Kembara Kraf Selangor: Exploring Selangor’s Traditional Crafts with a Modern Twist

Selangor Traditional Craft with a Modern Twist
Kembara Kraf Selangor, Programmes  /   /  By Adela Roslan  /  469 views

Due to the resounding success in the previous year, Kembara Kraf Selangor (KKS) came back again this year from the 9th until the 11th of October 2015 to promote potential arts and crafts products around Selangor. This 3-day and 2-night programme was participated by 20 media friends and influencers. The Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN), in collaboration with Gaya Travel Magazine, developed the programme to highlight and propagate the arts and crafts industry within its borders to uncover the citizens’ creativity and enhance their income.

Galeri Penjara Kajang

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

In general, the word prison brings negative connotation since it relates to people who are guilty in committing crimes and needed to be put away. However, a tour around Galeri Penjara Kajang (Kajang Prison Gallery) opened our eyes toward understanding what the inmates do behind bars. It is refreshing to know that prisons these days no longer function as punishments but as places that offer the inmates second chances by giving them opportunities to learn vocational skills and trade such as craft-making so that by the time they rejoin society, they have skills that allow them to easily find work. At Penjara Kajang, the inmates here are taught to do make batik, frozen food and wood works.

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

Speaking about batik, the prison produces the brand called Batik Qaseh, which has been worn by the Miss Tourism from Geneva Switzerland during the Miss Tourism International pageant in Malaysia at the end of 2014, including the Prime Minister’s Wife Datin Rosmah Mansor during the recent International Gamelan Competition. Based on such evidences, it is obvious that products made by the inmates are well accepted, trendy, high in quality and sold at affordable prices. This goes to show that products should be evaluated based on its quality per se, not on those who made them. We watched the batik-making demonstration, participated in the activity, and bought the products as gifts. This is definitely one of the places that travellers should visit when wanting to buy unique Malaysian-made crafts at reasonable prices.

Address:

Penjara Kajang, Kajang

No: +603 873 64620

+6019 693 2841 (Tuan Hanif)

Web: jpmportal.prison.gov.my/

GPS: 3.003434, 101.785854

Mah Meri Cultural Village

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

Craft products have actually been produced since centuries ago, typically made from anything found in the rainforest. The aboriginals of Peninsular Malaysia, called the Orang Asli, have been producing indigenous crafts long before they are appreciated by other people. They utilise natural items like leaves, wood, soil and products of the jungle to be used in daily life.

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

The community of Orang Asli on Carey Island in Selangor makes various traditional crafts inherited from the elders. Even when they kill animals, the remorse is substituted with wooden carving of the animal they killed, placed on an area where the killing happened. Other than that, they also create their everyday clothes from leaves and bark of trees. During the visit, we were welcomed with woven pandanus craft and headgear, including the demonstration of the feet-cleaning ritual to show how the community welcomes outside people. We also participated in their mock wedding ceremony, starting from the bride-selection ceremony by the groom up until matrimony. To witness all of these rituals, travellers may contact Encik Rashid, a Malay man who takes care of the Orang Asli on Carey Island for more information and price.

Address:

Jln Kampong Orang Asli

Sungai Bumbun

42960 Pulau Carey

Selangor, Malaysia

No: +6010 252 2800 (Encik Rashid)

Web: mmcv.org.my/

GPS: 2.852360, 101.402640

Tok Sabri Si Tukang Cincin

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

A convivial man by the name of Sabri started to craft rings out of wood after he stopped making traditional Malay weapons such are keris, and parang from that same material due to slow demand. To continue using his gifted hands in wood carving, he chose to craft wood rings. We watched him demonstrating the process of creating wood rings from start (plain wood) to finish (a startling piece of wood ring that costs about MYR250). The process begins by cutting a perfectly sized wood into a ring, then shaping it according to customer’s requests. His works are exceedingly creative and he has his own following comprising wood ring collectors and enthusiasts who encouraged him to continue producing up until today.

Address:

Jalan Batu 7 Telok Panglima Garang

42500 Kajang, Selangor

No: +6016 238 3588

+6017 631 2839 (Tok Sabri)

Facebook: Tok Sabri Si Tukang Cincin

GPS: 2.948030, 101.460851

Amal Kufi

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

Calligraphy isn’t new in the Malaysian arts and crafts industry. We heard about calligraphy on canvas, painted calligraphy and doodled calligraphy but never cross-strings calligraphy. Started as hobby and spread out among friends like wild mushrooms, Amal Tahir, took the risk of challenging the current trend in calligraphy by using strings. Mind you, making cross-strings calligraphy requires heavy doses of concentration and ingenuity. First, she used styrofoam board as base, hammered some nails accordingly, followed by grids and then started to cross-string the Arabic words using multiple choice of colours. The finished product will then be framed and sold at inexpensive prices according to size. Amazingly, this form of art is treasured by all walks of life and she believes that as long as there are people appreciating arts and crafts, this form of calligraphy will never die.

Address:

No 2, Jalan Alam Suria

16/55, Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor

No: +012 285 5935 (Amal Tahir)

Facebook: Amal Kufi

GPS: 3.239329, 101.407493

Lovely Touch Enterprise

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

The 90s child would remember the good old times playing plasticine and made dinosaurs, dummy food and monsters out of it. Polymer clay has the similar idea of plasticine, except that it lasts longer because it will harden after being exposed to the air for 30 minutes. We met the owner of this enterprise, Khatijah, who learned the art of clay-making in Japan and brought back the idea to teach others in Malaysia. The polymer is made into dough form, tinted in various colours and added with baby oil to delay hardening when shaping it. Using our own hands, we managed to transform the clay and form them using our imagination. The blogger from Projek Travel, Mawardi, won the creative clay competition that day. Other than clay, Khatijah runs other classes as well such as sewing and organic soap-making besides accepting products from other vendors in her little shop.

Address:

No 36A Jalan Alfa U6/A Perdagangan

Sungai Permai

40150 Shah Alam

No:+6016 295 2812 (Khatijah)

Facebook: Lovely Touch

GPS: 3.140733, 101.527647

Sew Fabby Enterprise

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

While some artisans throw away left over parts of fabric into the dustbin, Azzah found new ways to quilt them into bags, tags, towels, mug rugs and fabric-related items as gifts. Starting as a home-based business, Azzah’s products made her way into craft bazaars and shops. Her products are mainly customised, from fabrics, colours and even designs – customers get to custom their favourable gifts. She accepts bulk orders for special occasions as well. During our visit, Azzah taught us how to sew jeans fabric into pouches using machines and create pouches using leather pieces, buttons, and colourful threads. She also mentioned how people nowadays love personalised items and she is beyond happy to sew them all. Travellers would find her travel organisers, pocket pins, shoe bags and travel merchandise useful, all made with love and specially tailored.

Address: 

Shah Alam, Selangor

No: +6012 311 2447 (Azzah)

Web: www.sewfabby.com.my/

GPS: 3.017232, 101.533017

Laman Seni Seksyen 7

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

Our modern craft day was completed with a visit to Laman Seni in Section 7, Shah Alam. Ever since Kaki Seni team started to fill the abandoned alley behind the shops with street art, it has caught public’s attention and now people come from near and far to get a glimpse of it, besides taking selfies. Started at Section 2, this three-dimensional art characterises the diversity of art that incorporates paintings, graffiti and doodles on the wall. Making the alleyways more cheerful than before, this kind of effort shows that creativity in Selangor is abundant and can easily be seen when space is provided to express it.

Address:

Seksyen 7, Shah Alam

GPS: 3.068371, 101.489362

Laman Kraf Tani Enterprise

Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015

Believing in the power of the digit nine, Esiah started to produce crafts using pressed flowers from her own lawn beginning on 9 September 1999. She produces artworks designed using flowers that are turned into cheerful landscapes and childhood imagination. Esiah manually pick the flowers, heat them and glue them together to form images on paper and frame them. Her products turn out to be immensely popular, so much so that even royal families buy them. Interestingly, Esiah is able to assess one’s mind and character by looking at the artwork created by the person using the flowers picked from her lawn – her assessments are believed to be 95% accurate. She also does counselling for depressed people by basically advising them and recommending them better solutions. A number of highly influential people currently use her service, besides learning about making art from pressed flowers.

Address:

Lot 1618, Damai Zon 5 Banting

Kuala Langat

42700 Selangor

No: +6019 253 4620 (Esiah)

Facebook: Laman Kraf Tani

GPS: 2.785708, 101.526822

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