Artisan Tour: artiles & Seni-Man

I should have taken a good photo of my tour guide, Marilyn, but I completely spaced it. She appears in one or two shots in my tour so that will have to suffice. She arranged this custom tour of artisans for me, picked me up at my hotel in an air conditioned car with a driver, and entertained me with varied stories the entire day. Should anyone else be interested in creating their own tour—whether for silver jewelry, art, clothes shopping, import/export or whatever you can dream up—Marilyn is the person to contact. She knows these artisans personally and chatted with all of them about their families and lives as we got the behind the scenes tour of their particular industries.  You can find Marilyn at

Before leaving Sanur, we headed to the showroom for artiles where we met with artist Philip Lakeman. His showroom featured some super interesting tile I would sum up as ‘textural’. The tile would offer fantastic options for creating a wall that is like 3D artwork. I particularly liked his use of soft, low-contrast tones.

ARTTiles6   ARTTiles3

ARTTiles8   ARTTiles7

He also took us to his office where showed us the toys he promotes through his name Seni-Man (Seni means ‘art’, I believe).  Here you see Marilyn, my personal guide for artisans in Bali, and Philip, with some of the small brightly colored toy statues he creates. Multi-colored buddhas, pigs and elephants sat on top of the boxes with his Seni-Man logo.



These vase-like sculptures were quite tall, maybe 3 feet?


Another example of his creativity overflows into what seemed to simply be their break room. That countertop is all one piece, not separate tiles (there is a single grout line between the sink and full length of the counter). For those of us who have had tiled countertops and cursed the grout lines and tile edges, Philip makes a single, smooth surface dream into a reality by create one super-sized painted tile! This style isn’t for purchase, but if you are a tile maker and have the means to create a painted ceramic surface counter, why not!?!


This last image made me realize just how small the world can be. Philip showed me published photos of one of his previous homes in Bali. As soon as he opened to this page I said “I know this place!” I had one of the same coffee table books on Bali homes and this one I remembered because of it’s distinctive entrance. In this thumbnail image it may look like a fireplace, but if you enlarge this, you see this is the doorway to a home. The entire entrance is surrounded with a verdi-gris tile, designed by Philip.


There is more to the tour—stay tuned.


Wrapping up Sanur

I left Sanur 3 days ago, but I must still show you the cute little hotel where I stayed. It scored really high in TripAdvisor much to the frustration of some Australians I spoke with who wished it were still their secret little find.


Above, you’ll see two signs: Flashbacks and The Porch. Flashbacks is the hotel; The Porch is the restaurant that occupies the front of the hotel (owned by the hotel). The owner showed up numerous times to eat there himself during my two-day stay. They had GREAT food, and even made fresh fruit and vegetables juices. Lunch my first day was this fresh watermelon juice. Another morning I had fresh pineapple & orange.

WatermelonJuice   PineappleOrangeJuice

This little dude was so peaceful looking, he set the perfect tone for walking back toward your bungalow.


I loved this happy looking little green man. I put a flower on his belly before I left.

This was the perfect dipping pool. It was salt water, not chlorinated. I tried doing laps – you can only do maybe 3 strokes and you’re across. But it was great for cooling off, watching the birds hide in the thatched roofs or watching the butterflies that always seemed to be fluttering around.

Hotel3 Hotel4 

This 2-story was two separate bungalows (bigger than what I stayed in). The upstairs has an enclosed area for sleeping but the living and dining areas are completely open.


This cheery yellow offering totem with an umbrella seemed to be the protector of my bungalow and the one across from me. Fresh offerings were put in daily.


My door is showing (above), and here is a clearer shot, Bungalow #2.


And finally, my little private sitting area. So cute!


Next up… the artisan tour on my way to Ubud. I expect to post that very soon 🙂