Bali Indonesia

Arts & Crafts

Balinese culture and sculpture are influence each other. A craftsmen or carvers of stone and wood produce works that depict religious myths and beliefs. Before a sculptor could start work on carving , he had to choose a propitious day and time. Furthermore, he could only use a material endowed with religious meaning. Sometimes a priest has to initiate the start of the carving process to endow the material with proper religious content.

Although the religious carving is dominant, there is also sculpture and carving that is non-religious. By the end of 20s centuries, the young carvers of the Mas area were already making birds and statues for commercial purpose : the freedom of expression was turning a formerly religious art into a mere handicraft. Western artists influence the evolution of Bali arts. They guiding the artists with advice and criticism for the renewal of sculpture.

At Batubulan (northeast of Denpasar), the Balinese make sandstone sculpture for houses or temple ornament, while at Batuan is the center of wood panel carvings.

Mas is the village of woodcarvers. Old Balinese masters still live here and their masterpieces are exhibit at the art galleries. Jewelry, mostly silver and gold, was traditionally practiced by a clan of specialist craftsmen, the Pande Bratan and they are considered to be endowed with magical power. The best shops are located in Celuk village, although some have now opened outlets in Ubud, Kuta and Sanur.

For the best collections of Balinese wood-carving, the visitor should go to Manis Art Shop & Wood Carver in the village of Mas in Ubud. The shop is packed with carvings in the classical traditional and contemporary styles. Among the wood used are ebony, sandal, hibiscus, mahogany and others .

Another recommended shop is Gallery Alon (Sari Bali Interior), exhibit complete collection of wood carving. Owned by one of the best woodcarvers in Mas village, I Ketut Alon.

For Balinese furniture, go to Arwood Design Bali Firniture at Jl. Gunung Sari, GRP Trading Co.- Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai, Galleria Furniture in Nusa Dua, Jimbaran Gallery and Rumah Konderatu in Jimbaran.

Others arts and crafts product you can buy : leather puppets in Babakan, bronze & bamboo instruments in Sukawati art market, dance costumes in Sukawati Batuan area.

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