Indonesia is a diverse land of over 17,000 islands with a people comprising over 300 ethnic groups with 700 different languages. It’s a polyglot nation and with such a diverse history and culture, no wonder the handicrafts are as amazing. You can see the amazing designs, exported all over the world, in the teak furniture, or in the colors of the batik textiles, and the gorgeous sterling silver jewelry. Indonesia’s arts and crafts tradition certainly is one of its most unique aspects.
Bali silver is a totally handmade product. From the melting down of the silver to rolling out the silver into wire pieces, there are no machines used. The wire is then worked into intricate patterns or, cut into small pieces which are then slightly heated down to form granulated bits of silver formed into designs particular to the island. Bring home these sterling silver rings as a wonderful memento of your visit. Many of the large shops offer tours and the artisans are kind enough to show the tourists how the silver is created.
Bali carvers create all kinds of home décor for the world-wide market. The artistic but practical carvings are fabulous to help create interesting looks for your home environment. Made up Baliwood, teak or jackfruit, the wood is brought in from Java and carved into mirrors, wall decorations, and furniture. Many of the designs are religious in nature since Balinese people incorporate much of their religion into their daily lives. Workshops are also available for tourists to learn more about these carvings, which are completely handmade without the use of electric equipment. The carvers also do much of their work on the floor rather than on tables or pedestals.
Batik work is a design process of placing wax on fabric in specific designs and dying it in layers. In between, the old wax is removed and new wax is placed and the fabric is re-dyed making for a colorful piece of textile which is then made into clothing or other accessories. Traditionally, batik is used to make sarongs for women and collared shirts for men, however, current fashions include dresses and shorts and other accessories.
Whatever your taste in art and fashion, you will find something in Bali that will inspire you. Theses crafts are unique and you will learn all about their origins. You might even find something for you to bring home.