Bali Trip: Crafty Wednesday

 The first full day of our tour took us to a Batik factory on Tophati.  It was our first exposure to just how labor intensive making these beautiful fabrics is.  The process starts with hot wax applied to fabric.  The fabric is then dyed, and the original bits of fabric under the wax remain the original colour.  The factory we went to specialised in traditional batiks, which were typically only done in 2 or 3 colours.
The same pattern shown with different dye orders and colours
 The women there were working on large pieces of art, but took some time to put intricate designs on some of our clothing.  They used a little blotter to dot the wax into a pattern, and then we could take the piece home and dye it if we chose to.  If not, the wax would come out in the wash.
My mom getting a pattern drawn on her sleeve
 There were also a couple workers stamping fabric in the modern batik style.  The stamp is called a tjap (pronounced chop) and is made from copper to with stand the hot wax and many uses.  Then they'd take the fabric piece and dye it, then set the dye.
Stamping with a frog tjap 
The factory had a shop selling some of the more traditional hand made pieces.  I loved them all and probably would have bought one had it not been for the pesky shop helper following me around trying to make me a deal. 
Some of the traditional Batik pieces.  It's hard to imagine these are made by hand, even after seeing it done in person.

After lunch we stopped at a silver factory.  It was amazing watching the workers make intricate little tiny beads, some that took as long as two weeks per bead.  They all wore special glasses to see the detailed work and sat in the still humidity all day working on the same thing.  It gave me an appreciation for the hard work in each piece and showed me the difference between a quality piece of silver jewellery and the cheap stuff you can find anywhere.
Workers at the silver factory
A work of art made by hand from silver
Next we stopped at a wood carving factory.  I absolutely love hand carved statues from all over the world so I was in heaven here.  I could have bought an entire house full, but unfortunately we were only given 30 minutes here so I ended up not buying anything.  It was amazing walking up and down each aisle seeing all of the hand work that went in to each carving.
Romeo and Juliet wood carvings
This carving was several meters tall and the guy had been working on it for months

We got back to the hotel with just enough time for me to sneak in a traditional Balinese massage.  It started with washing and rubbing the feet, and a combination of a relaxation massage and a Thai massage.  It was a nice way to finish off the afternoon.

That evening my mom and I went with a friend from the tour to the dinner and Balinese dance show at our hotel.  The costumes were beautiful, but what really made the dancing unique were the expressions on the dancer's faces.  They sort of looked out to the side and smirked, looking slightly possessed.  They held their fingers and toes in odd, unnatural positions and the music was very clangy and unsettling.  it was interesting to watch though, something we had to do since we were there and had the chance.
Some of the Balinese dances
Creepy eyes


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