there's a little shop on ubud main road
owned by a javanese couple
that sells beautiful hand-spun and -woven plant-dyed textiles.
i've bought a few of their fabrics over the years.
this is a top i had made from one of the indigo-dyed batik fabrics...
so this time while in bali
i asked the owner of the shop
if he would teach me indigo dyeing.
he ordered 1/2 kg of indigo powder from java
plus a couple of other ingredients
and off we went...
the indigo powder is collected from the fermented leaf solution (see here).
we also had another dried leaf which intensifies the colour
and some natural soap to fix the colour.
all three were mixed into a bucket...
then we added some wool tops
and some silk scraps that i had tied up...
and here are some of the results...
more to come soon...
We will meet at the charming Taman Bebek. Places are limited. Book early.
EARLY BIRD OPTION UNTIL 20 DEC
The Grain of Rice
What is it? A six-day creativity retreat with Horst and Jennifer Kornberger,
Paul and Nicole Lawrence and their Balinese friends.
There are many stories about rice. It is said that Buddha lived on one grain of rice. Jennifer has written a story about another. If you want to be part of this new story (in which there is no fasting) come along and write some of it yourself. Become a story teller. Be an actor, even if you've never acted before. Draw. Stand under a sacred Banyan tree. Walk to a holy spring. Meet a master Balinese dancer and learn from him. Eat at the Yellow Flower Cafe. Talk (because you have the time). Inspire and be inspired by a great crew in a great location.
A DIFFERENT RETREAT
Paul and Nicole have lived in Bali. They speak the language.
Some of the best Balinese musicians and dancers are their friends.
They know the best places to eat, where to go and when.
They can tell Bali time.
Horst and Jennifer have never lived in Bali and don't speak the language.
They don't know where to go but they are happy to go there.
Their forte is being creative and helping others to become creative too.
OUR GUEST TUTORS
Durga - the refreshing, no-nonsense goddess and companion of Shiva
Devi Sri - the Balinese Rice Goddess
Various deities of place - holy springs, rice paddies and temples
A Gamelan orchestra
Kadek Isa - Balinese master dancer
Kasta - Local Stage Manager
The taxi drivers of Ubud
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
'The best thing I have ever done in my life!' Anonymous
'This is it!' Abraham Lincoln
'Imagination is more important than knowledge and this is the retreat where
you will get it.' Albert Einstein
'This is the holiday I should have taken.' Ned Kelly
we have just spent two nights down in seminyak near the tourist mecca of kuta and legian because our boys wanted to see the 'other bali' - the bali of surf and pub-crawl culture in kuta, of cosmopolitan designer boutiques in seminyak, the bali of total traffic jams (it took us one hour yesterday to drive a distance of 8kms/5miles!) and gourmet restaurants, the bali where the rich and beautiful come to play and the poor and down-trodden workers (imported from other islands) build another five-star resort for them...
it's overcrowded and polluted, it's not my world, and yet, the balinese manage to infuse it with beauty with their big smiles and their patience and a sense or natural artistry.
here are a few snapshots that you would't find in the glam mags...
after galungan the barong, a mystical creature with good magical powers, makes it's way through the villages, accompanied by musicians and some scarier characters.
we met this smaller version played by the village children down in ubud...
there are two kids inside and the whole things is so heavy they had to swap places with other kids every few minutes!
and these are some of the funny and scary characters...
the children seemed to have a great time beating their gongs and drums, clashing the cymbals and dancing from house to house chasing the mean looking masked guys and passing around a plate for donations.
i still very fondly remember the time many years ago when we were here in bali with our then two-year-old son and the children's barong came through our village. our son was so fascinated with it that he wanted to follow it along. after a while one of the balinese boys passed one of the instruments on to him. and there was this little blond boy going along from house to house with the village children...
i guess that's one of the things i love about bali... there are always ceremonies and festivities going on and the balinese people are just so inclusive.