Join Date: May 2006
Jean, it takes less time for a current era maker to make keris than it took me.
The first real keris I made was under the supervision of Empu Suparman. That took a total of 2 days to forge using two strikers, I did not weld this keris, a local smith was engaged for the forge work, I worked as one of his strikers, so , 3 men, 2 days = 6 man days to forge, then it took me 16 days to carve.
Empu Suparman could carve a keris using only hand tools, no electric tools, in 12 to 14 days.
At the present time every single current era maker that I know, or know of, uses electric tools, with only the finishing touches done with manual tools.
True, keris makers are not richly rewarded, but compared with, let us say, a mechanical fitter or bus driver or a village pande living and working in Central Jawa, they do not fare too badly. If they become well known and their work becomes popular, they can do very, very well indeed.