Silver Jewelry Making Classes

Studio Perak is a socially-responsible Ubud business where Bapak Ketut plies his trade of making beautiful, organically inspired jewelry with silver and semi-precious stones.

His one of a kind creations are sold from his two store locations in central Ubud.  Ketut’s designs are inspired by nature and simplicity, and the natural shape and properties of semi-precious stones. Traditional techniques of Balinese silver smiting are incorporated into fresh, contemporary designs.

In the 3 hour course you will be able to complete a ring or pendant of your own design, or borrow the base of one of their designs to make your piece. Studio Perak offers classes from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 12noon and / or 2pm to 5pm  The price of  Rp 35o,000 includes 5 grams of silver.  If you would like to use more silver or use stones, these can purchased at an extra cost.

Call 62 361 974244 or e-mail:


Mask Making

Even today masks are still worn during temple dances in which the Balinese teach each other epic stories of their Hindu religion, and celebrate various stages of life, the rice planting and harvesting season and the victory of good over evil. A mask carver is called the ‘undagitapel’ and those who make the mask for temples have to be a member of the Brahman caste since he knows the required rituals involved with making a sacred mask.  The Balinese believe that everything has a soul: the rain, the winds, a rock and even a mask.

The village of Mas just south of Ubud is most famous for its amazing masks and woodcarvings. When you walk around Mas you’ll observe many craftsmen working on a mask or a wooden statue where they use over 30 different tools to carve out the wood. There are four types of Bali masks found in most of these shops – human, animal, gods and demons

Tilem Gallery, Tantra Gallery, Ida Bagus Anom (for masks), and Ida Bagus Sutarja (for masks) are some of the most renowned places where masterworks are still sold amid decorative pieces which are produced in quantity for the travel memento and mass export market.

The Houses of Masks and Puppets (Rumah Topeng and Wayang) displays various kinds of masks and puppets from different regions in Indonesia and around the world that have been collected, stored, and displayed for the public since 2006.The collection includes more than 1,200 masks and 4,700 puppets. Located just a few miles from the heart of Ubud, the House of Masks and Puppets covers more than 1 hectare of land surrounded by traditional Balinese village and rice fields. The land provides a wide range of facilities, including a tropical garden, exhibition rooms, performance buildings, and a Balinese house.

Balinese Spices

The Art of Offerings

The Art of Offerings

One of the most striking things about Bali is the daily profusion of offerings. They are vitally important as they give pleasure to Bali’s Hindu gods and demons and provide positive karma to those involved in their preparation.  They accompany all ceremonies and prayers. Some Balinese, mostly women, even spend all their lives making these unique gifts to the gods.  They vary considerable in complexity. Some are very simple and tiny while others can be several meters high. One thing that they have in common is that they are made from natural things.

Nearly every village has its own unique forms of offerings as they are considered a means of giving something back. Of course, gifts obligate the recipient and so the system creates mutual obligations and favors, even between humans and spirits. With offerings to the demons, however, the person presenting the offer does not expect a gift in return, just the favor that the demons will go away.

To learn first – hand  how to make a Balinese offering, schedule a class at Pondok Pekak located on the east side of the Ubud Football Field.  The price is Rp 100,000 for 1.5 hours.  Pondok Pekak is a non-profit community organization which holds a library for adults and children, as well as hosts a wide range of traditional Balinese music and dance groups. or

Batik Making

Batik Making

It would be impossible to visit Indonesia and not be exposed to one of the country’s most highly developed art forms, batik, a traditional form of painting on fabric. Craftspeople painstakingly use dots and lines from wax to decorate the cloth – a delicate process which is quite impressive to watch.

The most famous center for Balinese Batik hand weaving is Tohpati Village. This village is widely known for handmade Balinese batik in myriad colors and shapes. Here visitors can observe first-hand the Batik making and hand weaving process.

Traditional Balinese Batik is recognized by strong Javanese motifs, but modern designs apply more images of Balinese culture, ceremonies, culturally rich sites and mythological Hindu figures.

Widya’s Batik Workshops

Yogyakarta – born Widya offers batik instruction just north of Ubud for individuals or in a group workshop format with all materials provided. He can pick you and your imagination up at your Ubud accommodation.

Widya offers daily classes from 10am to 5pm for Rp 350,000 per student with a one day reservation. One class enables you to make a small batik painting. To produce larger pieces, you can choose a 3 day class. For further details e-mail

Widya practices various kinds of Batik, such as:

Batik Tulis: Batik waxed by a hand process known as ‘’batik tulis’’,  the original way of creating batik.

Chanting: The tool used to apply wax in fine lines is called a ‘’chanting’’. A chanting tool consists of two parts, the handle which is made from bamboo and the front spout which is made of copper.

Stamping: A method later developed in Java, stamping is another way to apply wax by hand or combined with ‘’batik tulis’.  Mass produced batiks are often made with the help of machine stampers.

Dye and Color: Unlike in many batik studios which use chemically-based dyes, all of the dyes used in Widya’s batik studio are organic, specially made from plants, flowers, vegetables and minerals.  Some of Widya’s color is ‘’light-activated’’, stabilizing and changing to it’s true color in the sun. Other colors change to their true color in the finishing process.

Boiling: When the dyes are set, the batik is boiled to remove the wax. After the boil the piece is washed in clean water, it then dried to reveal the beauty and originality of the batik.

Nirvana Batik Workshops

I Nyoman Suradnya with his son Tuadi and apprentices pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm to students attending their batik courses at their studio in Ubud’s center.   Nirvana offers classes from 10am to 2pm Monday to Saturday.

One/two day course; Rp 485 000 per person, per day, including

  • Brief introduction to the ‘’story’’ of batik
  • The materials and tools used
  • The techniques for painting with canting and brush
  • Hand color & dip dying in ¾ color
  • Dying sequence
  • Wax removal
  • Finishing touch for final product

Three/four day course; Rp 470 000 per person, per day, including the above plus;

  • Expanded knowledge of types of wax and effects that can be created (eg. wax & cracking)
  • More variation of color through hand painting and dip dying
  • Wider use of tools (large, small spout cantings)
  • Working on 2 pieces of work to utilize a variety of techniques

 Five day course; Rp 450 000 per person, per day

Includes both of the above, but allows the student to experience more independently using the knowledge gained in the first three days to be more creative – yet still under the teacher’s  guidance.

Balinese Dances

The very essence of Balinese culture is dance and drama, which is performed during temple festivals and ceremonies. Every movement of fingers, hands, head, body and feet is important and tells the story of the Balinese vision of life. Balinese dance cannot be separated from religion. Even the dances for the tourists are preceded by many dancers praying at their family shrine for taksu (inspiration) from the gods.Tickets are widely available on the streets of Ubud especially at Monkey Forest Road and around the Central Market. The most popular dances are the Kecak, Barong and Legong.

No other dance is so unnerving as the amazing Kecak, also known as the ‘’monkey dance’’. This dance is to protect the village of dark powers and is often performed when things go bad and to prevent more misfortune. A serpentine stream of bodies coils itself, circle within a circle, around a large, branching torch. Two hemispheres of men: one, a pattern of silhouettes; the other, sculptural faces of brown skin caught in a net of torchlight.

Kecak, a name indicating the “chak-a-chak” sounds, evolved from the male chorus of the ritual Sanghyang trance ceremony. By ingeniously simple choreography, the chorus is transfigured into ecstasy. Kecak include a drama, in which the circle of light around the torch becomes a stage, and it’s a periphery of men, a living theatre with dramatic effects. Accompanied by the bizarre music of human instruments, the storyteller relates the episode enacted within the performance, usually one drawn from the Ramayana. At the end of the Ramayana story one man is in a trance. He performs the trance dance and rides on a wooden horse kicking burning coconut shells around.At the end of the dance a priest helps him to come out of the trance and the performance ends.

If black magic prevails, a village fails into danger, and extensive purification ceremonies become necessary to restore a proper equilibrium for the health of the community. Dramatic art is also a way of cleansing the village by strengthening its resistance to harmful forces through offerings, prayers and acts of exorcism. Such is the symbolic play of the two remarkable presences-the Barong and Rangda. Barong, a mystical creature with a long swayback and curved tail, represents the affirmative, the protector of mankind, the glory of the high sun, and the favorable spirits associated with the right and white magic.

This Bali dance of Legong (balih-balihan dance) is without any doubt the most gracious of all the dances. The dance is accompanied by the beautiful sounds of the gamelan.The Legong dancers are often young girls around 8 to 10 years old and selected from the village for their beauty and suppleness. They are wearing identical costumes with tightly bound gold brocades and their faces are made up with detail to the eyebrows and their hair decorated with beautiful frangipani flowers. Their movements are choreographed in detail with the twisting of the fingers, hands, feet and facial expression.

The Legong Kraton tells the story of a king, who kidnaps a maiden called Rangkesari. Her brother begs the king to let her free rather than to go to war. The king ignores his begging and is on his way to the battleground when he meets a bird that brings ill omens. He ignores the bird and continues to meet Rangkesari’s brother on the battleground, who kills him.

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