Bali 2: Déjà vu and Reclaimed Glass
Back on land we ran into a shop owner selling reclaimed polished glass. Beautiful, rich in color, quasi natural and when viewed at different angles almost kaleidoscope like… what a product! I chuckled to myself and took a quick trip down memory lane. My family was producing these 15-20 years ago and now it’s being reinvented. One never knows when or what markets will pop up and where. Of course we bought all he had. We know what our customers love.
Spotting the Treasures
Having a business such as ours, demands quick but solid decision making. Jess and I are a team and compliment each other—we have the same agenda, different styles. Jess has a great eye, she sees things I don’t and she knows that piece will go and it does…..like lightening. She’s the queen when it comes to one of a kind finds. I have more of a practical nature, knowing quality and pricing and can bargain well.
Operating with no middleman, allows us that extra margin of investing power–– buying right so our clients benefit and so do we.
Bali Wood, the Best on the Planet
There are tremendous amount of trees, literally everywhere. Whatever they are doing it is eco friendly, albeit not without challenges to expansion. The variety of wood is extensive. Perfect conditions for growing… anything can grow. The wood grains from the tropical trees are finer, the wood denser, resistant to rot and decay and are less likely to warp and bend.
The slabs are huge and we’re already sold out –Some of these slabs come 200ft tall trees, and could be 1,000 to 2,000 years old. They are felled by storms, soil erosion and other natural phenomena. These beautiful woods are the best available in the world today.
The Bali wood business is a family industry, everybody works, its a family affair, from sales to production and has been for generations—There is no high tech machine, pressed wood or short cuts. Its pegs and dowels. The furniture is built, not “put” together, it’s top notch at a price that is more than equitable.
For my friends, those that want to know more about the different wood, check out the information provided at the end, which was found on the internet.
Wow, the Taste of Off the Tree Coconut Water
The Balinese people we dealt with love Americans, are smart, respectful, warm, and laid back island people. They have a passion for craftsmanship and a love of beauty and genuinely appreciated the admiration we showed for their products. That’s when they took us to see the real gems in the “back room”!
We were always asked and served refreshments. Picked moments from serving, a coconut would appear with the cool, delicious coconut water inside. Ambrosia! It was not unusual to be given gifts including special ones for our two boys. What a way to do business and its part of the culture!
We are happy to introduce our customers to this market, where we guarantee they will find a treasure to enjoy. Bali, we will be back!
The only draw back and I stress the only, is, it is a 22 hour plane ride from Florida. Oh well what’s a little sacrifice!
Quick Primer on Types of Wood
To give our readers a better description of a few of the tropical woods we encountered, we have included a brief list below. Thank you internet!
For colorfully painted folk art style carvings that do not need a lot of carved detail the carver will choose albesia wood. Albesia is a sustainably grown soft wood perfect for this type of carving as it is easy to grow in Bali’s rich organic soil. These fast growing trees are ready to harvest with in 5 years.
Suar Wood or monkey pod is a type of mahogany. This wood is also sustainably grown in Indonesia. The heart of the wood is darker than the outer layer, creating an interesting two-toned grain. This wood is known for it’s tight, inter-locking fibers that are resistant to cracking, making this wood the perfect choice for larger, thicker carvings.
Teak has been and continues to be highly desirable. Due to deforestation world wide it now demands a higher market price. Teak is a large, deciduous tree that occurs in mixed hardwood forests. It has small, fragrant white flowers. Teak is one of the most sustainable types of wood. It is one of the hardest, strongest and most durable of natural wood
Frangipani, known for it’s beautiful fragrant flowers is often used by Balinese Master Carvers for fine art carvings due to its tight fine grain.. The wood will often be chosen by the artist from trees in their own gardens, based on age and unique shape of the wood. Carvings made from Frangipani are one of a kind, as the artist will envision the form with in the wood.
The color is white with gray heartwood, the darker heartwood makes for distinctive two-tone pieces. As the wood ages, the gray wood develops a greenish patina , which can create a very distinct look. This wood is usually left the natural color to be polished to a very smooth satin finish. Often the choice for Master Balinese Carvers to sculpt unique one of a kind and detailed fine art carvings.
Crocodile or Satin, a hard wood, is it called so because of the nubby outer bark that resembles a crocodile skin. Inside reveals a creamy white colored wood, which looks like ivory when it is waxed and polished. Balinese artist will use this wood for carvings that are more detailed and higher in quality.