National Craft Week 2015

 

 

Every year , the Craft Development Corporation of Malaysia holds a Craft Fair called the ” Hari Kraftangan Kebangsaan ” , and this year, we were honored to be  a part of it. This year there was a huge turnout , consisting of 637 exhibitors, displaying all sorts of crafts Malaysia is proud of such as Bamboo, rattan and palm weaving, wood carvings, batik, pottery, jewelery, furniture , leather craft and knife making. The Craft Week is very popular especially for those who live in Kuala Lumpur at is brings all the traditional crafts from all over Malaysia, from Perlis right to Sabah.

HKK 2015
Hari Kraftangan Kebangsaan 26th March – 7th April 2015

Usually it is held in the month of February every year, but this year due to the devastating floods which happened at the end of 2014, the Craft Week was pushed forward to the end of March. Most if not all of the batik ( especially ) and knife makers from the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia were badly effected. Most lost everything , and needed time to start new. We hope they managed to get good sales to during the craft week so they could recover from the loss .

Other crafts at hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
Some of the crafts available at HKK

Besides buying and selling, there was also a lot of hands – on activities for visitors, such as batik painting , traditional music , kris standing competition, live carving demonstrations by the Orang Asal , mat and basket weaving classes and Parang making. It was definitely a busy two-week , and everyday we could see dozens of buses arriving and leaving with school children as well as government servants. Most of the parking lots nearby were choker full and the free shuttles were always busy arriving and leaving with full occupancy.

Knife making demonstration at hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
Knife making demonstration
Mah Meri wood carver demonstrating at hari kraftangan Kebangsaan
Orang Asal wood carving demonstration
basketry and mat weaving demonstration
mat and basket weaving demonstration

traditional Malaysian blacksmith
Kelantan knife makers pounding on hot steel

HKK 36In the previous years, I would drop by and check out the various parang makers and sometimes pick a parang or two. Some come with 200-300 pcs for sale and some come with about 50 pcs. They vary widely in price, and sometimes you can get really exquisitely made parangs and goloks. You can also purchase exotic local wood, such as Kemuning ( Emas and Hitam ) , Arang Bunga , Juha ( Seribu Bunga ) , Serian , and many more. Below are some pictures of what you can find at the National Craft day .

Keris at hari kraftangan 2015
Exquisitely made kris
Golok made using Juha wood
A parang with the sheath made of Juha wood
Acacia wood parang sheath
A parang with sheath made form the Acacia wood

Most of the Parang and golok makers were placed in hall C, while some, including MY Parang were placed in hall E.

Keris and knives at hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
Keris and parangs
swords, goloks and kerambit at the hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
swords, and spears
Gardening tools at hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
gardening tools
various goloks and parangs at hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
It can be hard to choose when there are so many choices
hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
Besides the parangs , you can also see the basketry in the background
Hall C where most of the knife makers are
A whole line of parang sellers

Most of the above pictures are from hall C, while the pictures below are from hall E . All together there were 13 halls covering all sorts of crafts. It can be pretty mind boggling and exhausting to cover all in one day, and it was pretty common to see the same customers  coming over a span of a few days.

my parang booth at hari krafttangan kebangsaan 2015
The Penang Craft Director Encik Rosli ( with cap )  at our booth in hall E

 

visitors looking at my parang products at hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
Some customers looking at MY Parang products
Ary craft from negeri sembilan hari kraftangan kebangsaan 2015
Our neighbor in Hall E ( Ary Craft from Negeri Sembilan )
Hall E exhibitors
Hall E exhibitors  (Parang Kraf from Johor)
Parang maker from South of Malaysia
Hall E exhibitor ( Parang Tamman from Negeri Sembilan )
Smart kraf from Kota Belud Sabah
Hall E exhibitors ( Smart kraf from Kota Belud Sabah )

Most of the craftsmen I noticed kept themselves busy when they can. Most of them brought their tools with them – carving knives, angle grinders and whenever they had time, they would be busy carving, sharpening or polishing their products. Besides selling their works to customers, there was also a “Back sales” going on between the sellers. No, nothing against the law, just special tool attachments, sand paper, brass tubes , wood , steel for making parang blades, various oils and polishing items, carving knives, jigs and whatnot. It was pretty amusing actually. The Craft fair is also a time for all the craftsmen from all over Malaysia to meet, discuss, share and learn new things from their fellow traders.

all busy
Busy when there are no customers

Another highlight of the National Craft Week is the blacksmith demonstration or known as ” Demonstrasi Kembang Api ” . Every year about 6-8 craftsmen are invited to demonstrate their skills at making everyday tools , like the parang, goloks, Kris,  knives, Kacip ( a scissor like tool to cut betelnut ) , sabit ( sickle ) and lembings ( spears ) . They are located in an open booth , usually at the back of the premises . They do start pretty early in the day, as they take a long break when the day gets hot. Every time I arrive to man our booth at 9.30 am, they are already busy hammering orange colored steel . I believe they try to use the cooler part of the day to do the forging, then move to grinding and heat treating in the afternoon and evenings . Below are some videos I took of their booth.

The above is a video of a guy hardening a plane Iron

The video above shows the “Kembang Api ” open booth. You are welcomed to grab a hammer and start hitting.

As mentioned earlier, it was an honor for MY Parang to be able to take part in this year’s National Craft Week . It was a very busy two week period , not only selling MY Parang products, but visiting other Parang makers, discussing little details and learning new techniques. Some of our customers also have a wealth of knowledge and they are not stingy when it comes to sharing it.

We would like to give a big Thank You to Kraftangan Malaysia for letting us take part in the National Craft Week, and we hope we will be able to make it every year now onwards. We also would like to say thank you to the Kraftangan Staff who dropped by our booth to have a look at our products and give us words of encouragement .

 

 

8 thoughts on “National Craft Week 2015

    • Hi James,
      Yes it could definitely be mind boggling, especially if you are not sure what you are looking for. Some may call it a dream and some may call it a curse ( those who don’t plan to buy any but end up buying 5-6 parangs….. ) . Keep out for next year’s Hari Kraftangan Kebangsaan, we should be there and it’s not thaaat far from Taiwan 😛

    • hi E,
      Yes , you must make it a point to attend the next one. Not only for the parangs, but for all Malaysian crafts.

  1. Aloha from Hawaii !
    Question: Can you discuss the process of differentially hardening 5160 steel?

    I did pickup your Duku Chandong 12″ Parang earlier this year from Blade HQ. I am making a video for my youtube channel- “Hawaii Volcano Squad” about the Parang, mostly focused on applying Obenhauf’s Leather oil to the Beechwood handle.

    • Aloha Steve ! Nice to know another Hawaiian customer. I’m loading your youtube channel as I am writing this answer to you, and I already see a a video on the Malaysian parang. Great work!
      About the differential hardening, you can watch how it is done in this post – http://www.myparang.com/bidor-blacksmith/ – you can see some pictures of the differential hardening done , or you can also watch the video at the bottom of the page. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at boss@myparang.com

    • Hi,
      We are not sure when and where it will be held next year. From what we understand, the Craft Complex at Jalan Conlay will be relocated soon. Where , we are not sure.

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