There are various kinds of Bali handicrafts which have become famous nowadays as export products or souvenirs. Entire villages, especially in Central Bali are dedicated to one specific craftsmanship such as painting, mask carving, stone sculpting, batik or silver jewelry.
The Balinese people are a very creative kind of people and it seems they can make anything that comes to mind. For centuries they are trained in making the most beautiful pieces of Bali handicrafts for the temples and palaces of their kings.
Their skills are inherited through family traditions and throughout the years taken to an amazing level.
Now they still produce various types of art for temples but most of them focus on the export since they can make a lot more money with this trade.
Here are a couple of villages, which I think are worth visiting when you are looking for that special piece of painting, silver jewelry or statue...
When I stop in the Balinese village of Mas on the way from Denpasar to Ubud I’m always surprised to see how talented the Balinese are.
The woodcarving pieces are amazing especially the Balinese.
Not only are the masks an amazing sight, but each one of them have their own story to tell...
Bali Wood Carvings:
Besides masks the Balinese artists can create many other amazing wooden items too.
In the past wood carvers would focus on temple ornaments only but since the 1920's you can find different items such as statues, bowls, bedframes, carved doorframes and doors.
At the market you can buy colourful wooden souvenirs to take home...
If you need huge Buddha's, horses, Hindu depictions, life-sized Indians or Hawaiian Tikis then the village of Batubulan just north of Denpasar is the place to go.
Here the art of carving statues has reached a very high level even though they were originally carved for decorating thousands of temples on the island...
The Balinese were not familiar with the word ‘art’ or ‘artist’ since they had never considered it to be art.
For them it was part of daily religious life, just like working in the rice fields. This changed when foreigners arrived in the 1920's and the Balinese adopted new painting techniques resulting into amazing pieces of art...
This is one of Indonesia's most famous and complicated traditional art form of all the Bali Handicrafts.
It's a technique that applies patterns of different colours to cloth by dyeing in several stages and by applying wax after each stage to protect areas of unwanted colour.
The best Bali sarongs are from the town of Blaju, Tenganan and Gianyar.
In Gianyar there's a textile factory where you can observe the natural dyeing process, hand weaving and learn how raw cotton becomes hand spun thread. A sarong might come in handy when you visit any of Bali's famous temples...
Gold and silver:
Celuk, just north of Denpasar is the place to be if you're interested in the Bali handicrafts of gold or silver.
Traditionally this village has been the place where gold and silver smiths work with precision on the finest jewelry available on the island. Here also counts that the best deals are to be had in the alleys and the back roads...
This mystical and playful form of art involves two dimensional shadow puppets that have entertained the people in Indonesia for generations.
Once placed between the white screen and oil lamp the puppets become alive...
When I find more of these villages where you can find beautiful hand-made pieces of art I'll try to let you know as soon as possible so you can have a look yourself and dive into all the Bali handicrafts on display…