Wirun Village: Gamelan Home Industry, Sukoharjo, Central Java, Indonesia

Located not far from Surakarta, there is a village whose local people craft gamelan from generation to generation. The village is called as Wirun, administratively located in Sukoharjo Regency.
As other villages in java, Wirun is tranquil, people are friendly and smiles when eye-contact with others, and green rice fields nestle. But when you go further to the village, the sound of metal hit can be heard vaguely.
The sound of the metal comes from some men working in a humble building. In the middle of the building there is live coals, sometimes fire soars higher and it makes the room hotter quickly. And when the fire is not soaring anymore, followed with sound of hammer hitting metal plate.

There is no written explanation about the exact time the locals of this village started to be gamelan maker. They only know that this craft has been living in this village since their grandfather and event their great great grand father as story told for generations.

Currently gamelan is made in a more modern way. Craftsmen use gas to heat the plate. While the to shape it into gamelan they still uses manual method, using hammer. Using this method, if the making goes well, within one day, this group of craftsmen can make 2 gamelan.

Gamelan making process is started with heating the metal to create a plate. They use tin and copper heated in an earthenware vessel. After both metals melt and produce precise mix, then pour into mold. The mold size and material depends on the gamelan size which is going to craft.

.After cold, both mix then released from the mold and become plate. This plate then repeatedly heated and forged until it results the gamelan wanted. Forging will take about 2 hours 15 minutes and it involves 7-9 craftsmen.

The next phase is adjusting the sound standard. Though this phase can be done by using technology, yet it still often uses instinct.
One set of gamelan are 300 pieces, can be finished in 4 months.

Located not far from Wirun village are other villages with their special products:
1) On the east located earthen roof home industry in Mertan or Godekan Village.
2) Bekonang village is where Alcohol Home Industry located.
3) Karak Home Industry in Gadingan Village