Lombok Pottery Center is a collection of four cooperatives: a staff cooperative and three village production cooperatives. The management team reports to the cooperative members. The potters of Lombok create their pieces using the traditional firing method of burying the pots in the ground, surrounded by coconut husk and burning the husks to fire the pots. Before firing, the pots are “burnished”—painted with a mixture of fine clay, water and oil, then rubbed with a smooth stone or hard object. Burnishing compacts and strengthens the pot's surface, and creates a sheen that enhances the colors and marks created by firing. Patterning on the bowl is etched by hand.
Lomok Potter Center started as the Lombok Craft Project in 1988. Part of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development cooperation program in Indonesia, the initiative was a bilateral project with the Republic of Indonesia’s Department of Trade and Industry. Starting in 2003, the group began moving through the transition to the women potters being full shareholders. In 2005, the Lombok Pottery Project ceased to be a bilateral project and became a legal business owned by the potters’ cooperatives and a staff cooperative. The ultimate goal of the project is to create a sustainable environment for the potters and the community. The potters of Lombok have come from a community in which living standard is low, and where illiteracy and infant mortality rates are high. The Lombok Crafts Project has worked with potters in three villages since 1988 to improve the standard of living for them and for their families.
Ten Thousand Villages purchases pottery from Lombok Pottery Center. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from Lombok Pottery Center since 2004 (initially through artisan group Pekerti).
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