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 http://www.retailtherapybali.com

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. http://www.seni-man.com/index.php

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

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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!?!

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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.

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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.

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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.

 Hotel2

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

Sunrise: Sanur, Bali

Where’s Jody?

I always like to understand where I am, so I assume you do too? I still don’t know how to make photos come in larger. Please click this to see it full size.

BaliMap

 

What I learned.

I thought I’d let you join in the craziness of the indonesian rupiah (IDR). When I cash in $100, I am given back almost 1 MILLION rupiah. That translates as 10,000 IDR is about $1.00. This really messes with your mind for a while. You find yourself staring at a 5,000 IDR bill thinking it’s worth something, and it’s barely two quarters. So I took photos of a couple of the notes with the intent of using them in my blog for education. When I tried to pull the photo into Photoshop, I was reprimanded by the software with this message:

This application does not support the editing of banknote images. For more information, select the information button below for Internet-based information on restrictions for copying and distributing banknote images or go to http://www.rulesforuse.org.

I won’t be showing you the notes. You’ll have to Google them yourself.

I Need My GPS

Thanks to a tip from a couple of ‘local’ australians in the restaurant the night before, I not only found out where the ocean was, but I found the fastest way there. Had I been left to my own devices I never would have made the trek to get a sunrise shot. My hotel is technically across the road from the beach, BUT, all the resort hotels on the beach side have property a good quarter-mile deep. So the trick is to figure out where you can get through so you don’t have to go clear to one end or the other where a street provides access. I was told to just cross the street, and then slightly to the right take the large driveway. Follow that to the beach and just act like I’m supposed to be there—

So, the guys were right. It’s a big, wide driveway thing. The gate threw me off though and I hoped I wasn’t wandering somewhere I shouldn’t.

Day4Gate

Then came the green carpet. Kinda cool. But the paths kept getting smaller until I found myself in a maze of bungalows with tiny footpaths. Thank goodness  a guy just ahead of me was walking like he was ‘supposed to be there’ too.

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He lead me right to the beach.

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I’ve zoomed in here so you can see two things: 1) Rinjani Volcano in the distance,which is actually on Lombok, the island to the east of Bali, and 2) the boiling water in the distance. I can only assume there is a big drop off there because the water’s surface is totally different compared to the foreground.

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A-ha! Those fireworks I heard last night? Now I know they came from waaaaay across the street.

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These boats were all over the beach. Later in the day I saw this red sail boat – love it with those men fishing in the foreground with funky striped hats and poles.

Day4Boat      Day4SailingFishing

Do YOU get what this sign means? Me either.

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There is this brick walkway that runs several kilometers along the beach. I happened to walk behind these two men briefly and they were trucking along like anyone does who is out for their morning walk. If you look closely, I was attempting to show you that the guy on the left is shoeless.

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Tomorrow is a busy day. I’ll be picked up by the Australian woman at 9AM and taken to meet numerous artisans—then on to Ubud! (Oo-bood)

 

Welcome to Bali

The Airport

I was surprised to see this huge gate at the airport. It is seen from the area where you buy your ‘Visa on Arrival’. I was prevented from going out the door to try for another angle, but the smiling guard had no problem with me taking a photo just inside the door.

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Road to Kerobokan

These decorative creations were lining the streets along the road from the airport to my final destination in Kerobokan. I asked my cab driver about their purpose. Bali recently celebrated a holiday, which I believe was Galungan (had to Google that). My cab driver explained that these decorations are created by each and every house for the event. Other than Christmas trees, I can’t think of anything that is mass created by all households for an event in the US. (And in some cases those Christmas trees are off-the-shelf, lights and all.) I asked him if a family would be embarrassed if they didn’t make one. He seemed to think it would not be a problem. I found a bit more info about the holiday on someone else’s Bali blog from 2010:

  • Galungan is a holiday that celebrates the triumph of Dharma (good) over Adharma (evil.)
  • The holiday happens every 210 days.

For anyone noticing the surgical mask on the person riding the scooter, the masks show up on a lot of people. There was an entire family on the plane coming over who all wore masks, including their baby. By the way, these photos will open up larger if you click on them – I’ve imported them a bit bigger this time.

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My Hotel: Abian Biu Mansion

If you’d like to see some professional photos of this hotel, please check them out here: http://abianbiubali.com/  My photos were grabbed without much thought other than what I wanted to highlight.

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This first shot is from the front of the hotel, as much as I could fit in anyway. I am in the street to capture this much. The restaurant is to the left.

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The black and white checked cloth (called poleng) is represented here on the offering area outside the hotel. I found a more detailed explanation of it on http://www.murnis.com, a site dealing with Balinese dress and textiles.

Every visitor to Bali notices very quickly the black and white checked cloths, wrapped around guardian statues, pavilions, people, kulkul drums in temples and even trees and stones wherein a spirit dwells. It is dazzling and powerful and has a special meaning for the Balinese: it represents the cosmic duality.

The Balinese see the world in terms of opposites, good and bad, day and night, mountain and sea. This duality forms the whole: one cannot exist without the other. Poleng [fabric] is the perfect representation of this view. The squares are of equal size, black and white, and are not parallel. The grey squares contain strands of both and show that you cannot have one without the other. White represents good, the gods and health; black represents evil, the underworld and disease. Poleng comprises them both, and so the whole.

These photos below show an area that doesn’t yet seem ready for visitors. There is a pool and several buildings that are under construction. When I booked, I was believing it had been renovated, and in some ways it seems to have been. But, I think they are not done. It’s currently quite noisy during the day.

1Bali_Pool   1Bali_gardens

This open-air gallery is on the interior of the hotel. These photos show opposite ends of the same area. In the first photo, my room is on the left, the second door in. It’s hard to see details here, but the far end is a wide, flat wooden bridge that crosses over some ponds with fish. In the second photo, I’m standing on the wooden area so my room is the first door on the right.

1Bali_Foyer 1Bali_Foyer2

The Road to Circle K

I flew carry on baggage only, so I arrived without razors or any liquids larger than 3 oz. I also read that the faucet water is not recommended for tourists. Additionally, I had 1 mosquito in my room last night so I knew mosquito repellent was going to be needed soon. All of these were reasons to seek out a grocery store. However, I had purposely chosen a hotel ‘out in the sticks’ for my first couple of days not realizing the only grocery store would be a Circle K about a kilometer away on narrow roads without sidewalks. So here are a few of the sites on my brief walk:

  • cows
  • a building that took real advantage of their rooftop
  • an example of a home’s temple area
  • a fancy residential gate

1Bali_cows  1Bali_Rooftop

1Bali_HouseTemple 1Bali_gatedHouse

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This offering platform wearing poleng was at the Circle K! There was no residence here at all; the recycling you see against the wall was an area just outside of the store. You can see an offering at the base of the structure, and there was also an offering at the cash register inside the store.

Tomorrow I head to Sanur for 2 days, on the southeast coast. Thanks for following!

Jody