Category Archives: Indonesia

Expat Workshops

Today we spent most of our time with John Hardy and exploring architecture. John gave us a warm up by sending us to two workshops in Ubud on the way to his office. The first was to Gaya Ceramic.

This shop produced wonderful clay pieces – both artistic and commercial.  The Italian founder, Marcelo Massoni, had commissions from Bulgari, Donna Karan, and a variety of other fashion brands. Their gift shop showed off some of their artisans, and then a school across the street gave 3 month courses on pottery. Beth has some great photos on the workshop, but I was taken with this way of organizing a collection: vision piece on the outside of the cabinet and developing designs behind.

Next we went to Horizon Glassworks, which is led by another ex-pat, Ron Seivertson from  California. The same model applied, fine art, prestigious commissions, and glass blowing classes. We were particular taken by one of Ron’s collaborations with an archaeologist to produce a glass Java Tiger Skull – done by hot drawing method. Beth has a more detailed post on how we compared & contrasted these shops to Penland in NC.

Interestingly enough, most of the clays, glazes, glass, colorants, and even masters were all from outside of Bali. Somehow this became the place to set up shop and experiment – including for Spanish painter Antonio Blanco, which I will cover later. The resulting tripod business plan of art, commercial commissions and education is one to think on for a bit…


Bambu Indah, Bali

I’m jet lagged and stalking a shrimp under my bed.

The villas at Bambu Indah are re-assembled antique Javanese teak bridal homes…with some adjustments. Ours was put together with glass panels inset between the timbers and positioned over a natural pool. The green glow of the underwater light provides a wonderful night light for us above the glass and a magnet for insects in the water. The shrimp have figured it out but are too shy for a picture from above…so far.

Bambu Indah is but one testament to the sustainable design philosophy of its founder, John Hardy. Upon arrival to this bamboo architecture oasis, he scootered into the parking lot and had me sit with him to discuss my program and interests. He quickly took some voice memos, sent them to his assistant by his iPhone (in bamboo case), and I had compelling details waiting for me in email by the time I arrived to my room. He moves fast.

The accommodations at the Udang (shrimp) House are as much outside as inside. Glass tiles allow dappled light in through holes of the thatched roof, and teak panels swing out in a variety of ways to create enough windows as to make the room disappear. The food of the outdoor restaurant is all organic, locally sourced and excellent. In the middle of the small compound is a raised outdoor structure made from black bamboo which serves as a lounge and yoga space. Most of the space between the structures is comprised of running streams and vegetable gardens. I’m hard-pressed to find a piece of plastic in the whole place.

John joined Beth and I briefly for dinner conversation which quickly enjoined on Biennale in VeniceBurning ManINKtalks (the TED of India), and men wearing sanitary napkins. What’s clear is John’s intense commitment to sustainability. We plan to see his Green School and Green Village tomorrow before meeting his talented daughter, Elora. Special thanks are due to Stefan Sagmeister for linking us together.