Due to our slight discomfort yesterday, we had arranged with our driver to explore the craft villages with for today. Batik (the name of the fabric) weaving, carpentry, processing of gold and silver, egg dying, and stick knitting are some of the crafts that are actively practiced in the villages, situated in the area between the capital Denpasar and Ubud.
They are practiced everywhere on the island, but here they are with a more commercial aim. At every stand, first of all, they offered us to watch the processing process, and then enter inside the shop and take a look at what was on offer.
We looked around in such a relaxed way that we almost drove the shop assistant in the carpentry shop crazy. Taking in mind how luggage is treated at airports, we did not even think about purchasing any of these fragile creations. The smaller woodwork – for instance, a finger-sized Buddha statue – surpassed even my bravest expectations for the high price of art. We ended up with a great memory of the agile wood masters, turning a piece of mahogany into a statue of Vishu (one of the three male deities in Hinduism), and the insistent seller.
Another interesting, but not unexpected for us, craft was the dying of, or rather painting on, eggs. Done entirely with decorative purposes, it is usually practiced on larger eggs – those of geese or ducks. The safest way to preserve the efforts of the artist was to paint a wooden egg.
In the jewelry world, the silver was more revered than the others. Every workshop consisted of several people who created different details every day – in accordance with the needs of the customers. Today, it was the turn of small balls used for earrings’ decoration.
The knitting of sticks was done by a multitude of young girls. The sticks come from a special tree after it has been dried. Then, thanks to a proper treatment, units that are appropriate for knitting are taken and turned into a pannier, basket, bag or something else. After that, they are put in an oven.
Going back to painting, houses around the world are adorned with unique Balinese paintings which, it is believed, are sold at very reasonable prices. Here is what we managed to shoot inside because taking photos inside was prohibited.
The absolute pearl in the program was the weaving of batik. The technology is quite complex since the more colors and forms one wants, the more stages the process requires and the more time it takes. To avoid unwanted paint, some places are covered with wax. I found it quite challenging to paint a simple flower with the wax. No forms nor colors were capable of stopping the craftsmen, though.
During our entire stay at this gorgeous island, we only met other Bulgarians at the shop for batik fabrics. A lady was trying to convince her husband how good he looked with the shirt he was trying on. 🙂
After overcoming the busy streets of the capital city, we managed to reach West Bali which turned into our next home. Again, it was in a village where we had a two-story house only at our disposal. The big yard consisted of another similar house, some smaller structures, and a pool. We could not get dip in the pool, however, because we were so busy exploring. 🙂 The second floor of our house had a bedroom with glass doors, while on the first one there was a kitchen and a bathroom on the side.
The house was super cozy and calm – the ideal place for relaxing after our strenuous days.
Immediately, we arranged for a motorbike (I am now realizing the key role of having your own convenient means of transportation) and we took “him” to the nearby Echo Beach. In contrast with the Ubud jungles and Amed’s relaxed waters and nearby coast, Echo Beach was the perfect spot for surfers with its astonishing waves. There was nothing more than a couple of restaurants and bars on one of its sides (after all, tourists should buy beer from somewhere), so the dark sand was empty. Nevertheless, the water was filled with adept (and not so adept) surfers. Incredible beach – tranquility on the coast and action in the water!
This article was brought to you in English by Svetoslav Dimitrov.
Do you like this post?
Travel together with us and get instant updates on our Facebook page.