Woodcarvers Worshops & Wyan's House


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Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud
March 3rd 2008
Published: June 21st 2017
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A finished pieceA finished pieceA finished piece

These two are a very popular subject for woodcarvings. You see them everywhere, I am bad that I forgot their names, but they are like the Romeo and Juliet in the stories of Bali-lore.
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Wyan, who works in the Pradha cafe is an amateur woodcarver on the side, and offered to take me to see some 'Master Woodcarvers' in Ubud. This town is known for its art, and I'm not really into paintings so much, but when he mentioned wood carving I really wanted to see.

We stopped by a few shops, and I kept gravitating to the same figure, the Rice Goddess. There are a bunch of different instances of her, in all sorts of situations. And it was funny, every time I liked one and pointed to it, it was always the Rice Goddess! So that's the carving I ended up with. I don't have a picture of it. Huh? Not sure why, probably because I was stressing about all the price bargaining going on. Even Wyan was trying to help me, 'too crowded is your mind Suss-anne, make empty your mind'. I kept thinking of frickin' Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, where the kid told him 'too many mind' because he was being too-self-conscious and not being a good Samurai. So I really tried to relax and go with the flow on the bidding thing. It's not that the
Apprentice woodcarversApprentice woodcarversApprentice woodcarvers

...working on the base of a table.
money was much for the statue ($150) but more that I didn't want to get robbed with my eyes open. The principal of the thing, you know? He started the bidding at $600, so I feel like it's all good. Who knows?

After the stress of the negotiations, Wyan took me to his house where we could chill. He wife and kids were there, and his mom and dad, and cousins and uncles, and a bunch of other people that he didn't even bother to introduce. His Mom made me Bali coffee (yum) and I got a tour of the grounds and fields. Then he showed me his family's carvings, and started the bidding. Ugh. I paid entirely too much, but Wyan had been so great to me all day and I really enjoyed meeting his family and the hospitality, and seeing a real, not-made-for-tourist-thing, that it was all worth it.


Additional photos below
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Master Woodcarver at workMaster Woodcarver at work
Master Woodcarver at work

So there are woodcarvers, apprentice woodcarvers, and then there are the master woodcarvers. This guy was one of the masters, they can do the most skilled and intricate work.
Wyan's House - his 'garden out back'Wyan's House - his 'garden out back'
Wyan's House - his 'garden out back'

This is his family's papya tree.
Wyan's House - His fathers fighting cocksWyan's House - His fathers fighting cocks
Wyan's House - His fathers fighting cocks

Yep it's legal here. Who'd of guessed?
Wyan's House - his son & another childWyan's House - his son & another child
Wyan's House - his son & another child

Inside Wyan's family temple, the kids were follwing us around, I asked them to pose for a picture (Wyan translated and this is what I got. A Balanise pose!


10th March 2008

Love it! So BEAUTIFUL!! I'll take one! :)
10th March 2008

yeah, they spend a lot of time selecting and drying the right wood. Can you see the different shades of brown in the statue? Her knees are actaully a light color.
10th March 2008

What a wonderful experience! Awesome!!
10th March 2008

one word ... WOW!
10th March 2008

Yeah, this guy was incredible. He had this calm stillness about him, so much patients. Check out his foot, I think he has calluses on the sides from sitting like that so long.
10th March 2008

Yum ... nanas!
10th March 2008

He's adorable. Bring me one of these too! :) haha!!!
10th March 2008

I know right! I want one too!
10th March 2008

Would probably not be good if I set them all free!! Just kidding. I know it's the culture. :(
10th March 2008

Yeah, I had to bite my tongue because he showed them to me with such pride.
10th March 2008

How cute!! <br><br>Question: Family Temple? Do most families have their own? Do they worship in only theirs? Am I misunderstanding? :)<br><br>Thanks!
10th March 2008

They call Bali ' the land of a thousand temples' because each family has their own, then, each neighborhood has IT'S own, the each village has it's own, and finally the island has their own big ones. It depends on the formality of event wh
ich temple you go to. As nearly as I can figure, the family temples are used daily, I've got no idea about the neighborhood temples, the village temples are used for village ceremonies about weekly (like Christians would do on Sundays only the Balinese calendar doesn't use lunar or solar timetable, so 'weekly' doesn't apply). The big island temples, like Pura Besakih, are used for big pilgrimages and life-time events like that. Are you even more confused now? =)
10th March 2008

Very interesting. Thanks for explaining!! :)
10th March 2008

Ah! You have been in the sun! You look so good in your new duds and jewelry!
10th March 2008

Hey thanks lady! I still don't pass for a local, but I'm working on it. Hey I just noticed you posted this 8 min ago, we are both on our computers at the same time on opposite side of the planet. Cool.
10th March 2008

The sky is SO beautiful in this pic!
10th March 2008

ooh. I like the pic...
10th March 2008

One more question you've answered ....
10th March 2008

LOL, I didn't know how it worked either!
10th March 2008

Purdy!!
10th March 2008

I want one, Suz! Like the one he's holding or the one on the table closest to him. Yep. I love em!! :)
10th March 2008

I bought the one that he is holding actually. I havn't thought about who it'd end up with yet, hmmmm.....you did lay first dibbs!
12th March 2008

WOW! I didn't notice it was different wood on her knees. So much thought into the details!
12th March 2008

I had actually noticed his foot! His toes look like they've been in that position for quite a few hours over the years.
4th November 2010

niceeee

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