Silver in Ubud

As most tourists who have visited Bali and travelled to Ubud will know, there are a prolific amount of galleries and one of the most famous being the Neka Gallery, amongst others. A stroll around the side streets and gangs will provide you with the opportunity to visit other fine art galleries. When we think of art it is, more often than not, associated with paintings. But, in Ubud there are galleries that sell other artistic items such as wood carvings, jewellery, stone carvings and silver products. One such gallery for silver items is Studio Perak. This magnificent place also specialises in silver-smithing courses.

During the week I was reading an article in the Jakarta Post about Studio Perak and for those who have yet to visit, I suggest you put it on your itinerary for the next sojourn to Bali. Here’s the article:

Studio Perak offers simple designs, affordable course
Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Ubud

At a glance, there is nothing special about the blue-colored shop on Jl. Hanoman in Ubud, Gianyar regency. Only a signboard reading “Studio Perak” sits in front of the small shop located among rows of eye-spoiling boutiques lining the eastern side of the narrow street.

But once you enter the shop, you will discover it not only sells an attractive collection of handmade silver jewelry, but offers regular courses on how to craft silver jewelry pieces.

When The Jakarta Post visited the shop Tuesday, there were four people, all foreign nationals, in the upper level of the shop. All were immersed in their projects, shaping and molding silver materials into pendants and bracelets.

Ketut Darmawan, the shop’s owner, hovered nearby, ready to give advice to his pupils.

“My wife and I established this business around eight years ago. It was inspired by my wife’s passion for jewelry,” he said.

All the jewelry pieces displayed at Studio Perak result from the couple’s artistic design and outstanding skills. Their pieces feature unique designs, characterized by simplicity and an affinity to nature.

“Most of our jewelry designs are inspired by nature. We make them simple because such designs are timeless and can be worn at almost every occasion,” Darmawan said.

“Moreover, I don’t have the skills to craft intricate and elaborate designs,” he said.

Darmawan, who is married to Canadian-born Joanna Witt, said his wife had once joined a jewelry-making course in Thailand and suggested opening a similar course in Bali.

Darmawan had learned already how to make jewelry from an artist from Celuk village in Gianyar regency and did not find it difficult to share his skills with his pupils.

Celuk Village has long been known as the island’s gold and silver handicraft center.

“We opened on Jl. Dewi Sita in Central Ubud, which has since become one of our retail shops,” he said.

The couple later relocated their classes to their shop on Jl. Hanoman.

Studio Perak conducts classes twice daily, at 9 a.m to 12 p.m. and at 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., from Monday to Saturday. For a three-hour class, it costs is Rp 175,000 (US$19) per person.

“There are no special skills required to make jewelry, all you need is a strong will and patience,” he said.

Nicky, a class participant from England, said she was in Bali on a holiday and when she found out about the jewelry class she was interested to join.

“I’m basically passionate about everything related to art, maybe because I’m a graphic designer,” she said.

She said she had been eager to learn how to make jewelry for a long time, but the course fees for such a class in England were expensive. So when she found out about the class in Studio Perak, she came straight to Ubud.

She showed the results of her own work: a double-circle pendant encrusted with a green gemstone.

She said she saw the design of jewelry in the shop and wanted to copy it.

Darmawan said most who people took the course were westerners.

“We rarely have local people or visitors from Asian countries enrolling in the classes,” he said.

Most pupils are curious about the process of jewelry making and are trying to maximize their holiday in Indonesia, he said.

For further information:

Studio Perak
Jl. Hanoman, Ubud
Phone: 0361-974244