The Art Of Resin

Resin had been used by humans for long time ago, Pine pitch is a type of natural resin that has been used to seal boats, mummies, food containers, and an assortment of other things. Resin is a natural or synthetic compound which begins in a highly viscous state and hardens with catalyst treatment. Resin will not soluble in water, but will soluble in alcohol. There are a number of different classes of resin, depending on exact chemical composition and potential uses. There are numerous applications for resins, ranging from art to polymer production, and many consumers interact with products which contain resin on a daily basis. Above is a vase made of stone that covered with resin design by us in 2006 for Modern Malaysian Handicraft. The vase's base is from acrylic sheet and the surface is covered with black pebbles hold by resin and layering the outer surface of the pebbles.This resin products idea was started by Mr. Warwick Purser from Out Of Asia, He is the one who introduced to us. During our visit to p.t. Out of Asia in Tembi village down in the state of Yogyakarta, that was in 2006 before the big earthquake of Indonesia that vanish most of Tembi. We take the chance to sit down and learn a lot of handicraft productions, developing products, skills and techniques in fabricating craft products, and one of the most exiting for us to learn is resin.Above is Nazrin one of our designer team. He is studying the texture of one of Warwick Purser's collections. As what I have been through, this material (resin) is unlimited in designing and developing, it can be used in any combination of other natural or even another synthetic materials. It can be combine with coconut shell, pearl, bamboo, tamarind, and also herbs like cinnamon. And the results will be different with different materials, that's makes this resin more interesting. Below is some collections of resin products from Mr. Warwick's shelf. Above picture is a sample of photo frame that made of cinnamon collection from Bali wood art culture.
Pak Fajar Harsana is one of Mr. Warwick's craft maker, Pak Fajar Harsana is an expert in resin craft making. He teach us a lot in skills and techniques in handling resin to fabricate resin products. Above is the picture of Pak Fajar Harsana teaching me to make a product that combining resin with pandanus leaf. The first square shows him cutting the fibreglass matt into pieces then the next picture showing him going to swipe the first layer of resin.When i came to Pak Fajar Harsana resin workshop, i see the students of Pak Fajar Harsana filling the first layer of resin on to the silicon mould of a 'resin leaf' product. Below is a picture of a Tembi's youth that really focus in filling the resin at the silicon mould. The resin had been colored red to outcome the effect of reddish light from this transparency leaf. Above picture shows one of Pak Fajar Harsana students cutting the fibreglass. Fibreglass is used as the structure of the product, without fibreglass the resin leaf will not strong enough and can be easily crack or broke. The fibreglass only can be attach to the leaf after the first layer of resin almost hardened as you can see the picture below, after done attaching the fibreglass, another layer of resin will be fill on to the leaf to resolve the fibreglass. Now the leaf is ready for the next step for the finishing after it is really dry and hardened. The process of hardening will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour depends on the catalyst drops (hardener), the more drops of the catalyst in the resin will shorten the period of hardening. Above is the semi finished resin leaf tray that had been done by Pak Fajar Harsana and his crew at only 4 days. Below is the picture of Pak Fajar Harsana, Hafiz Razak (the designer team), and me, discussing on how to produce an instant product by using resin.

This is a made in China bangle, it is made of resin and around it dots of Checz stones. It is a simple product that produce by China manufacture and it has been sold all around the globe. Below is an Environmental Installation Art by John Dahlsen, he is an environmental artist and a contemporary painter. The item below is a public art work materials sample, made from plastic found objects that embedded in yellowing resin.

Back to Malaysia we further the research and developing products from resin and combining with all kind of natural and synthetic materials and surrounding our country. After a year of developing, we invented a resin toiletries set using resin combine with rubber leaf and silver threads. This product is produced in Felda Jengka Pahang by a production team that we had developed there. In order to fulfill the high end market this product was design as a premium item.

Below is a close up of the slices of palm oil friut that had been resin, The r&d leads by Hafiz Razak at about 5 months, and a lot of problems had occurred as to prevent the oil contacting with the resin chemical, and the products finally done in 2007.
But another problem after the product exist, the color of the palm oil fruit faded from time to time. Below is the picture of the ready 'Palm Oil Fruit Resin Toiletries Set'.


'Modern Rattan'

Nowadays rattan design is much different from yesterday. This is one of our latest design collection. Playing with modern colors is much fun to develop a craft products especially for rattan products. Rattan can easily being colored rather then other natural materials, mengkuang leave is also the same as rattan. It can be colored by using color pigment and boiling techniques. Picture below is one of our local rattan products manufacture in Felda Keratong 4, coloring his rattan.Before drying it under the sun as above, he is boiling the naked rattan. This process could take at about 4 hours untill the rattan colored well. If the coloring process done in less hours, the rattan color will not perform perfectly as the color spec, and the color durabality is not good, it will faded when open to sunlight.Below are some of the color specs that had been done, but sometime we also use natural rattan (without colored) as our products.This is a rattan fruitbasket, made in Keratong 4, which design by us last year. However this month the product had been given new color that more catchy.Below is one of the range of this rattan products set. It is a rattan basket, latest design using 'crazy weaving' techniques. Using the same color as the rattan fruitbasket.I was surprise by the way their finished this basket, the weaving techniques by using bamboo skin to cover the edge and corners of this basket really creative. As a designer i didnt learn in depth on the finishing part, the production always know better when it comes into the technical part. However design will come first before technically producing sample and products. This rattan fruitbasket is 2feet long and 13inch wide. And the rattan basket is 13inch square.
The rattan basket comes in two design which are with one handle and the other one had two handle. If you guys keen to have this items, u guys can reach me at This product is limited and will only sell by order method, however you guys can request for the size and color that you like and we will try to match it as your request.


The 'Sirih Bowl'

Sirih is a leaves that being used for a long long time in Asia. Sirih leaves are consumed with betel nuts. They are used to counter the sharpness of betel nuts.
Vernacular names
The betel leaf is known as Paan in Urdu/Hindi, and Taambuul and Nagavalli in Sanskrit. Some of the names in the regions in which it is consumed are: Vetrilai Tamil,Tamalapaku Telugu, Vidyache pan Marathi, veeleya/vilya Kannada, Vettila Malayalam, Plū Mon, Malus Tetum, Maluu Khmer, Plue Thai, Malus Tetum, Bulath Sinhalese, Malu Tokodede, Bileiy Divehi, bulung samat Kapampangan language, daun sirih Malay language, Papulu Chamorro and Trầu Vietnamese. In Malaysia they are used to treat headaches, arthritis and joint pain. In the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and China they are used to relieve toothache. In the Philippines, they are used specifically as a stimulant. In Indonesia they are drunk as an infusion and used as an antibiotic. They are also used in an infusion to cure indigestion, as a topical cure for constipation, as a decongestant and as an aid to lactation

Sirih also had been used in Malaysia as a tradition in wedding ceremony. Sirih decoration is a must in wedding gifts for the ceremony.
From the Sirih leaves, influence me to create 'The Sirih Bowl'. This is a glass bowl that covered with brass metal frame with sirih leaves design.
The brass metal part is made by a metal crafter in Felda. It takes several weeks for him to realizing my design, however it can produce more quantities after doing this sample of products.

This 'Sirih Bowl' can be touch up a little bit by plating it either in silver or gold.

I will send it to plating and futher the design range to other related products as tissue holder and others. Will update you guys soon!


Woodcarving in Thailand

During my visit to Thailand, i had seen a lot of craft products, in Thailand they made almost everything from natural resources, silver making, natural silk, jade, diamonds and stones, terracotta, bamboo, lacquerware and others. What do i really interested here which is the finest of woodcarving. Thailand is one of the most biggest exporter in craft products industry, beside Indonesia and Philippines also had a big share in this pie. Wood Carving Industry is the specialty in Thailand, thay also had a number of raw material for this industry.
I visited a wood factory in Chiangmai (north of Thai), this growing industry spare a lot of job vacancies for their locals, theres no limits as this carving job for male only. Its open to anybody who had the passion to carved wood.
This young lady here is very passionate in wood carving, her work is very fine and her most favorite is carving flower motifs. She carved this wooden table slowly untill its done.
Thailand Wood Carving had an identity in their motifs, from my observation, most of the motifs are from religious motifs. Some of them carving scenery like villages, forest, and trees. This is one of the village scenery carved on a piece of wood.
Below: A young man carving a scenery of elephants. Elephants are the most favorite subject matter for them to carved.
He sketch with pencils on the piece of wood before starting his carving.
But this guy dont even had any skecthes. Below is finish carving of forest scenery, you can see the layers of the carving made it apear 3D.
Not even decorations, they also made furnitures from wood that enchance with their carving specialty motifs.
It is so exiting when looking these two foreign child learning carving from them! They also willing to teach people that intrested in carving. These two little brother and sister is so eager to carved by their own, its so funny to see them quarelling to take turn to do the carving.

Below: some close up for the monkeys.
I do really hope Malaysians woodcraft industry could be growing as big as Thailand. Malaysia also had pottential in woodcarving, i had seen and visit some wood products producer in arround Malaysia and they seems to be good in carving. Malaysia also had a big number of woods supply, it must be not problem in raw material for this industry. Below is a unique wooden bottlecase done in Thailand.
Below: Carved bowl that produced for the worlwide market from Thailand. However I really appreciate craft products from any country as long as it had a value of finest quality. I enjoy this visit to Thailand and keen to had a second trip, it was so enjoyable and a lot of experience that I had learned. If you guys had intention to visit Thai, do spare a litttle time for visiting their woodcraft factory.
Below is wooden bowl with carving leaf motif that done by me, it is still in the progress work by a wood crafter in Felda Tenang Johor. I really hope it can be done with finest quality, will update u guys when the bowl is ready.