Many people believe that the handicrafts industry is old, as younger generations less interest.
In Malaysia, you can see some handicraft makers are slowly disappearing into the sunset.
However, the number of entrepreneurs in the batik and songket industry remains stagnant, it is not that bad compared to the works of brass handicraft items which is decreasing.
Terengganu, a state known for brass industry, has only 13 makers of brass items.
Brass Handicraft in Payang Market
A glance shows that there are a lot of batik and songket clothing sale in Payang market, but no single product of brass even though there is high demand for brass handicrafts.
The handicraft industry turnover, under the One District One Industry, between January and August 2012 was RM42 million, exceeding the expeted number of RM40 million. Brass industry contributed RM 1.2 million.
This indicates that the brass handicraft item is in needs, making Terengganu destination for those interested in brass.
In addition, Terengganu is the only place in Malaysia to offer products for brass handicraft collectors.
Motivation might be an important element that should be inculcated among the young people, who want to get involved in the industry handicrafts.
Efforts should be made to help the brass handicraft industry, as the process of making complicated brass stuff is delicate, difficult and time consuming.
This is the reason why the younger generation avoid brass making industry.
The older generation is comfortable with the approach they inherited. Therefore, it is difficult for them to technologically advances their method.
For example, making tepak Sireh (betel nut tray), which previously took about two weeks, can be completed within three days with the incorporation of technology.
Help From Malaysia Handicraft
Kraftangan Malaysia, the government agency that promotes handicraft in Malaysia ensure that brass manufacturing industry will not disappear. It also monitors the production of brass items is according to current needs and trends.
Previously, brass handicraft items regarded as decorative items, and are susceptible to rust.
But studies have expanded the use of these items.
It’s not just for display in the home. With the technique of “coating” is applied during the manufacturing process, brass products can now be turned into a decorative item in the garden.
This increases the market value of brass items and brass maker revenue.
Brass Handicraft Market Competition
However, the brass item made in Terengganu face competition from similar products from Thailand, which is offered at a cheaper price.
What is the difference between Terengganu and Thai brass?
Brass items from Terengganu is whitish yellow, because it contains white copper. The brass products from Thailand, are much lighter and looks more golden.
Although Thailand produce cheaper brass, brass lovers choose Terengganu brass handicraft because of its superior quality.