In order to improve product quality and enrich the design of handicraft products, especially blacksmith crafts, the Bali Province Industry and Trade Office (Disperindag) carried out technical guidance (Bimtek) Design and Diversification of Iron Pande Products which was held at Br. Sidan Kelod, Sidan Village, Gianyar Regency. The activity, which targets about 30 blacksmith craftsmen, is also expected to be able to foster an entrepreneurial spirit while creating new craft centers on the Island of the Gods.
Kepala Dinas Perindustrian dan Perdagangan (Disperindag) Provinsi Bali, I Wayan Jarta dalam pembukaan Bimtek yang diselenggarakan pada 14-18 Juni 2021 tersebut menekankan bahwa standar mutu produk adalah hal yang mutlak diperlukan dewasa ini ditengah persaingan baik dalam di dalam dan luar negeri. “Standar mutu bukanlah sekedar nilai tambah, tapi juga suatu prasyarat bagi sebuah produk untuk dapat masuk dan diterima pasar,” tandas Jarta. Terlebih menurutnya, semakin tinggi pula kesadaran konsumen akan pilihan-pilihan suatu produk yang akan dibeli menyebabkan standar kualitas menjadi amat penting di mata konsumen saat ini.
Likewise with the blacksmith craft which has become a hereditary heritage from the ancient Balinese era which is still spread throughout rural areas throughout Bali. “The blacksmith craft center areas have made an essential contribution to the preservation of the nation’s cultural identity. Blacksmith craft products that are produced such as household appliances, agriculture, traditional and religious activities in the future are expected to be able to be produced in accordance with market needs,” he said.
Jarta also hopes that the implementation of the Technical Guidance which invites experienced teachers or instructors can provide materials and methods for making innovative designs, which will ultimately lead to improving the quality of blacksmith craft products. “Good handicraft products, which are in accordance with market tastes so that their products are able to compete and increase the income of the craftsmen,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, met at the technical guidance location as well as the ‘Prapen’ or local metal ignition point, one of the blacksmith craftsmen, Pande Putu Sadia admitted that for generations local residents have been in the profession as a blacksmith with household products such as knives, blakas (knife). large, red), mutik (small Balinese knife, red) to agricultural equipment such as hoes and sickles, even capable of producing kris. “But of course we are very grateful that this technical guidance is also able to provide new innovations for us, and also hopes to open wider market opportunities,” he said.
Sadia gave an example of using polyester resin as a knife handle, which previously used more wood, so it was a new innovation that had never been used by craftsmen in Sidan village.
Meanwhile, Pande Putu Sunarta, who is known as a keris maker from Sidan Village, said that in the future the blacksmith craftsmen from Sidan Village would like to balance their ability or expertise in making various products, with increasing welfare. “Like me, like others, making metal crafts is like a hobby. It may seem difficult to others, but for us it is a job that we like. And because of that, Sidan’s blacksmith products cannot be mass-produced immediately, because each one is made by hand, from scratch,” explained Sunarta.
As an ‘artist’ in their field, each craftsman in Sidan Village called Sunarta has a characteristic in his works that makes him a specialist in metal handicraft products. “Of course new innovations are needed for blacksmiths in Sidan Village so that later they can continue to grow and Sidan Village can become a blacksmith craft center,” he said.
In addition to technical guidance for blacksmith craftsmen in Gianyar, previously the Bali Province Industry and Trade Department also held a similar program for ant sugar craftsmen in Jembrana Regency. Ant sugar can be said to be a powdered version of brown sugar and is often referred to by people as Crystal Sugar. It is called ant sugar because the shape of this sugar resembles an ant’s house that nests in the ground. The basic ingredient for making ant sugar is sap from coconut trees or palm trees.
The specialty of ant sugar is that it has a distinctive taste and aroma that comes from its ingredients, namely sap. Compared to printed sugar, processing sap into palm sugar will be more profitable because the selling price is higher than that of printed sugar, in powder form so it is more flexible to use than printed sugar and easier to store and has a longer shelf life.(BTN/ery)