Unique & Handmade: earthenware

Here in Indonesia, West Java, to be precise, is where the production of out earthenware accessories is carried out. Earthenware lanterns, flower pots, money boxes, ashtrays and other accessories are crafted by local folk in their workshops using traditional methods.

Using a blend of Javanese clay and sand, the models are formed on the wheel and carved. Sometimes the clay is compacted with a spindle press.

Then nature must do its work: the earthenware is dried in the open air. That takes about a week. Once sufficiently dried, the earthenware models are sanded to remove all loose material and blemishes, making the surface as smooth as possible.

It's then time for the firing process. U-shaped kilns are built with bricks. The earthenware is piled inside these primitive kilns. They have no door; the opening is bricked in. The kiln does its work over 16 hours at a temperature from 900 to 1000oC. Then the bricked-in opening is broken open to remove the models. Thus a new kiln is constructed for each new production run.

The hardened clay models are sanded once again to prepare a smooth surface for painting. Sometimes a leather or rattan handle is added to a lantern or flower pot. All this handwork means that no two items look alike. Every earthenware item in the Rivièra Maison collection displays its own unique details: the charm of the Far East.