The Pottery of Banyumulek Village
Row of art shops selling pottery is the first sight that you will see when visiting Banyumelek Village. This pottery-making village is situated in West Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). Banyumelek village is a pottery-making center renowned for their exquisite earthenware products.
Pottery –making in this village is a centuries-old heritage of the Sasak community. In the past pottery in Lombok was used for cooking utensils and ceremonial items. Banyumelek’s earthenware products made using traditional methods with simple designs but the products themselves have high quality and have been exported abroad through Bali.
For hundreds of years, the pottery-making of Banyumelek use the simplest and the oldest pottery making techniques in the world. The clay pieces are usually shaped by hand before being smoothed with curved coconut husks. The pots are then burnished with their surfaces being sealed with the application of a mixture of clay and local stones, and then they are dried under the sun before being fired in a traditional open kiln.
Pottery-making is believed to have been introduced to Lombok island in the 14th century; pottery making has experienced an evolution in terms of design and function. Nowadays, the earthenware products of Banyumelek are not just made for cooking utensil but also for unique and exotic decorative items, suitable for interior or exterior decorations at luxury homes or hotels.