“My name is Karina Rachmawati Taruna. People call me Karin. I was born in Yogyakarta. I am the fifth child of six siblings. My parents are entrepreneurs who started their business in Malioboro, the center of Yogyakarta tourism. Now, we live in Bantul, making terracotta handicrafts, tissue boxes, etc. Our business continues to grow. I am currently studying in Yogyakarta. In school, I do a lot of the same things as my peers; I study, I make friends, and spend time with with my friends.
“At first, I began by helping my parents in their workshop. After I graduated high school, helping my parents became a routine. Even during school holidays, I focused more on helping my parents than having fun. However, playing with friends from time to time refreshes the mind.
“My hobbies are watching Korean dramas and western TV shows, as well as reading novels. Comedy shows also make me laugh.
“The most difficult thing for me is socializing with new people, since getting to know each new person and how to respond to them is a new experience each time. In fact, I was once ostracized by a group of friends because they thought I was arrogant, but it takes some time to get to know me. These days, I mostly stay silent until I get to know someone. After getting to know them, I feel more comfortable interacting with them.
“The best part of my craft is that I use materials from nature and my culture. As part of being environmentally friendly, we take advantage of existing natural products. The most challenging element of our craft is making terracotta, because it requires a special expertise. We draw inspiration from the environment around us, and try to apply it in our crafts. I work with my family and some local workers. I decide who does the work based on each individual’s abilities, whether it be the application of the material or finishing.
“I use natural ingredients such as eggshells, banana bark, soursop leaves, old coconut leaves, bamboo, etc. For tools, I typically use scissors, cutters, solder, and glue. We incorporate our materials easily, because these materials are found in the environment around us. I prepare the materials myself. The materials we use are mostly waste products, which are not typically used by many people. We transform these materials into pieces that are beautiful, attractive, and valuable.
“Our craft is strongly tied to tradition. Terracotta has been used since ancient times, before materials such as plastic and stainless steel came around.”