Kusnodin makes a living by selling animal replicas he makes from used tin cans. (JG Photo/Ratri M. Siniwi)

Angkot-Driver-Turned-Artist Uses Tin Cans to Make Animal Replicas


JANUARY 31, 2017

Jakarta. Meet Kusnodin, a former angkot, or public minibus, driver from Magelang, Central Java, who now makes a living from handcrafted ornaments.

The 56-year-old gave up his driving job in 1987 to focus on his passion for creating replicas of feathered animals from used tin cans.

"I've always had a penchant for craft-making, so I stopped driving [angkot] and continued with my craft," Kusnodin said in Jakarta on Tuesday (31/01).

The animals include eagles, roosters, peacocks, dragons and even tigers. Kusnodin even makes them in various sizes, with some measuring more than 1.5 meters tall.

The man has since frequently featured his goods at Inacraft, the national handicraft trade fair, with his creations being sold at various galleries across Indonesia and at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten.

Kusnodin said he only concerns himself with the creative process, doing all the work at home, while distributors deal with the sale of his creations.

"The galleries spread to Jakarta, Medan and Yogyakarta, and they are good because it's usually sold at double, or even triple the price I sell them for at home," he added.

His creations cost between Rp 100,000 and Rp 500,000 ($7.50-$37), depending on how complicated the order is.

In addition to support from his family, he also has 30 employees who joined him as he experienced positive sales growth over the years.

"First, the tin cans must be cut; then it has to be curled with pliers… It usually takes me at least two days to complete one [item]," Kusnodin said.

Kusnodin was recognized as Microentrepreneur of the Year in 2012 by the Citi Foundation, while he also received a Green Microentrepreneur award.

The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards will return this year, with registrations open until Feb. 14.

The competition aims to empower microentrepreneurs who, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), made up 98.7 percent of businesses in Indonesia in 2013.

Kusnodin's passion can be seen in the intricate details of his work, such as this replica of a peacock, made from used tin cans. (JG Photo/Ratri M. Siniwi)