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Indonesia Trip - Production Showcase

View Archive Tuesday 13 November 2012

 We recently took a trip to Indonesia to showcase the production of our quality Benches:

Image from the Java District of Indonesia
Indonesia - Java Yogyakarta Meseta De Dieng
Whilst there we absorbed the natural beauty we commonly assosciate with Indonesia. From the short trip we took great inspiration for our next range of Benches. We also found out loads of great information about how our products are produced, from timber to the showroom, which we thought we'd bring to you!

Teak Ornate Day Bed - Indonesia
An ornate Day Bed
One thing that was noticable whilst in the Java district was that infrastructure had definately been improved, and whilst on the Java transportation network, we saw clear signs that things are moving forward in Indonesia.

Sore di Jembatan Bridge Indonesia
Sore di Jembatan
 Whilst traditional techniques are still used for many things, there are increasing levels of decadent spending across the region, which can often be seen in places of religious significance.

Underwater mosaic at the Jungle Gates Indonesia
The underwater mosaic near the jungle gates
The underwater mosaic near the Jungle Gates is a picture-perfect example of this, clearly showing the polarised worlds of the working class compared to the wealthy. 

Traditional farming techniques still being employed
Techniques used in agricultural and arable farming have remained near enough the same for hundreds of years. The same can be said for the all important furniture industry in Indonesia, whilst demands have increased exponentially, the traditional techniques have remained crucial in order to deliver the quality worksmanship we all have come to expect from Indonesian furniture.

Hand carved furniture from Indonesia
Hand carved furniture
One thing which astounded us on our trip, was how friendly and forthcoming with information the people we met were.

"Knowledge is itself one of the highest enjoyments. The ignorant man passes through the world dead to all pleasures" - Samuel Smiles

People stopped us in the street to take photos, and we're all too happy to answer our questions about their lifestyle and job prospects. This wasnt just our suppliers, who would be expected to humour us, it extended to just about anyone keen enough to take an interest in our party, including but not limited to, the police!

A little..."hiccup" on Route
Whilst travelling to visit the FSC Certified forests that our suppliers own, we had a small road traffic incident involving another car, and so had to spend an hour or so with the local police. This was a jovial affair, with introductions and photos going on long after our incident had been recorded!

Locked up with the Indonesian police!
Jon with the local, but very friendly, gendarme!
When we reached our destination in the Muang District, we got to see loads of the products that we all know and love so well from the showroom in their first stages! It was great to see the same techniques being employed as when I first started visiting the region over a decade ago.

The first port of call was to go and check out the forest which at this time of year was covered with fallen leaves and branches, perfect for collecting our sustainable and environmentally friendly timber!

Young children help plant tree saplings in the Teak forest
Small children preparing the land to plant a teak sapling

Teak forests provide shelter for women working in Indonesia
Women working in the teak forest
We also picked up a copy of the FSC Certificate for our suppliers forest in Thailand, giving us formal assurance that he is meeting environmental standards, treating his workers fairly and of course making sure that the forest is there long term. Smartwood is a part of the Rainforest Alliance, which is accredited by the FSC, the gold standard in the forestry world.

Our Forest Stewardship Council Certification for Forests in Thailand
After we had visited the forest, we went to one of the nearby production studios, to take a gander at the furniture you see on our website being made from scratch.

Reclaimed Teak Canoes
Raw Materials - These Antique Teak Canoes are turned into one of our classic peices

More Antique Teak Canoes

Reclaimed Teak Canoe Bench
Reclaimed Teak Canoe Bench - the finished article

Remember that you can buy the rustic, charming Canoe Bench you see pictured direct from our website amongst many other totally unique peices.

A Teak Canoe has been turned into a display cabinet
One of the family completing a display cabinet made from an old Canoe

A good worker always checks his work!
The team inspect their handywork
These Canoe sideboards are really unique, and are simply guarenteed to be met with curiosity, so if you're looking for a focal talking point to be the centre peice in any room, then let us know and we'll see if we can supply you one of these fantastic new products.

Ingenius idea for a sideboard

This sideboard definately caught my eye, how about yours?

This stunning teak bench is made from one solid peice of teak, hand crafted into a superb bench, great for whiling away the summer hours, or procrastinating from that essential Winter garden maintenance!

A bench crafted from one single peice of FSC Teak
A Bench crafted from one solid peice of reclaimed teak

Amongst the fine array of reclaimed benches we also saw some beautiful day beds which we will have in stock shortly. These day beds are infused with Indonesian style, allowing you to bring a little colonial touch to any space.

A stunning Indonesian Day Bed
A gorgeously decorated Indonesian day bed

Just look at the detail, hours and hours of focus have come together to produce these brilliant one off peices. 

Beautiful engraving work from our suppliers in the Java district.
What a wicked headboard that would make?!

Decorative peices crafted from FSC Certified Indonesian Teak
Great interior furnishings, a fruit bowl, picture and a mask sculpture.

Seeing all these great examples of places to relax made us all want to lie down! But no rest for the wicked, we were then off to see some top secret new peices, that will surely be making their way to our showroom in the new year! For now these will have to stay under wraps, but stay tuned for more updates!

If you can't wait that long, then take a look now at our range of Reclaimed Benches & Teak Benches now in stock!