Besut has produced a lot of wood carving specialists in Malaysia. Their high quality craftsmanship are sought after by many people in the decorative industry. They produce wall panel, special chair and table, ceiling panel, screen or partition, solid door, decorative railing, calligraphy, furniture, traditional weapons etc. Some of these products, you can see in corporate offices, palaces, banks, mosques (especially the Mimbar), museum, and other special buildings.
To make this wood carving (the art) sustainable, the government has established a school or a centre to train future wood carving specialists. It is called Desa Ukiran Kayu (DUK).
Desa Ukiran Kayu is located in Kampong Raja, Besut. It occupied a small area with the three blocks of traditional Malay houses. A double storey block (Limas Bungkus style) has lecture room and a library at the upper level and the workshop at the ground floor. Another block (Rumah Tele style or Bujang Berserambi Selasar) has a gallery of outstanding wood carving specialists of Besut and the third block (Potong Belanda style) has class rooms and students work.
The gate of the Centre which unique and elegant.
Rumah Potong Belanda.
Rumah Tele (Bujang Berserambi Selasar) has a gallery of Besut Wood Carving Specialists and carving products.
Rumah Limas Bungkus where the workshop is located at ground floor.
Opened in 2008, this centre has 21 students with one teacher and a few administrative personnel. The students are recruited from Besut (100 percent male) and trained for 1.5 years here. Then they will be sent for two months of industrial training at a few professional wood carving specialist firms (in Besut) such as Balai Seni Wan Po (Alor Lintang), Bakawali (Kampong Raja) and Pakatan Juruukir (Pengkalan Nyireh). I wish this centre has links with wood carving schools in the South-east Asian countries for bench-marking purpose.
Some of the students' products
If you want to visit this place, go to Kampong Raja and look for Jalan Tengku Long. Then drive to the river, you will see this centre. Click to http://desaukirankayu.blogspot.com or contact office 609-6953822 if you want further information. Happy travelling.