Bamboo crafts have been so long underestimated for they are commonly made in haste and low quality. People know bamboo for a short term, even disposable usage. An irony considering bamboo is our future green material.
Our Master Bamboo Artisans, Pak Toto
Bamboo craftsmen are sure abundant in West Java. Yet, Pak Toto is one of a kind, that we call him an artisan, with more than 30 years of experience in bamboo craftsmanship. We met Pak Toto during our college studio project after scrambling from village to village in Tasikmalaya to find the perfect bamboo craftsman who could build our design prototype. Being awed by his skill, we were sure had found the perfect person to build our designs.
Pak Toto started his apprenticeship in 1983 with Chairin Hayati and Ahadiat Joedawinata, two senior artists in Bandung. The two started collaborative material exploration with a craftsman from Tasikmalaya to bring up the potential of bamboo in 1979 and found innovative techniques to craft high quality products. With well-designed products and lots of attention to details, they revolutionized bamboo craftsmanship in West Java.
They founded Craft Works which managed to expand and export the contemporary bamboo products – empowering tens of bamboo craftsmen in a small village in Tasikmalaya. Crafts Works operated until 2015, during which Pak Toto gained his outstanding craftsmanship and knowledge to craft aesthetic and high quality bamboo products. Now, their designs have become Tasikmalaya’s classics. The techniques and skills are inherited to countless bamboo craftsmen in the region. Craft Works’ legacy continue to flourish with many bamboo companies established in Tasikmalaya.
Collaborating with Pak Toto and his wife, Bu Ecin, we started developing and prototyping new products and launched Studio Dapur in the end of 2016. Our designs grow and adapt to the characteristic and specialty of the village: bamboo weaving and laminated frames, in order to empower the villagers inclusively.
Our Artisans Family
By July 2020, Studio Dapur collaborates with 10 full time artisans and 8 other partner craftsmen. Ten of them are women. Six are newly trained with no bamboo experience whose age are under 35 years old.