October 2021

Indonesia Furniture, Baskets & Craft

Indonesia black table

The craft of Indonesian timber

It’s taken centuries to evolve. But here it is 1,400 years later; the sublime simplicity of the craft work of Indonesia woodworking. This vast archipelago nation has honed and refined a host of treasured objects like intricately hand carved statues, Buddhas, Hindu gods and Indonesian day beds, chests and benches; all from reclaimed teak.

In Indonesia, woodcarving is form of artistic expression. Each culture has its own style and expression. For instance, a house in Indonesia not only protects its inhabitants from the elements, but also can be feature spiritual elements. Like the Singa or lion head which protects Batak houses. Or the water buffalo on toraja houses which signifies prosperity.

Indonesia teak bench

Old timber tells the tale

Deeply ingrained in Indonesia’s history and culture is an old wood called in Javanese, ‘kayu lawas’. It’s recycled timber with sometimes an age of up to 100 years which is taken from old houses and bridges in ancient villages to form benches. It’s standout qualities lie in its reliable strength and weathered look.

This woodworking craft has naturally created outstanding pieces of furniture sometimes with a Dutch colonial look. Like beautifully carved rocking chairs, Balinese opium beds, rice storage units, old cupboards, Javanese carved wall panels, chairs and uniquely carved tables.

Indonesia weaved basket

All in one basket

The beauty of basket weaving in Indonesia lies not only the hands of artisans but in the material Rattan. With each basket, the tough, inner core of the vine is coiled to form the main superstructure while the outer skin is peeled off in fine, flexible strips for weaving the covering coils of the basket together.

Some of the finest basketwork in Indonesia comes from Lombok and in Tasikmalaya, Java. Another weaving vine used is atta where weavers in Lombok, Bali and Mentawai create beautiful, intricately woven baskets.

To appreciate the true art of Indonesian craft, drop by Orient House. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover.