Silver-lined streets of Celuk

Silver-lined streets of Celuk

Art in Bali

Silver-lined streets of Celuk

The island of Bali in Indonesia is an art lover’s paradise, and for those enjoying the sun and sand in its beautiful beaches, a visit to the tiny hamlet of Celuk is a must. Situated around 10 km from Denpasar city, snuggled in Gianyar Regency, Celuk is known around the world for its splendid art of silver making. Art lovers can not only shop for silver artefacts, but they can also pick up the nuances of silver making at art workshops.

Celuk is home to highly skilled silversmiths, who are known for their superb craftsmanship. What started as a profession for some families in the last century has now become the source of livelihood for the entire village. The village’s goldsmiths and silversmiths have been passing down their expertise to their descendants until today. The beginning of Celuk’s traditions started when Nang Gati, a Celuk resident, went to the Mengwi Kingdom in 1915 to study metal craft. Upon his return, Nang Gati taught the first generation of craftsmen to make tools for religious ceremonies. The products of these craftsmen became accessories for the royal family and noblemen until the 1940s.

Hundreds of silversmiths and goldsmiths work in their homes on the backstreets north and east of the main road. Most of these artisans are from pande families, members of a sub-caste of blacksmiths whose knowledge of fire and metal has traditionally put them outside the usual caste hierarchy.

Craftsmen from Celuk cater to both domestic and global demands, and they also participate in Bali Art Festival. They are involved in trading silver jewellery in Europe, the US, Australia and Japan.

Those on the lookout for rich, creative jewellery designs will be spoilt for choice. There are a wide array of rings, earrings, bangles, necklaces, brooches, mother of pearls, with designs that are precise and clear-cut. Earrings, with coloured stones or crystal drops, are some of the stunning works of art that are synonymous with Celuk. If you are interested in buying silver souvenirs, then you can take your pick from the many intricately carved silver photoframes. At Celuk, the prices of silver jewellery begin from 2,80,000 IDR, and rise based on the intricate carvings and size of the items. So head to Celuk, the silver and gold centre of Bali.

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