Mariko is the owner of Setia Keramik, an expert & ceramic artist with more than 20 years experience. Having worked in Bali & Japan, ceramics are part of her life, here she chats with Rumah Sanur & To~ko Concept Store about her techniques & journey.
What is the history of Setia Keramik?
It began when I graduated from college and then learned from a Maestro Ceramist for 5 years. After that I started to harness it & pursue it. I first came to Bali in 1996 just as a tourist on vacation, I was interested in Hinduism & Balinese culture.
Then at times when I came back to Bali, I began to learn to paint on canvas with the theme of Balinese traditional painting. From then every year for one or two months I returned to Bali to learn to paint with a teacher from Ubud.
I also got a chance to go to Pejaten Tabanan Bali, to see the manufacturing & factory of ceramic tiles. When in Pejaten I found a new friend who is an expert in ceramic tile & he started to teach me the Balinese ceramics making method. Then I got a kiln from Bandung in Ubud.
Initially I really only learnt to paint the atmosphere of Bali in ceramics which was brought to an exhibition in Japan. Then I found a lot of inspiration here because the night in Bali is very dark but in Japan there is no dark like in Bali. At the start of I exhibited in Japan once per year with life in Balinese culture in the early 2000s.
Then I set up my workshop here in early 2000 in Ubud officially when I started to make ceramics & work with materials in Bali to take my products there.
I spent more & more time in Bali, I really like the Balinese & Indonesian culture. Little by little I started to have some Indonesian friends & then I found out information about clay materials & colouring from all over Indonesia. Especially in Bandung, there is special manufacture of ceramic goods. Also, the good craftsmen come from Bandung or Yogyakarta and Bali.
Why the name Setia Keramik?
It comes from my favourite book Gift of Unknown Things by Lyall Watson. The name of main character was Tia telling the story of clever little Indonesian girl who haled all tired things.
The I heard that SE means one and whole in Bahasa Indonesia. So, I added the SE before Tia
I don’t know if this is correct or not but I hope that people holding my production can feel and heal.
What types of materials do you use?
Setia Keramik is produced from all natural materials, be it clay, water, soil, sand, fire.
Also for staining in the use of natural materials such as copper.
If I used chemicals, then it would be very different, the colouring results, therefore I use minimal chemicals in my work.
What is the process that you use for your ceramics?
The process of making my ceramics depends on the weather.
It all comes from natural, clay base material, stone, sand, fire & water. Likewise for the colouring we use basic materials from nature.
The process is making clay into a form, then waiting for it to dry with sunlight & wind. Then in the first burning process called biscuits which we do at a temperature of approximately 760 degrees Celsius in the input on the furnace.
After that we give the ceramic the colour & then re-input on the second combustion called glazing for 10 hours with a temperature of 1300 degrees Celsius.
But the duration of it depends on the furnace in use.
How do you innovate?
I make ceramics starting with furniture & interior design in Japan, then I started to make eating utensils in Bali.
I will always make new things according to consumer demand; I can send it to all over Indonesia or the world. I want everyone to like ceramics & want my ceramics to be of use to everyone.
With new designs I am also looking for new types of colouration in order to maximise work now & in the future.
As a creator, what inspires you?
I respect the religious culture mainly of Bali. It looks like loves nature so much. And young artists in Indonesia. Of possibilities and power.
What is your dream for Setia Keramik – where to next?
My future dreams is just flow without any benchmark, because this is a different culture so I decide to just follow the natural course of things.
But I would also really like to collaborate with other young artists in Indonesia, their power will cheer me up and I also want to help them develop.
How does To~ko help you develop as a young business?
For me & Setia Keramik the biggest challenge is the marketing process, I cannot use social media to the fullest & until now I only used a mouth-to-mouth system for selling. I see To~ko as very unique, it helps me with my marketing & selling the product. The people involved are very friendly.
I first join To~ko three years ago, from now until then I have had a relationship with To~ko – from the beginning to the future.