Bale Timbang, a garden restaurant consisting of open bamboo pavilions with dried-grass roofs set amid a lush landscape of rare trees and herbal plants in Penatih, north Denpasar, was the perfect backdrop for the launch of Tenun Patra, an exclusive line of endek cloth designed by I Gusti Made Arsawan, on Thursday night.
The looming shadows of the trees and the minimal set of artificial lighting truly accentuated the natural colors of the endek cloths hung along the wall of a pavilion.
Traditional endek motifs are characterized by a repeated arrangement of geometric patterns. Arsawan’s Tenun Patra draws its patterns from the rich heritage of the island’s patra, decorative floral and faunal forms commonly found on Balinese traditional buildings.
“I have combined the traditional forms of patra with my interpretations and the results are this line of endek cloth. It is a work in progress and I expect to create more patterns in the future,” he said.
So far he has created nine new tenun patra designs: Tenun Patra Jatayu, a mythical bird motif; Tenun Patra Maksika which features a bee motif; Tenun Patra Wanara portraying a monkey; Tenun Patra Kalandaka (squirrel); Tenun Patra Citrapataga (butterfly); Tenun Patra Sumanaka (flower); Tenun Patra Panaga (dragon); Tenun Patra Upadika (ant); and Tenun Patra Nagamaksikha (dragonfly).
The designs are woven on traditional hand looms by eight skilled weavers, who could create up to 50 lengths of cloth per month.
photos by zul trio anggono