Wicker Emporium's Lunenburg Furniture Represents Indonesian Cottage Industry
As the story goes, over 200 years ago, the Sultan of Solo designated the people of certain villages around his kingdom as carpenters and wood carvers. These subjects constructed the intricately carved doors and window frames that would adorn his palace. For generations, this trade has been handed down from father to son to grandson. Even after the Sultan's power diminished, the carpenters used their skills to construct furniture for the Indonesian domestic market. Then, sometime in the late 1990s, a few enterprising foreigners who were passing through central Java as tourists saw an amazing opportunity to sell exotic, well-priced hardwood furniture. And so, the Indonesian furniture export industry was born.
Rice farming is the other major source of income for these villages. During planting and harvesting it takes precedent, however, while the rice is growing, the farmers focus their attention on furniture construction. The village women also have a trade to keep them busy between crops. Batik printing on fabrics has been handed down through the generations alongside carpentry. Wax is melted and carefully applied to cloth to shieldcertain parts of the fabric from colorful dyes. The final batik prints can be exceptionally intricate and beautiful. These fabrics are usually stitched into traditional Indonesian clothing, however I have also seem them used on table cloths and bed covers.
On entering the village, one feels as though he has travelled back to a more simple time. Surrounded by rice fields, the houses are littered with sawdust and wood scraps. Red planks of raw mahogany lean against brick walls. Cabinets in various stages of construction sit on porches. Raw mahogany and teak logs are piled, waiting to be cut into boards. Some of the houses are even equipped with primitive kilns that are used to dry the wood before construction. The wood scraps and sawdust left over from furniture construction are used to fire the kilns. Nothing goes to waste here.
After the raw, unfinished furniture is constructed, it is delivered from the village to our supplier who then checks each piece to ensure that it meets our high quality standards. Once the products are approved and accepted, the finishing process begins. Several colors of paint are applied in different coats and a light distressing of the furniture edges is added to achieve the final, aged look. The product is then packed into a container, trucked to the port and loaded onto a ship bound for Canada!
Check out our Lunenburg Collection on the website!