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Old 24th September 2019, 05:37 AM   #1
ganjawulung
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Default SLÉWAH KERIS

SLÉWAH KERIS

We call this technique sléwah. Deliberately made completely different -- both the forging technique, and the materials. The A side, made with the forging technique that is commonly done in Madura. While the B side, made with the forging technique version of "Bab Pandameling Duwung".

The manuscript "Bab Pandameling Duwung", is a manuscript that originally written in Javanese script, published in the era of King Surakarta, Paku Buwana X in Mataram Surakarta (was reigning 1893-1939). It contained detailed instructions, how to make a standard keris making in the Surakarta Kraton version, including detailed instructions on how to fold iron, making layers, ‘ngempel’ pamor, ‘nyilak’ waja or steel, and so on. This manuscript, Thank God, was transcribed in Latin letters by the late Empu Pauzan Pusposukadgo in the 1990s.

This kris was forged by young generation of amateur keris makers, the oldest under 50 years old, in a Besalen which was only two years old established beside the Museum Pusaka (Heritage Museum), Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) in East Jakarta (2017). All forging processes, the number of layers of the technique, including the materials used, are recorded in written and some visual documentation. So far, this GuloKlopo besalen at TMII East Jakarta has made 18 kris blades - two of them are a Palembang kris and Bugis kris. The Palembang keris had been brought by a collector friend from Malaysia, while the Bugis keris was kept in the Surakarta Keris Museum, which had just been established by the Surakarta keris community (Bratasura) and was inaugurated by President Jokowi in 2017.

Slewah Technique

Side A is made of pure nickel, fabricated nickel. While the B side of the wilah (blade), the pamor is made from a used "muffler part of the Honda Grand ’93 motorcycle" made by Japanese of course, but assembled in Jakarta. (In the past, when materials for keris was difficult to obtain in Java, it was common to recycle used bicycles parts, used car parts, special part of suspensiun system of royal carriages, bicycle wheels and others. It is all written in the "Bab Pandameling Duwung" notes).

The technique used on the A side, with the pure fabricated nickel, is a common technique used in Madura. Namely the forging technique without spacing. While the B side technique, uses spacing such as the instructions in the "Bab Pandameling Duwung" manuscript.

The number of layers, is not too much. Only 864 layers. However, it is quite difficult to process the pure nickel to be combined with the pamor saton, or slorok -- to make a slewah straight patrem. Side A with dhapur of Tilamupih, and B Side, Jalak Tilamsari.


The Slorok or core of the blade? The material is from truck suspension parts. The truck brand is unknown. Purchased in used parts dealers in Jakarta. Also not easy, forging truck material which is certainly very hard.

At the A side with nickel pamor, they made Wengkon Isen motif. While the B side with used muffler pamor, Ngulit Semangka with spacing. The length of the blade, is 26.6 cm, with a pamored ganja 6.4 cm and the length of the pesi is 5.3 cm. It is the type of patrem, or small keris of course.

This is the fifth product among 18 GuloKlopo’s kerises, which have only been established for two years. Nice or not? Not the main goal. Because, the main purpose of making this besalen is to learn the technique of making a kris that was once done by the para empus in the past.... *
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Last edited by ganjawulung : 24th September 2019 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 24th September 2019, 05:55 AM   #2
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Sléwah technique is also used in the pesi section. The left one, without spacing technique with pamor of pure nickel, the right one is with spacing technique of used muffler pamor...
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Last edited by ganjawulung : 24th September 2019 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 24th September 2019, 06:07 AM   #3
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A night photograph of GuloKlopo Besalen, Museum Pusaka TMII East Jakarta, two forgers of GuloKlopo.....
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Old 24th September 2019, 06:12 AM   #4
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British Historian, Peter Carey (middle with spectacle) "forged" an inaugural blade in the opening session of GuloKlopo Besalen, East Jakarta on November 25, 2017....
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Old 24th September 2019, 09:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganjawulung
SLÉWAH KERIS



The number of layers, is not too much. Only 864 layers.


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Old 24th September 2019, 11:41 AM   #6
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Cleaning all GuloKlopo's tools for forging on 1st of Suro, the first day of Javanese Calender on September 1, 2019 with water from three springs, outside the besalen.....
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Old 25th September 2019, 04:29 AM   #7
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awesome photo. Thank you
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Old 26th September 2019, 07:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing, Pak Ganjawulung. Interesting to read and great to see those photos.
I love the contrast between the gonjo and the pamor on the sorsoran, especially on the A-side.
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Old 27th September 2019, 06:44 PM   #9
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864 layers ? Not likely: either 512 or 1024 !
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Old 27th September 2019, 09:42 PM   #10
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Possible, but then anything is possible.

It becomes a bit difficult to estimate notional/nominal layers if we do not know the progression of folds.
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIO
864 layers ? Not likely: either 512 or 1024 !


May be Pak Ganja meant 8 to 64 which looks more realistic?
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Old 30th September 2019, 02:13 PM   #12
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How to make 864 layers?

Simply put, the initial stack of iron-pamor-iron-pamor for making a 'gebingan' for keris blade was first made of 32 layers. Heating it and melding it, then hammered to 36 cm in length. Divided by 3, then stacked. (According to “Bab Pandameling Duwung”, divided 6 and then piled five. One for making ganja. But we made the ganja separately, with same material). So here the first melded 96 layers.

The stack of 96 layers was heated and melded again and hammered it up to 36 cm long (we call the process of heating up and then hammering to make it longer, ‘dionjot’), then cut in three more to be stacked the second time. Be 288 layers.

As the previous process, then the stack of 288 layers was heated and melded, hammered up to 36 cm long, then cut three more. So be a stack of 864 layers. Heated and melded again up to 36 cm. Then, a ‘gebingan’ of 864 layers was ready for making a keris ‘kodhokan’.

The 864 layers gebingan was bent in two, melded and hammered until 36 cm and 4 cm in width. Actually, the total layer of keris is 1,728 plus one layer of slorok, be a ‘kodhokan’ of keris with 1729 layers.

* The photo of GBPH Yudaningrat (wears brown jacket), the younger brother of Sultan Hamengku Buwana X of Yogyakarta, visiting and commenting on GuloKlopo process of making keris.
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Last edited by ganjawulung : 30th September 2019 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 30th September 2019, 02:39 PM   #13
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Thank you Pak Ganja. I checked that 864 is a multiple of 2 and 3 (2x2x2x2x2x3x3x3) so feasible, but this is a lot of layers!
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Old 30th September 2019, 04:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjorn
Thanks for sharing, Pak Ganjawulung. Interesting to read and great to see those photos.
I love the contrast between the gonjo and the pamor on the sorsoran, especially on the A-side.


Yes, deliberately different material of pamor, different technique.... Different kind of pamor between side A and side B, that we call it.... slewah.
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Old 30th September 2019, 04:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
Thank you Pak Ganja. I checked that 864 is a multiple of 2 and 3 (2x2x2x2x2x3x3x3) so feasible, but this is a lot of layers!
Regards


Just simply multiple of 3, Jean.....
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Old 26th October 2019, 01:54 AM   #16
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Wonderful. Makes me want to go to Indonesia.

Has the "Bab Pandameling Duwung" been published? Do you think this would ever happen?

Yours,
Ric
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Old 28th October 2019, 11:20 PM   #17
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Default Layers, layers, layers

The Keris is welded in layers, two sides containing iron(s) with pamor material and in the center a layer of steel (most times).
However to know the number of layers the sides of a Keris contain, multiplying the number of layers before welding, times the number of folds gives an idea but does not give a correct number of layers as result.
The more times the material is folded, the larger the deviaton between the real number of layers and the calculated.

When an Empu, makes a package (stack) of three layers of iron with between them two layers of pamor material and he folds this once, then the new formed bar, after welding, has five layers of iron and four layers of pamor.
The middle layer is a layer of one material, thicker but one layer.
So the total number is nine layers and not ten.

The thickness of the layers will differ more after each weld. The layers on the outside of the stack oxidize a lot. After each weld, the package will lose about five percent of its weight. The inner layers of iron as well as the pamor layers are protected against oxidation (exept from the thin ends facing the outside of the package).

After some welds, the material of the iron layers on the outside has burned away and the pamor comes on the outside of the package. The pamor will also oxidize the next weld.

The photographs of the samples show the effects. The number of layers is 29 instead of a calculated number of fourty. A large difference.

In 1904 Dr. Groneman counted the number of layers of pamor material only, not all the layers. A better way, but not perfect too since some burn away.

In the past the empus were very carefully in welding, because the iron and the pamor was relatively quite expensive.
Modern empu's spill more material as the photograph of a welding stroke of an empu shows.The sparks are fluid metal.

Dr. Groneman describes that Karja di Krama starts with about 2 kg material, pamor and iron. Modern empu's start sometimes with more than 6 kg material.
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Old 29th October 2019, 05:20 AM   #18
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That is an interesting way of counting Seerp, and I guess it could be a valid way of counting, depending upon where one lives and upon one's background.

When we discuss this subject in English we use the word "layer", and there can be a couple of different ways in which to understand the word "layer", but in Javanese the word we use is "sap", and sap can be understood as an item (ie, layer) in a stack, or as an item in a row.

If we start to produce pamor with just two layers of iron plus one layer of contrasting material we have 3 layers of material, if we weld that stack of three layers, cut it in half, and place the two halves one on top of the other, we have 3 + 3 = 6 layers, if we then weld the two pieces of iron & contrasting material together, cut this block in half, we have two pieces of iron and contrasting material each of which has 6 layers of material, so, 6 + 6 = 12. Counting in this way, that is by always just cutting (or bending) the material in half, and counting total layers of material, 8 doublings will give us 384 nominal layers of material.

The point is this:- just because two layers of iron are joined together does not make those two layers one layer, it is still two layers, and if the side of the forging is polished, etched and examined under magnification, those two layers will be seen.

But then, in the counting of pamor layers we do not count total material layers, we only count the layers of contrasting material, and we only count that contrasting material on one side of the blade.

In a Surakarta keris the number of sap of contrasting material should be 128. There are various ways in which to reach this number of 128, but ideally it should be reached by 8 doublings, the usual way that this is done is by a 1 > 2 > 4 > 8 > 16 > 32 > 64 > 128 progression. The number of doublings is significant, because the number 8 is the number of the naga, and incidentally, also of the elephant, in the Candra Sangkala.

Yes, there is always a loss of material when a weld is taken, but the important thing is the nominal layers, not the actual layers, and more important again is how that nominal number of layers was reached.

It is all a matter of perspective.

Of course, for commercially produced keris, and keris that are not made as pusaka or for some other special reason, how the pamor is welded is not particularly important, only economy and the end result matter. However, the number of layers of pamor is the number of sap of contrasting material, it is not the total number of layers of material, no matter how that count is carried out.
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