Posts tagged “Ubud

Bali Trees

Posted on March 30, 2014

Final Raku

Posted on March 30, 2014

Just following up with some of the final raku (joy) pieces that I created in the workshop. It was sooo much fun and I think I have found a new passion. All the pieces were shot at different times, so the backgrounds are a little different.

Man on fire

Posted on March 29, 2014

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia: The first piece of pottery I picked up in Bali was finished in raku. I fell in love with its smoke wreathed finish and scratched surface arterial lines, and knew I wanted to experiment with making pieces in this style.  By chance, we stopped by Gaya Ceramics 3 days before its 2-week raku immersion workshop started, and I was able to get a spot in class.
Gaya’s open-air space is beautifully designed in a traditional Javanese joglo. Artists & instructors from around the world who chose to dedicate their lives & careers to ceramics are a part of the Gaya community. An American painter, potter & textile artist, Hillary Kane, runs the center. Hillary instructed us each day as we were hand building & throwing clay on the wheel, but for me personally, she also served as an inspiration for how to live an arts & crafts-driven life across the globe.
Each day of the workshop, I felt closer to the elements: my hands in the dirt & water, and finishing the clay with fire & smoke. There’s something really rough & raw about this, and it brought me back to what I love about designing & creating art. Also, being back in a studio environment fueled me. This is my place, and I love being able to draw inspiration from other artists. This intensive 2-week period got me thinking even more seriously about future ceramics scenarios and exploring the arts across the rest of our year abroad.
Finished work to follow…

Getting my hands dirty

Posted on March 4, 2014

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia:  I needed to get back to working with my hands again. Pottery, like painting, is multi-layered and textured. I felt like I could work with pottery in much the same way I work with paint, while also adding in the creation of an object, a third dimension. It’s hands-on, lots of touching, messy and muddy. A perfect extension of what I’d already been doing with wax, paint and canvas. So for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been taking a pottery class to learn the basics of how to hand build some foundational pieces, throw clay, work on the wheel, understand how colors and glazes work and the art of firing. It’s wonderful to be back in a studio environment, creating something and being in between colors and dips. Already I’m feeling comfortable with this, and could see it becoming my next form of meditation. Now that the basics are covered, I start a 2-week immersion program on Raku, a 16th century Japanese firing method. I can’t help but notice the word Raku translates to ‘joy and happiness.’

The streets of Ubud

Posted on February 27, 2014

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia:  We spend a lot of our time inquisitively exploring the streets of Ubud. Some we can zip along by scooter, but the more interesting ones are pathways that meander through rice paddies and family compounds. Our ‘street,’ for example, takes us over the Campuan Gorge, through Kadek’s family compound, along the rice paddy, past the coconut tree, over some stepping-stones and then to home. When we head out to pottery and batik in the mornings, we hop on the scooter and battle the pandemonium of Ubud’s streets. The rules of the road are really just friendly suggestions. So, the real fun begins when we encounter one of these hold-your-breath intersections or tiny one-way streets. We pull our knees in & hope for the best.

Our neighborhood

Posted on February 26, 2014

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia:  We’ve been here just over 2 weeks and have settled in to our community and a routine. Our bungalow sits in a rice paddy in Penestanan, a traditional village of artists and bead-workers who live and work in their walled family compounds.  Population: approximately 2000, which is quite large for a Balinese village. It’s certainly off the beaten path, and giving directions to someone trying to find us goes something like this: take the main road from Ubud towards the Bintang supermarket, go 100 meters.  On your left, take the Campuhan Steps all the way up the hill. Turn right at the top, walk straight past our yoga studio, past our regular eatery, the Yellow Flower Cafe, go left, walk down a handful of stairs past 3 rice paddies and our bungalow is on the right.

Because we are situated within a traditional Balinese family compound, we have loosely become part of this family during our stay here. Kadek, the owner of the land, comes to check in on us daily – is our motor scooter working properly, do we want to find another restaurant nearby, do we know how to get to the beach? When we walk by Kadek’s house, everyone smiles and says good morning, and his dog Whiskey comes by for cheese each night. Sometimes he even hops on board the scooter as we’re heading out for the day…

My art project: Balinese batik

Posted on February 20, 2014

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia: One of the reasons we chose Ubud was for its arts community. Expat artists have been coming here since the 1920s. We knew there would be no shortage of museums, galleries and artists offering workshops and studio time to visitors like us. I chose to focus my art project on batik because I’ve always been interested in fabric making and textiles. Before leaving the States, my only textile-related activity was knitting. One of the things I love about knitting is picking out beautifully colored silk, wool or cotton yarns and seeing them come together in an eclectic pattern and fabric. So, it wasn’t a big leap to want to experiment further with color, fabrics and making new patterns with Balinese batik.…

Hindu offerings in Bali

Posted on February 19, 2014

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia: We awoke our second morning in Bali to find in our entryway a rosette-shaped palm frond filled with colorful flowers, rice and burning incense. This was the first of many hundreds of offerings we would see around town, in the rice fields, along the roads and even on motorbikes. We knew these were ways of showing religious devotion, but little else. So we asked around, did a little research and found out about these offerings were beautiful expressions of the Hindu religion. Offerings are an integral part of Balinese daily living and show reverence to the gods. The handcrafted offerings are made out of natural materials and are placed at the entrance to homes, at family and main temples, before and…

Our new home in Ubud

Posted on February 14, 2014

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia: For the first month we’re in Bali, we’ll be living in this joglo just outside Ubud. It’s been beautifully restored to fit with the rest of the homes in the rice paddy community. It’s a 20 minute walk to the center of Ubud, so we are away from the sounds of this now bustling but still charming artist community. Because we are literally situated in a rice paddy, we are in the middle of a tropical farm of sorts. Chickens walk by each morning, nonchallantly checking out their new human visitors. Roosters crow, sometimes reaching protest-like volumes. And the best part is the frog symphony each evening. Thousands of frogs erupt into song, each outdoing the other. It’s so relaxing to sit in our open-air living room looking out onto the rice paddy and hear these gorgeous animals sing us into the night.