Last year, Gaya Travel Magazine had collaborated with the Selangor State Government to organise the Kembara Kraf Selangor 2012, a familiarisation programme that focusses on Selangor handicrafts.
The objective of the programme is to introduce and promote handicrafts produced in Selangor, besides assisting the craft producers and entrepreneurs with the promotion of their products. Interestingly, Selangor is actually endowed with many handicrafts that are not yet known publicly.
For the past few years, the Selangor State government has put in effort to popularise and perpetuate Selangor handicrafts. As such, the state government had refurbished the Selangor Tourist Information Centre to also house Galeri Kraf Selangor, which showcases various handicraft products produced by skilled local craftsmen such as songket, pandanus bags and baskets, wood carvings and more, including information about the craftsmen, in case any visitor is interested to visit them and purchase their handicrafts.
This quaint gallery is the brainchild of UPEN Selangor (Selangor State Economic Planning Unit), which brought all Selangor handicraft products under one roof.
When it comes to batik in Malaysia, people normally associate this colourful and ornate textile with the state of Kelantan. Little did we know that Selangor also has a centre for batik-making. D’Har Sdn. Bhd.: AD Rahman Designer Batik, located in Batu Caves, is owned by the accomplished batik designer, Abdul Rahman, who has ventured into many different aspects of the batik business.
The AD Rahman Batik Collection incorporates traditional designs with a modern twist. His creations had been showcased all over the world and also made available at Harrods, the famous London-based retailer.
Pewter is one handicraft product that is unique to Selangor. East Art Enterprise, a pewter company located in Rawang and established in June 2004, boasts products that are also retailed at Harrods department store in London. Its range of pewter products includes traditional and modern fashion accessories, home decorative items, gifts and souvenirs. East Art Enterprise had also received the Best Craft Product Award conferred by Kraftangan Malaysia.
Also offering nifty gifts and souvenirs, Unggul Art and Design Sdn. Bhd. is a company that makes and produces souvenirs, located in Bandar Baru Bangi. From fridge magnets to pen holders, Unggul Art and Design offers many kinds of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) souvenir items from awards and medals to corporate gifts.
Laman Kraf Tani (loosely translated as Agricultural Craft Garden), started way back in September 1999 and offers artworks based on dried and pressed flowers and plants. The bubbly owner, Madam Esiah, produces and makes her pressed flower artworks, which are popular and sold locally and internationally.
Visitors are welcome to drop by at Laman Kraf Tani in Kampung Sungai Lang Tengah in Kuala Langat to not only admire Madam Esiah’s products but also to enjoy the greenery of the place.
For handicrafts that are more contemporary, Attitude Planet of Art or A.P.A. is located within the Department of Agriculture Incubation Centre in Hulu Langat, Selangor. One thing that makes the A.P.A. different from other producers is that the company uses recycled items to produce their products such as candleholders, napkin ring and artificial flowers.
The company owners, Benji and Sam, only utilises recyclable materials so as to lessen the negative effect on the environment, apart from showing that attractive and elegant decorative items can also be produced using recyclable items.
Qistina Wood Craft is another company that produces and sells handicrafts based on carved wood, founded by Rostam Affandi Abdul Rashid, a former engineer who quit his high-paying career to become a wood carver and sculptor back in 1994. Amazingly, Rostam neither had any formal knowledge nor background in wood-carving.
Operating his business from the back of his house, Rostam produces contemporary-designed and inspiring wood carvings and already commands a steady following. He even sold his handmade art pieces to many Malaysian VIPs.
Without a doubt, Kembara Kraf Selangor 2012 successfully highlighted various world class and high potential handicrafts that are produced in Selangor. It is hoped that through this programme, more Malaysians and foreigners will appreciate and support Selangor handicrafts due to their quality and ingenuity.