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Crafts for the Monel Jewelry Industry Kriyan Village Jepara

Jepara - Kriyan village's reputation as a hub of the monel craft sector is undeniable. When we reach this village via the access road, we will be met by a gate that reads "Monel Kriyan-Jepara Handicraft Industry Center." Accessories stores to the right and left underline the presence of this white metal as a community emblem.

Kriyan Village has long been regarded as a center for monel-based crafts. Not only does the hamlet in the Kalinyamatan sub-district of Jepara regency make accessories like as necklaces, bracelets, pendants, earrings, and rings, but it also produces tools such as ear picks, back scratchers, tweezers, beard trimmers, tongue scrapers, and scraping instruments for entrance. wind. The businesses in this town provide unique brass accessories in addition to monel materials.

This saga began in 1947. Kriyan was designated as the Monel Handicraft Industry Center Village that year. Of course, all of that is inextricably linked to the ups and downs of this craft art's survival till today.

On Tuesday (8/6/21), we met Farichah (67), the proprietor of Kriyan's oldest monel business, at his home. The home and shop are fairly visible. There is a large inscription in front of the window full of Monel accessories that he named "Seni Sakti Monel."

We are welcomed to sit in the living room. Farichah began to relate the story of how the monel craft business originated in Kriyan with delight. While resting comfortably, he recounted that it turned out that alpaca, not monel, was the first material utilized to manufacture crafts at Kriyan.

"Beginning in the 1960s, there were ring crafts made of Alpaca rather than Monel. Then there's dipa money, which is another type of substance. Currency that was no longer legitimate at the time was turned into a ring by the craftspeople. That's where it all began, "Farichah elaborated.

The art of monel was not recognized until 1965. Farichah stated that the first monel artisan in Kriyan at the time was the late. Hardi. Hardi was instrumental in the advancement of monel in Kriyan during his tour. He hired several Kriyan inhabitants, who were later engaged in Semarang to create different monel accessories.

"From here, Kriyan people' capacity to make monel began to be perfected," the middle-aged woman added.

The monel craft business did not always progress smoothly. Previously, monel was only found in a single home industry in Kriyan. Then, Farichah said, jewelry made of monel and alpaca that was in high demand and sought after by consumers drove this skill to become progressively refined and manufactured in adjacent communities.

"Monel artisans have so far expanded over Kriyan, Robayan, Bakalan, and Margoyoso. My shop's marketing technique has now reached Medan, Kalimantan, Makassar, Malang, and Yogyakarta "he remarked, motioning with his finger to the location of the area he indicated previously.

When the Musabaqah Tilawatil Qur'an (MTQ) was held in Jepara in 1988, the Monel Kriyan Craft Center became well-known to the general population. The Regional Government at the time erected a nameplate on the gate of Kriyan Village that said "Monel Kriyan-Jepara Handicraft Industry Center."

"After it was created, many inhabitants from outside came hunting for monel accessories, even though there were no monel dealers in Kriyan at the time," he explained, periodically adjusting his awkward seating position.

Begun Home Industry

Seni Sakti Monel, Kriyan's oldest monel business, opened in response to the great demand for monel accessories at the time. Farichah and her father began selling miniature monel at their house in 1989. At the time, the business only sold rings, necklaces, pendants, and earrings.

The blazing sun outdoors, along with the amicable feeling between us, heated up the talk even more. Farichah noted that the Monel Craft Center in Kriyan was at its peak during the agate boom in 2014-2015. In recent years, monel craft has truly become the bulk of the Kriyan people's livelihood.

"It was really crowded here in 2014/2015, with many people hunting for agate rings." "There are also many locals who create stores at home, the majority of them sell rings," he remarked as he displayed a collection of agates collected by his men in his shop.

Monel Business Had Diminished

However, the trend is just ephemeral; the agate craze began to diminish in 2016. Due to a drop in market demand, craftsmen are no longer producing monel jewelry, particularly rings. Farichah also confessed that the monel craft is currently on the decline.

"Monel craftspeople are hard to get by these days." I'm even having trouble locating craftspeople who can work on demand. "There was also the pandemic time, which made the marketing process much more tough," he remarked in the center of the throng while his two grandkids played in the store.

Farichah began to increase as a result of this, and now monel marketing has entered the digital market. She began marketing her numerous monel crafts in various marketplaces on internet buying and selling applications with the assistance of her son.

In agreement with Farichah, Munasihah (60), a resident of Kriyan Village, expressed the same thing. During the epidemic, industries in Jepara thrived, leading monel Kriyan crafts to dwindle.

"Prior to the epidemic, many individuals purchased monel, mainly from outside the city. If it's quiet now, it's quiet in comparison to previously. Many people choose to work in factories than than produce monel, especially since that factories exist "When we met in his yard, he remarked.

He also mentioned, in a kindly manner, that it is uncommon for some young people to continue their parents' prior career as monel artisans.

"Others whose parents were monel artisans know how to make it gradually, but those whose family have never worked in monelan don't comprehend. Many continue their parents' jobs selling money, but the majority of them merely buy items from other people and do not create them themselves "Muna, as she is well known, continued.

Finally, before saying good-by, Muna expressed her hope that monel in Kriyan would continue to be as busy as previously.

"Of course, the hope is that this monel craft will operate again soon, that the epidemic will finish soon, and that there will be more and more devotees," he said.

Jepara Monel Craftsmen Who Are Still Loyal

Kasmiran several times corrected the position of his down glasses. Painstakingly, the middle-aged man returned to rubbing the monel bracelets he made into the selep machine to make them more shiny. The father of five children has been loyal to pursuing his profession as a monel craftsman at his home, Krasak Village, RT 02 RW 04, Pecangaan District, Jepara Regency, since 25 years ago.

In his production space which is not too large, Kasmiran usually does the finishing for monel bracelet orders before they are sent to souvenir shops in Jepara Regency and its surroundings. Every day, he can carry out the finishing process of 15-20 monel bracelet scores.

Kasmiran explained, the monel bracelet production process is fairly complex. Starting from cutting the monel roll according to the diameter, burning it, printing it into spheres, attaching the round monel to the bracelet frame, grinding, sanding and rubbing or polishing until it is really shiny. Kasmiran claims that his monel jewelry bracelet will not rust.

"The production process requires at least five people and takes about two weeks. Now if there is an order, some of the materials are not needed (worked out by other people), then all they have to do is assemble them together," he explained.

Kasmiran added that the raw materials for monel rolls that he usually uses are produced from Japan and Korea. The monel rolls were bought by kilogram from the city of Semarang.

The man who also serves as a Koran teacher in his village revealed that currently there are not many monel craftsmen in Jepara Regency. Moreover, when titanium jewelry made in China entered the souvenir market in Jepara Regency. Even though the color gets dull easily, the varied models of titanium jewelry and the more affordable prices have succeeded in capturing the hearts of consumers. This had an impact on some monel craftsmen who chose to switch professions, such as becoming factory workers.

"When there is titanium jewelry from China that looks better and the price is skewed, people like it. In fact, if you wear it, it's good monel because it lasts a long time, doesn't get dull. So many people here don't work, like those in Kriyan Village, Krasak, Robayan and Margoyoso. There are garment and shoe factories here. They chose to work there because of the UMK," he explained.

Apart from the problem of a reduced number of artisans, another challenge facing monel artisans today is the selling price of jewelry to souvenir shops which tends to be cheap. Kasmiran gave an example, the monel bracelets for children he produces are sold for IDR 25 thousand per score, while the prices for monel bracelets for adults vary according to the model, ranging from IDR 40-60 thousand per score.

When sold in souvenir shops, the selling price of monel bracelets to consumers can be many times over, for example Rp. 10,000 per piece. In addition, limited capital is also another challenge faced by home-based monel craftsmen to develop their business.

"Those people don't have capital. So it's a little, then it's sold, if you produce a lot, sometimes you can't afford it," he continued.

Despite these challenges, Kasmiran remains grateful because orders for his monel bracelets continue to flow. Her monel bracelets, which are usually ordered by souvenir shops, are even in demand by consumers from outside Java.

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