Posts Tagged ‘teak’

Madura Island, Indonesia

February 3, 2011

In January, 2008, I made an EPIC trip to Madura Island off the north central coast of Java Island, Indonesia. No…. I didn’t go for the surfing and I don’t even know if there is any surf to be had! I was there on a buying trip for our business, Impact Imports in Boise, Idaho, and it was a great, successful trip!

I spent four days with some really nice Madurese people. I visited several antique dealers and bought some really cool stuff, such as antique teak doors, old teak ship beams, antique carvings and paintings, furniture, a teak ship’s wheel, antique windows, old teak trunks, and much more. But, since then, all of these items have been sitting in Madura waiting for us to schedule a container to ship them to Boise. Three years! Well, that time has come. All of the antiques and architectural elements I discovered on Madura Island are on their way, and they will be in Boise in the middle of March, 2011.

You can go to the Impact Imports Facebook page ( ) to see pictures of some of the items that will be arriving, but I wanted to post some of the travel pictures here. Although there isn’t much to do as a tourist on Madura Island, there was a lot of beautiful landscape and really great people!

Sign up for our email list at our website or Facebook page and you will be notified when we receive this shipment from Madura Island!

Boats in water













Making A 3,000lb Onyx Vanity / Sink & Suspending It From A Ceiling

January 4, 2011

In the spring of 2010, the owners of Barbacoa Restaurant in Boise, Idaho, came to Impact Imports to help them decorate their new restaurant with unique pieces. One of the most unique pieces is the men’s room vanity / sink. It is made from a single piece of onyx stone and has 2 sinks and a tissue holder hand cut into the surface. The goal was to install this sink suspended from the ceiling on heavy anchor chains. As you can see from the pictures, this feat was accomplished. Here is how we did it:

On a trip to Indonesia in April of 2010, I began to hunt down and find all the pieces requested by Barbacoa. The most difficult piece was the men’s room vanity / sink combination. However, we knew the perfect supplier to make this piece. So it was only a matter of getting there, finding the stone and then begin the sometimes-difficult task of explaining how we wanted it. The travel time involved to get to this supplier in East Java, Indonesia, was approximately 36 combined hours from Boise. But, it was well worth the trip.

Upon arrival, I hooked up with a friend and began the search for the perfect piece. It had to be no more than 6 feet long and the depth would eventually be cut to 24-28 inches. The first picture in the series below shows the piece I found as it sits upside down on a pile of onyx stones. My friend is negotiating the price with the owner of the stone, and she was a tough one to bargain with! I chose this piece because it was exactly 6 ft long, and the angle on the bottom of the piece made it ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Compliant, saving a tremendous amount of manufacturing time. After about 3 hours, the stone was delivered to the supplier for cutting.

The supplier has these huge wet saws that cut through this material like butter! Most of the main cuts were simply "eyeballed," as I was kind of creating this piece on the fly. I think we pushed this through the big blades about 6 or 7 times to fine tune everything. Next came the layout of the sinks, the tissue box, the cavities behind the sink to hide the plumbing, the holes for the drains and, most difficult of all, the holes for hanging the sink from the ceiling. To find the center of balance (so the sink would hang relatively flat before we tied it to the wall with bolts) I had the supplier turn the sink upside down and balance it on pieces of bamboo! Highly scientific approach!

The end result is one of the coolest vanity / sink combinations you will ever see! We hope you enjoy it! Thanks, Barbacoa! Searching, cutting, hand crafting & installing the coolest vanity / sink combo ever!  

Barbacoa Restaurant in Boise Opening Today, December 30, 2010

December 29, 2010

After the original building burned down in a dramatic fire on January 1st, it has been a long year of rebuilding the Barbacoa Restaurant in Boise, Idaho. But, the project is complete! Barbacoa Restaurant opens today, December 30, 2010, with a VIP Dinner for family, suppliers and contractors. Owners Robert and Martine Castoro deserve the best of luck with their new place, and they should be very proud of their new design and overall efforts to meet their schedule, as the construction of this building was quite a feat!

Impact Imports is proud to have been chosen as a supplier for some of the very unique, custom pieces that were created and installed for their customer’s enjoyment. Here are pictures of the pieces we helped design / create as they were found, created or being manufactured by some of our best suppliers in Indonesia. you will have to go to Barbacoa soon to see them in their new home!

When you go to Barbacoa, look for the following pieces from Impact Imports:

* Men’s Room Vanity / Sinks: Cut from a single piece of gray / brown onyx we discovered in east Java, you will find this piece hanging from the ceiling on beefy anchor chains!
* Pink Onyx Tile: All the walls in the women’s room are covered with this tile from floor to ceiling! Very dramatic!
* Round Settee: While waiting for your table to become available for dinner, you will enjoy people watching while sitting on the custom manufactured woven cow hide settee made in Bantul, Java, Indonesia! It looks like a computer ‘pixilated’ it!
* Tree Trunk Hostess Stands: Made from a single tree trunk we found in Bali, these three very organic looking pieces will greet you when you check in for a table with your friends!
* Resin Filled Teak Root Balls: Fun and interesting 2 foot diameter stools you can rest upon in the lobby and the VIP room, these are large teak root balls filled with broken glass and resin.
* Skulls & Glass: Created by a very talented supplier in Bali, these cow skulls have hand blown glass horns. You will find these in the men’s room.
* Glowing Onyx: The front of the new Barbacoa Bar is surfaced with honey onyx from East Java Island and back lit for dramatic effect.
* Teak Aqueducts & Crystal: The light above the bar was created using long, antique teak aqueducts found in Central Java Island. Barbacoa employees added crystals, giving the illusion of water dripping from the old water distribution system.
* Stone Plates: Order a terrific steak from the kitchen, and it will be delivered on a polished granite stone from East Java.
* Hand Made Giant Pots: The mission: "Find us the largest pots you can!" Mission accomplished! See them at the entry. Hand made in Bali by very talented artisans!
* Fire Pit Tables: Hand cut from large river boulders, these three fire pits will be the destination for outdoor dining in Boise when the weather allows. All the other table on the patio are also made from natural stone from East Java.
* Cypress Tree Root Room Divider: You’ll have a hard time resisting touching this beautiful piece as you walk by it! But, go ahead……
* Cow Horn Sculpture: Real cow horns from Madura Island, Indonesia, wrapped in barbed wire sit atop the woven cow hide settee in the lobby. After all, Barbacoa is a great place for steaks……
* Glowing Tree Bark: When you’re in the Taco Bar area of Barbacoa, look up! The light shades are made from tree bark from Central Java Island, Indonesia.
* Sea Coral Pot: Found on Madura Island, Indonesia, this 1 million (+/-) year old limestone pot was an underwater volcanic vent. Sea coral lines the inside of this pot which was extracted from the ground on the property of one of our suppliers about 150 foot in elevation above sea level. This piece adds dramatic effect to Barbacoa’s exterior landscape!

Enjoy your visits to Barbacoa! Impact Imports Items Installed at Barbacoa Restaurant  

Reclaimed Teak Tree Trunk Furniture

November 24, 2010

Several years ago, we came across a supplier in East Java Island in Indonesia who had a huge warehouse full of reclaimed, old growth teak tree trunk furniture. This furniture is organic and rustic and modern, all at the same time.

This Furniture can be used indoor or out in any weather. Old growth teak performs really good in North America because it contains a lot of oil. Therefore, it is very stable and won’t crack much, if at all. If the furniture is used outdoors, the UV rays from the sun will ‘bleach’ the wood, turning it a nice, driftwood silver color. Each piece is unique and interesting in its own way.

By the way, this supplier pulls these old growth teak tree trunks out of the ground, reclaims the ground and replants the area using the same teak tree species, creating a new, slow growth teak forest. Beautiful business model….

Here are a few pictures of some teak tree trunk chairs.

                      Reclaimed Teak Tree Trunk Chairs  







An Indonesian Joglo House

July 9, 2009

One of the most beautiful and unique Indonesian style of house is called a Joglo. The Joglo was built primarily in the central area of the island of Java, but these houses have been built on almost every populated island of the 16,000+ island of the archipelago. Today, we find Joglo houses used as gazebos, meditation pavilions, etc., in some of the most beautiful hotels and villas in Jakarta, Bali, Singapore and other popular places throughout Asia.

I first found saw this Joglo (pictured below) in January 2006 in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, and its condition was really poor. However, the man I bought it from took great care in restoring it and when I saw it again in September of 2006, I bought it. I was excited because the price was good and I had wanted to buy one for several years. All of the teak was hand-sanded and re-oiled, and the roof framing was completely re-done. The terracotta roof tiles are all hand made and original. I was told this building is approximately 100 years old. As of the publication date of this blog posting, it is standing in the Impact Imports warehouse, fully assembled. It is FOR SALE and you can contact me if you have any questions. You can see more of this Joglo and other types of Indonesian houses on our web site:


Impact Imports of Boise, Idaho USA

July 2, 2009

I own a business, along with my wife, Suzanne, called IMPACT IMPORTS USA, Inc. We started this business in 2001 and we import a mix of product from Indonesia only. These unique products include reclaimed teak furniture (old growth teak!), architectural elements (old beams from ships & houses, pillars, old doors, old windows) traditional houses / structures (Joglo & Gladak Houses), hand carved fountains and garden stone (limestone, lava stone & ‘Lombok’ stone), handmade onyx & marble vessel sinks & bathtubs, marble & onyx mosaic tile, home accessories and fabulous handmade silver jewelry made in Bali (many of them Suzanne’s designs). Impact Imports has a 10,000 square foot warehouse located in Boise Idaho and we are open by appointment, or Fridays and Saturdays 10am to 5pm. Visit our website here:

Part of the 10,000 square foot Impact Imports warehouse in Boise, Idaho. Come Explore!

Part of the 10,000 square foot Impact Imports warehouse in Boise, Idaho. Come Explore!

My First Blog Post

June 28, 2009

This is my first blog post. I am almost certain around 99% of new bloggers post a similar statement when they execute their first blog post, so I know its not a profound or necessarily clever statement…..  Just bear with me.

I started traveling to Asia in 1986 when I was sent to Japan on a business trip to install the first pellet burning stoves in Japan. I spent 3 weeks there and was overwhelmed with the sights, sounds, smells and activity of Tokyo and the surrounding areas. Since then, I have traveled many times to Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia and have enjoyed every trip.  I have built houses and commercial buildings in Japan, China and Taiwan, and I have met the President of the largest Communist country in the world and the first democratically elected President of Taiwan, both extraordinary events to me. But currently just import great product from Indonesia and get to travel to / from Indonesia 2 to 3 times per year!

This Blog is going to highlight some of my trip experiences, landscape or architecture photos I have taken, houses and buildings I have built and unique products Impact Imports currently brings in to the USA from Indonesia.  I hope you find this blog interesting and informative.  My business homepage is:  Please visit us some time.