Baskets Bilum Pottery Ceramics

Baskets, large and small, are still in use everyday and not many are made in excess of requirements. However, each piece is an authentic work often decorated with motifs that tell of the weavers’ clan and ancestors. Sometimes with a patina that speaks for itself.

BILUM: in Timor are their own distinctive style. Usually smaller than their Papuan counterparts, they are used to carry water bottles and items such as pineapples home from the local weekly market. Created with hand rolled string.

Difficulty in obtaining adequate packaging materials and distance to ship has meant that pottery projects in West Timor are pretty much fated to supply the local market only. There are a couple of specialist pottery villages that do make some great pots ranging from small medicine pots up to 10 litre water carrying pots but I am constrained as there are many breakages along the way.

The dried clay is first pounded to a fine powder, sifted then mixed with water to a firm dough. Using a smooth stone and rib bone of a cow or buffalo villagers then begin to pat out the clay to form the pots. The pots are allowed to set a while then brushed to create the burnished almost glazed look. They are decorated afterwards.

CERAMICS: Dutch occupied most of Indonesia over a period of 400years and on departure they left small legacies in West Timor. I have been offered all sorts of ceramics and the occasional Gin bottle. Whilst most of these rarities have left the island bound for places abroad I have just 2 plates left looking for good homes.
Copyright Julie Emery 22/02/2022©