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Cecemuwe Workshop Series: Nerikomi Marble Bowl with Kanna Keramik

Jocelyn of Kanna Keramik helping the group shape their pottery pieces.

As young adults living in Jakarta, we know the struggle of finding worthwhile weekend and weeknight activities that boosted our mood and our skills at the same time. Like many others, we ran to workshops: painting workshops, print workshops, branding workshops, calligraphy workshops, pottery workshops, you name it.

We feel like we needed something to sink our fingers into something rewarding outside of work. Something that resulted in almost-instant gratification, and a product that we could bring home and be happy with. After participating in a multitude of workshops, we realized that although we enjoyed workshops, most workshops were held in inconvenient locations and uncomfortable venues. We wanted to change that.

Thus, Cecemuwe's workshop space was created. A row of large tables and benches in a well-lit room, equipped with a small library and a projector. The large windows open to a view of Pakubuwono, and a golden sky nearing sunset to set the mood for your creative activities. Add our great coffee and delicious food to that, and you've got a fulfilling few hours at hand in the center of South Jakarta.

Two hours into the session, our participants are hard at work on their bowls.

For our first workshop, we invited Kanna Keramik, the studio that made our gorgeous cups. Their artistic sense and devotion to their craft was a winning-combo for us, and we’ve seen our friends go crazy for pottery workshops lately. As their studio is based in Bandung, we wanted to bring them over to South Jakarta to share their unique style and love of pretty potteries with us.

Great for beginners, the workshop led by Kanna Keramik goes through the basics of Nerikomi Pottery and makes beautiful handmade pieces possible even for kids.

So, on one Saturday afternoon in July, two weeks before we opened our doors to the public, we opened our doors to our first workshop. Seventeen people signed on for a session learning the basics of handbuilding pottery techniques. After a short explanation, participants got their hands dirty and tried wedging, pinching, kneading, coiling and slabbing their clay into shape.

Handbuilding techniques were used to make this small bowl.

Meanwhile, our staff worked around the tables, taking orders for the snack and drinks set. It was their first event, and everyone in the team was excited to interact with our first customers. We provided the participants with a choice of snacks: rainbow chips, tempe mendoan or onion rings; and a choice of iced tea or iced coffee. Most went for our iced latte and our sure-to-please rainbow chips. A great choice on a hot day.

We learned a few things that day:

1. Our workshop area was spacious enough for eighteen people to make pottery without restriction.

2. We needed to improve the timing for the food and drinks to come out.

3. We really liked holding workshops.

Our participants spent three and a half hours working on their piece, crafting their slab of pottery into bowls, plates and cups. Jocelyn, the instructor, went around the room, helping the girls who were struggling with their pieces. As the sky turned orange, the pieces of pottery on the table turned colorful, too. Colored clays were mixed into the pieces, creating various marbled bowls that reflected the individuals who crafted them.

Before everyone got down and dirty, the participants listened to Jocelyn explain the basics of nerikomi pottery.

By the time the group finished their pieces and their snacks arrived, we were happy to see that everyone’s shared pottery struggle had brought them close enough to share their snacks with each other. We were happy to see that everyone had a taste of our selection, and we considered that we might just make shared plates next time. But that’s for another time! Would you mind sharing your snacks with your new friends?

Meanwhile, the Nerikomi Marble bowls are currently drying, and will be in the oven next week. Are you excited? Because we sure are excited to see your works, and to tell you that you're kiln it!

As for our workshops, we consider the first session a success, and we have many more sessions in store for those who are looking for new experiences and new creations to take home. See you on our next Cecemuwe Workshop Series!

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