Banyumulek pottery village in Lombok
One of my Redgirls was passionate about pottery . She was really interested in exploring pottery , techniques , cooking , glazing etc. i had previously visited a village in Lombok , to organise lessons for her and my other guests. i was a little concerned as the lessons were Primitive by our standards.
Sitting on crude stools on the ground , around a little wheel.
I was nervous about the physicality of this as well as tourist factor , with all the people of the village coming to stare and laugh at the tourists.
We arrived at the village late morning and it was already heating up.. i made connection with the lady who i spoke with before. She was really happy to see me and hastily set up an area with stools and wheels and clay for my redgirls to get down and get dirty..
They were excited and weren’t phased at all about the seating arrangements.
As they began to shape their pottery , beautiful women appeared from nowhere , and gently guided and supported them, to fashion the pottery. Helping them to stay focused, when half the village appeared to laugh and make jokes of the them. Luckily all the onlookers were women and children.. Pretty soon Communication became easy with hand gestures and a few words. The redgirls really loved it , loved their pots and loved the connection with these women.. All the children gathered around and pretty soon we were all involved in kids games of hand clapping and funny hand movements.. language is not a barrier to communication..
Next we walked around to the back of the village . where we saw how they cooked the pottery.
Gnarly women obviously the cookers were precariously stacking the pottery and the wood on top of each other to make mounds. Scientific and careful in their stacking to ensure even cooking, as well as careful spreading of the hay and wood and bamboo.. Was really interesting to watch. even tho it was very hot and smoky..
Sweat dripping down our faces didn’t deter us from asking questions of the women and our guide, and playing games with the kids. Many people from the village came to watch.. twas special.. Sascha was really excited and in her element and asking many questions of the process. Commenting regularly on the pretentiousness of pottery in oz.. The tools she used to fashion her pot in lombok , was a piece of thong and and piece of plastic lid.. She talked of her expensive pouch of pottery tools.
This process can be simple and earthy. This experience was a real eye opener for us all , and everyone had a really special time .