Not easy to decompose, cow bones remains from meatball production-pile up in refuse heaps. Having to deal with such nasty piles, getting higher all the time, the residents of Rancaekek, Bandung regency, West Java got together and and figured out how to recycle these bones, making Keris Sarong, cigarette pipes and statues.
One of these talented artisans is Taufik Muharram. However, unlike other craftsmen, this man makes eyeglass frame from old bones, because he wants to be original, and make things differently.
When he started out he had no idea as how to make frames for eyeglasses, so he took a plastic one and copied it on a cow’s bone. Last September 2016 he launched his first product, under “Bilal Craft” brand.
In contrast to craftsmen who directly target overseas markets, Taufik decided to sell his curious products to local consumers first. He also displayed them through the “artisans community” from district to provincial levels.
From there, Taufik participated in various exhibitions. Unexpectedly, his original bony glasses attracted consumer’s attention.
To expand the market, he also offers them through online sales. As a result, now sales have reached major cities in Indonesia.
The eyeglass frames are sold for Rp. 600.000-Rp. 1.5 million per pair. He imposed a pre-order system to keep stocks steady for a long time. Currently, he has not yet felt any significant competition because he has not heard of any competitor, from inside or outside of the country.
The frames are created relying completely on manual skills, so it takes about four days to create one pair of glasses-and this makes them so special. Production is handled by taufik only, assisted by his father. As a result, in a month he can only produce about eight to ten pairs of glasses. It is thus a limited-edition product.
This lack of resources makes it difficult to increase production. He admits that it quite difficult to get craftsmen because not many people today are diligent, patient, and painstaking enough just to make one item. In addition, the number of bone craftsmen in the region is decreasing.
To attract the attention of young people to go back to pursue this bone craftsmenship, he opens sree training sessions at his workshop located in Rancaekek, Bandung regency, West Java. There are already a number of students from Unpad or ITB who are studying how to create new eyewear models.
In the future, he wants to continue launching new bone craft products. Bone watches are ready to be marketed in the near future. (IO-3)