One of the highlights of my most recent trip to Bali, was that I had a chance to meet 5 Artisans that make crafts for NOVICA/National Geographic to sell in their catalog. I applied for a grant and got it, to have the chance to go interview them, see how they live and work, and to write and photograph their story and how selling their work for NOVICA has influenced their lives and their communities.
I met women who are feeding entire communities through their crafts, a 93 year old flute maker, whose craft and art is going to die with him, since no one in his family wants to carry on the tradition, and jewelry makers who are still carving silver with their bare hands.
At one point I was so enthralled in taking photos of the silversmith blowtorching his next batch of rings, that I stepped backwards onto a pedal on the floor that started up a saw right next to my ankle. For about 15 seconds I didn’t know it was a saw making that noise! I nearly dodged serious disaster, but managed to be the local entertainment for the day:)
It truly was an honor to meet these people, to see how humble they are, and to gain a deeper appreciation for the artwork I was seeing in the local markets being sold. Each sarong we buy for just a few dollars can take days and multiple people to make and hand paint. It truly is incredible to behold! Here are some of the behind-the-scenes of these artisans making their crafts.