By Shahida Sakeri on March 13, 2019
Selangor is blessed with a huge pool of local artisans, with each and every one of them possessing exceptional artistic flair in a diverse craft industry. Hence, in conjunction with ‘Kembara Kraf Selangor 8 – Indie Arts to the Fore’ familiarisation trip, we present five handcrafted products that you can buy while exploring Selangor, which we believe will make a meaningful gift to loved ones or even to yourself.
Batik is often associated with the Peninsular Malaysia east coast states, but do you know that Selangor also owns creative talents that produce high-quality batik fabrics? Cherry Art Design by Mr. Hafiz Hassan specialises in batik block-printing, while Desa Alam Batik opts for silkscreen printing technique using cold wax. Both techniques employ contemporary motifs in their designs but can be custom-made should clients prefer unique patterns. The products are available for purchase via social media platforms and are usually sold between MYR100 to MYR500 per piece. However, the prices of certain premium products with intricate designs and higher quality of materials reach thousands of ringgits. Cherry Art Design and Desa Alam Batik also hold classes for creative folks who are interested in learning about batik-making.
Pyrography – the technique of creating art by burning marks on wood or other materials using superhot metal stylus – is not commonly practiced in Malaysia. The process is arduous and requires technical prowess, eye for detail and extremely high patience, which bears impressive results. One may buy such piece of art from Mr. Maznan, one of the few avid pyrographers whose impressive works have been catching the attention of art lovers in the country and abroad. He recreates a variety of images ranging from landscapes, portraits, poems to anything that customers desire. The prices of the artworks start at MYR70 per piece.
As the saying goes: good things come in small packages; in the case of Mr. Shaiful Sharif’s exquisite creations, the saying is downright accurate. Specialising in miniature dioramas, Mr. Shaiful Sharif creates small-scale scenography crafts complete with delicate miniature objects, with a focus on the theme revolving around cars. In fact, most of his clients are ardent Hot Wheels collectors who wish to display their collections in the most fashionable way – some even requested to have dioramas inspired from popular films such as the Fast & Furious franchise and Initial D.
However, Mr. Shaiful’s exceptional skill is not limited to making scaled-down film-inspired sets because he also takes orders to create realistic building replicas. Ever think of having a mini version of your home or a favourite building in the world that holds significant sentimental value to you? Yes, he can do that too. The prices for these dioramas start at MYR300 per piece.
A three times Guinness World Record holder, Sewing World Gallery is both a learning centre and a mini museum ideal for those who are interested in sewing and hand-sewn crafts made from fabrics. One can take the time admiring vast collection of products created using various creative sewing techniques like stitching and quilting, but the highlight are definitely the world’s largest holdall bag and Malaysia’s longest sofa, both made from upcycled fabrics. The entrance into the gallery is free.
Alternatively, visitors can join the workshops facilitated by well-trained staff and learn how to make personalised crafts. The workshops last between five minutes to three hours, depending on the complexity of the crafts being made.
On every second and fourth weekend of each month, the gallery organises the Tunku Azizah Handmade Market on the ground floor of Sky Park @ One City where visitors can go on a hunt for exquisite handmade fabric crafts by passionate local female artisans.
Operation hours: Daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Malaysians are synonymous with spicy food like dried sambal (chili-based sauce or relish). It is not only delicious when eaten with a plate of steaming hot rice, but also enhances the flavours of bland staples like porridge and bread. Since it usually lasts long even in room temperature, many Malaysian travellers bring sambal when travelling overseas to save money and get a ‘kick’ out of their meals.
Too lazy to make the sambal yourself? Just order from Zurasa Food Industries, whose owner, Ms. Nazihah, uses long-standing recipes from her Javanese grandmother to create a variety of dried sambal, including spicy potato (MYR14), serunding or coconut floss (MYR15) and the best-seller tempe kicap or fried fermented soy with sauce (MYR20). Since all of her products are homecooked, you are bound to find them comforting!