Kampung Gamelan Wirun
A 15-minute drive from Solo City, Wirun Village, a gamelan industry area in Mojolaban Subdistrict, Sukoharjo is an interesting tourist destination. Once you set foot in the village, the roar of iron clanking each other is the sign of the existence the village of iron craftsmen. In one of the rooms, the red coals soared. As the flame dies, the hammering rhythm meets the iron plate alternately following.
High air covered the already mixed-up room. The workers inside did not seem to care, their bodies were wet and shiny. The making of gamelan in Wirun Village using a semi-modern method. They use gas-fired heaters to cook and heat the slabs. While the process of forming the plate to become a gamelan still rely on manpower assisted by a big hammer. This activity is performed from morning until midday. Every day at least two gamelan items are made.
The process of making gamelan begins with cooking ingredients to make the slabs of tin and copper. Both ingredients are cooked in a container made of clay to melt and produce the right mixture. After that, the ingredients are poured into the mold. The size of the mold and the amount of cooked material depends on the size of the gamelan to be made.
After its cold, that mixture is removed from the mold and the plate is ready for the next step. This plate then heated over and over and then forged to produce some desired shape. The process of forging the plate to produce the desired shape in about two hours. This process involved about 7-9 workers..
The next process is setting the tone of the gamelan. The gamelan tone is set according to the existing sound standard. Tone settings are still instinctual even though technology has been found to facilitate the process. It takes a certain skill to go through this process. Difficult and lengthy making of gamelan makes the price is not kidding. A set of gamelan amounted to about 26 items made within 3-4 months. Each set of complete gamelan is priced around Rp300 million more.