“Bali – Known as the Island of the Gods and the land of 20,000 temples”
Indonesia and especially Bali is known across the world for it’s beautiful vibrant arts, incredible architecture, stunning landscapes, rich history and fascinating culture. As you walk around Bali you will find it really difficult not to notice the beautiful arts all around you, from sculptures on the street, to pavements that are designed with beautiful patterns, the beautiful entrances to people’s homes, the carved wooden ornaments, the daily offerings that the Balinese women make, the art and craft shops, the tattoo shops, galleries, evening dance shows, the street arts and so much more. Art exists in Bali in the traditional forms as well as modern. The island is also well known for famous pieces of art work being produced from local artists and artist who moved to Bali from abroad.
I personally love the way the Balinese people incorporate art in to various aspects of their daily life and that most places you visit around Bali you will see art in one shape or form. The island has hundreds of art galleries and museums you can visit. You can read our post here on Museums & Art Markets to check out around Bali. Most Balinese artists and craftsmen have inherited their skills and artistic talents from their family which has been handed down from generation to generation.
The times I have visited Bali I have been intrigued by it arts all around the island, and as an art lover, I was excited to try some of the experiences. I was also keen to learn more about the Balinese culture and history thought these artistic activities. These activities will allow you to gain an understanding of Balinese history, culture, religion, spirituality, customs and traditions as well as learning some fantastic creative skills. You can find out where classes are by asking around the area you are staying in and by checking on-line to find you nearest class.
Art Experiences Around Bali
Mask Carving & Painting:
Try this 3 hour mask carving class in Ubud Bali, during this class the expert carver will teach you how to carve your own mask and paint it. The class is available for all skill levels.
Prices from £30
One of the world’s oldest known art forms, wood carving is a way of shaping wood into a variety of different shapes and forms. Using the traditional tools and techniques of the master carver, helps guide the novice carver towards their goal of creating a unique wood art piece in just a few short hours.
You will be given a choice of what you want to carve, and will be taught how to use the tools. In most cases you can choose between carving an egg, mask, animal or similar..
Prices from £20
A master carver will introduce you to the age-old craft of carving in stone. This workshop is more suitable for adults, this introduction to the delicate task of working a figure from within a piece of stone
Normally due to the amount of time stone carvings take you will make a small piece such as a flower or similar.
Prices from £15-20
A fun class where the student learns a variety of techniques for forming fruit and vegetables into wonderful motifs like flowers and butterflies.
Prices from £15
Spend the day learning to do batik prints and designs and take your creation home with you. You will see batik designs and prints on many items throughout Bali such as sarongs, and clothing. This class will provide you with fascinating introduction to Balinese Batik techniques, tools and dyes.
Prices from £25-30 for the day
Traditional Balinese painting involves painting themes themes such as island landscapes, fruit and animal still-life and pastoral or spiritual-themed subjects. The student will be guided to create a small canvas with one of these themes.
Learn classical Balinese court painting, traditional Balinese art or contemporary Balinese art styles at ARMA Museum and Puri Lukisan Museum.
Prices from £25 for 3 hours
Bamboo has been used by the Balinese for centuries as packaging for the daily offerings that are the heart of Balinese Hinduism. Spend the morning learning some of the unique weaving techniques that the Balinese have created over the years to make their daily offerings. Very easy to do and a fun activity.
Prices from £15
Learn the ancient technique of drawing on the lontar leaf. You will learn to inscribe illustrations on lontar leaf with an iron stylus known as pangrupak. Once the illustrations have been completed the incisions are blackened by smearing a paste made from a mixture of pulverized, burnt candlenut and coconut oil onto the surface of the leaves. When the excess is wiped off, the blackened incisions stand out sharply against the colour of the leaf.
Prices from £20
Nearly every visitor to Bali takes the opportunity to watch one or more of the many, Balinese dances that are performed nearly every evening on the island. Dance and music have thrived in Bali for centuries. Learn some Balinese steps and dance routines in these classes, whilst having the opportunity to wear traditional Balinese costumes and make up.
.Prices from £20
For hundreds of years, Balinese families have passed down the ritual of daily offerings, called canang, from mother to daughter. Each day, the women create these small, hand-woven coconut-leaf baskets. The baskets contain the flower, fruit, rice and food offerings for the Hindu Deities that the women pray to each day. You will see the Balinese women several times a day across Bali making these
offerings. This a fun and very simple activity to try and is lots of fun.
Prices from £10
From bamboo flutes to gamelans and gongs, Balinese instruments are complicated to master but simple enough to be rewarding for the beginner. ARMA, Pondok Pekak and Puri Lukisan offer short introductory courses in a range of instruments.
Prices from £15
If you love beadwork, this is the perfect course for you to make belts, bracelets, home decor items, and jewellery. Beadwork is a rewarding way to spend the day. There are may places that offer this around Ubud and Bail. A fantastic way to spend the making your own beadwork jewellery and other items to wear or take home with you.
Prices start from £20
Puri Lukisan also offer courses in traditional Balinese crafts. Create a kite butterfly to take home, craft a traditional shadow puppet out of leather, or paint your own mask based on those used in traditional Balinese dance.
Prices from £20
The area around Ubud is the centre for silver-craft. Sketch out your own design, then cut, beat, shape, solder and polish silver into the style of your choice. A fantastic class to try and leave with your own custom piece of jewellery.
Prices from £25
Ceramic Making Course
To get a taste of a day in the life of a Balinese craftsman, try the half day course in ceramic making, where students will be taught the techniques of hand building and wheel throwing, using clay, glazing and firing are all things you will learn to do as well as painting your finished items..
Prices from £20-£30
Hope you enjoyed reading about some of these experiences. you can try, which one interests you? Have you tried any of these? If so let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear about it.