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Jepara Wood Carving, Motif and Art in the World

The beauty of Jepara Wood Carving

One of the famous wood carving craft centers in Indonesia is Jepara City, Central Java. Wood carvings in Jepara are produced in places adjacent to Jepara carvers. Jepara wood carving production centers, among others, in the Village Mulyoharjo.

Wood carving products in this production center are made from raw materials in the form of teak, mahogany, sengon, and others. In addition to Mulyoharjo Village, almost all sub-districts in Jepara City have production sites for furniture and wood carvings. The results of Jepara wood carving crafts can be various shapes, ranging from sculpture motifs, leaves, to reliefs.

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The people of Jepara have wood carving skills which are a legacy from generation to generation. It is said that in ancient times, there was a great artist in Jepara named Ki Sungging Adi Luwih. Ki Sungging's expertise is very famous finally known to the king. Long story short, the king intends to order pictures for his consort to Ki Sungging. Ki Sungging can finish the picture well. But when he wanted to add black paint to the queen's hair, there was paint splattered on the thighs so it looked like a mole.

Then, the picture was handed over to the king and the king was very impressed with the work of Ki Sungging. But fate said otherwise, the king was suspicious of Ki Sungging. The king thought Ki Sungging had seen a naked empress because there was a picture of a mole on his thigh. Finally, the king punished Ki Sungging by having him make a statue of the empress in the air by flying a kite.

The carved statue of the empress was half done, but suddenly a strong wind came. The statue fell and carried over to Bali. That is why the Balinese are also known as experts in making sculptures. The chisel used by Ki Sungging fell behind the mountain. The place where the chisels fell is now recognized as Jepara as a place for the development of wood carvings.

Carved Living Room Tooling

Jepara wood carving has now developed, even becoming part of the economic wheels of the Jepara community. Improving the quality of human resources is done through the education of the State Craft Industry Middle School and the Academy of Timber Technology and non-formal education through courses and training. Improving the quality of human resources is expected to spur the quality of products and the ability of craftsmen and entrepreneurs in Jepara to read market opportunities.

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One characteristic of Jepara wood carving is its style and motif. Jepara wood carving motifs in the form of leaves trubusan which consists of two kinds, namely seen from what comes out of the stalk of the niche and that comes out of the branches or segments.

Jepara original wood carvings can also be seen from the motifs of tufts or recesses where the leaves are like open fans and the tips of leaves are tapered. There are also three or four seeds coming out of the base of the leaves. In addition, the shaft of the niche rotates in an elongated style and spreads to form small branches that fill space or beautify. These characteristics are enough to represent the identity of Jepara wood carvings. The shape of the carving motif is inserted in various household utensils, such as chairs, tables, and frames.

Malay Carving Motif

Jepara wood carving is slightly different from the Malay wood carving that developed in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Malay wood carving is made with various techniques whose use depends on the expertise of wood carving experts. Two main techniques and styles in Malay wood carving, namely translucent and tebuk arise.

Meanwhile, there are three main types of carvings or carvings, namely single, square and complete patterns. Single patterns display the motifs of the moon, stars, sun, flower buds, and fruit pistils. The pattern of pemidang depicts a simple and uncomplicated movement. The complete pattern combines the characteristics of the form of the footman and the shape of the field which emphasizes the elements of plants, roots, stems, fruit, branches, leaves, pistils, and tendrils.

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The tools used for Malay wood carving are saws, planers, iron punches, and chisels. Malay wood carving motifs are divided into several types, namely flora, fauna, space or cosmos motifs, geometry, and calligraphy art.

Wood carvings in the Malay community are found in residential spaces, royal palaces, mosque and pulpit buildings, mosque, gates, playing instruments, traditional musical instruments, household furniture, weapons equipment, carpentry equipment, and traditional transportation.

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