculpture work was indeed different from those produced at the neighboring villages. “Actually, the artisans at this village purchase wood material at Mas village. However, the size of the wood we order belongs to smaller ones. So the works of art we create are mostly the miniature form,” he said. Although being in the form of miniatures, this craftsman who had learned to carve since his childhood explained their works remained to have its own characteristics and uniqueness because in Gianyar the sculpture village was not only one. “The sculpture craft has been developing at this village since 1980. Our distinctive sculpture is dolphin. Meanwhile, most of the neighboring villages create sculptures in the form of lizard and crocodile,” he explained.
In addition to dolphins, continued Made Kartu, small sculptures in the form of miniature also became our hallmark. “Most of the miniatures we make are the sculpture of Buddha, gods and goddesses in the puppet story, eagle, human beings especially women, face, transportation, frame and animals. The most in demand is the Buddha sculpture,” said the man from Tampaksiring. Although it was classified into miniature, he said, the making was somewhat complicated because it should be done more carefully especially in the making of gods or goddess sculpture having many designs. “To complete a small sculpture takes me one day, starting from the making of shape, sculpting and sanding,” he said.
The handmade sculpture averagely applied natural color as that of the wood material. He could also adjust the color to the demand of buyers. “We also purchase some sculptures from outside the village because it will take me quite long time if making alone. Therefore, we have to order in other places so that my art shop will not be empty and lacks of sculpture,” he explained.
He said the quality of sculpture here was also good and no less slick, both in terms of material and design. “Today, we also bring in wood material from Java like mahogany, albizia, lian, karnikara and teak. Meanwhile, the price of our products is really standard, ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of rupiahs,” he said.
The sculptures were mostly functioned as decoration. “These miniatures are mostly used for indoor decoration like in guest room, bedroom and wall as well as put on the table. Our major customers are hotels and restaurants. For example, it is usually placed in the front office desk,” he said. Made Kartu added that so far he had never directly exported his handicrafts to overseas. His buyers were mostly foreign travelers who passed through his art shop and then stopped by and made a purchase. Most of them were from Australia and Europe. Local buyers from Bali rarely purchased his products except those for from hotels and restaurants. Meanwhile, those from Java particularly Jakarta are goodly,” he added. (BTN/Ocha)