Learn the sculpture in Bali

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Ubud is the cultural center of Bali, whether it is for gastronomy, religion, museums, and especially handcrafts. Balinese people are real artists in every fields, they have gold in their fingers! You can have a walk and get lost in the streets of Ubud to see the paints in wonderful galleries, jewellery or batik workshops and a lot of  workshops of wood sculpture, whether on statues or furnitures.

If you feel having the soul of a cabinetmaker, take a shot and try to find a training course for Balinese sculptures!

Where to find a sculpture course in Ubud?

You will find at the small town of Mas, close from Ubud, a bunch of workshops where you can practise wood sculpture. You can always get into one of them and ask if it is possible to make a sculpture training course in order to master this art of the Balinese culture! We have been taken by one specific workshop in Mas called the Ngurah Gallery, where we had a course with a real professional of sculpture.

Who is Master Ngurah?

In the workshop of Ngurah, the family is part of the business: ith his brother and his nephew, the handcrafter create such beautiful masterpieces from every sizes and diverses styles. Sir Ngurah speaks a little bit French, as he already exposed its sculptures in Marseille and in Canada. This is not an amateur!

With his team, the handcrafter create with patience and a disconcerting meticulousness orders for hotels and restaurants accross Indonesia, but also for locals (ultimately not so much work for tourists).

How much does a training course of sculpture cost in Bali?

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You should consider to take several days at least to learn some basics of their knowledge and know-how of the sculpture art. But you will already see in one day, how talented these people are and how difficult is the work they are doing! Ngurah says that after one month, you will get really strong basics to sculpt. It will cost you only 120 euros for one month of apprenticeship, so you better give a shot if you have a passion for handcrafts!

One day of sculpture costs approximately 4 euros, plus 5 euros for the wood, as you are taking it right after sculpturing it.

The techniques of the Balinese sculpture

Sans titre

The workshops are really simple in Mas. People are working on the floor, on the patio of the house. The tools are rudimentary as well: wood scissors and gouges, have been manufactured by the handcrafters themselves. Here, we are not talking about shoes protections, because the feet are used for blocking the piece. You need to be really flexible to position it and work on it.

Afterwards, the women of the family polish and tease every single piece in order to shine and sublimate them.

When you arrive in the morning at 9 am, the teacher asks you what do you want to create. You will choose right after the pieces you need for your handcrafted object.

You will then have to sculpt the biggest line of your piece, and then

Between noon and 2 pm, you can get something to eat with Ngurah’s nephew who can bring you with its scooter. It is also the opportunity to get some typical Balinese food!

Once you have lunch, you will then keep working on your sculpture until you sculpt what you have decided.

 

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