It was in 2013 that the government named Jarum village in Bayat district, Klaten, Central Java, a batik tourism village. Around 80 artisans producing handicrafts with various batik patterns live in the village.
Batik can be applied to all kinds of items, one of which is earthenware, locally known as gerabah. Pottery such as mugs, teapots and flower vases, with colorful batik painting has now become a prime commodity.
Several earthenware-producing centers in Jarum village have begun to develop batik earthenware. Compared to batik fabrics or batik wood handicrafts, batik earthenware became popular among artisans in the village only in the last two or three years.
Just like on fabrics, decorating pottery with batik patterns requires a canting or copper vessel with a spout-like nib. Using a canting, craftsmen carefully draw batik patterns on the surface of the pottery in line with expected designs. Before they start painting batik on the pottery, they usually use white paint as a foundation so that the resulting batik paintings can be more distinct and vibrant.
Producing batik earthenware also needs a coloring process, locally known as pelorodan. In every step of pelorodan, craftsmen must first cover their pottery with melamine or aqualaquer so that the resulting colors can be glossier and last much longer.
In Klaten, Jarum village has been acknowledged as the pioneer of batik earthenware. Initially, artisans in the village only helped distribute pottery produced in Melikan, a neighboring village. Simply by putting batik patterns on the pottery, they can add value to the handicraft products.
Every month, artisans in Jarum village can export two to three containers of batik earthenware to China, Italy and Malaysia. They sell their products for prices ranging from Rp 300,000 [US$22.56] to Rp 2 million per piece. [ebf]