Ubud is an artist enclave. The place is practically drowning in master stone carvers, but there is also a healthy number of painters, potters, jewelers and even some glass blowers. On John Hardy’s advice, we went to visit a masterful Raku and ceramics shop called Gaya Ceramic, and a glassblower named Ron Seivertson relocated from California.
Both places were set up as a gallery, production center, and workshop for classes. Both places had the master craftsman and then production teams with varying specialties and skill levels. Both took orders from world brands and participated in exhibits on the world stage. And both were very small unassuming operations where you wouldn’t know any of this unless you asked many questions, which we did.
Gaya Ceramic has an impressive work space filled with soft light. The space made even opaque pottery and ceramic glow from the inside out.
After leaving Gaya, we visited a glass blower named Ron Seivertson. His work is fantastic and some at fantastic prices. We saw one piece that was priced at $3 billion (which, admittedly isn’t as much as all that since the Indonesian currency is at roughly 10,000 to 1 US Dollar, so $300,000). The super duper prices were from a gallery exhibition involving 4 designers who collaborated together, one of which was an archeologist. There were incredible dinosaur heads and “fossils” all made actually of glass…
These places, Horizon Glassworks and Gaya Ceramic, were only 2 of a huge number of artisan workshops in Ubud. You could spend days visiting various artists and weeks taking classes from them. These 2 places, at least, felt very authentic despite being intentionally set up for tourists. We hope to spend more time in the Ubud artisan area and learn more about how artists come to live and work here in the midst of people like us tromping all through their day asking questions and oohing and ahhing all the time.
Read Aly’s take for additional viewpoints on our artisan visits.