Be the ultimate gift-giver this festive season and surprise your favourite people with a cornucopia of personalised pleasures and your newfound vocational skills up your sleeve. Christmas presents are infinite times more meaningful when handcrafted with love. Plus, it will feel more rewarding! At the end of the day, you’ll wrap up the year knowing your handmade goods has scored a loving home.
Here are a number of festive-productive activities to keep you occupied in Bali just in time for Christmas to roll around.
Jewelery is born of nature’s finest handicraft. While diamonds are a girl’s best friend, silver could be your precious buddy, too. From handmade bracelets to couples rings, we guarantee you’ll get your hands dirty for the right reason.
Canggu Jewelery Classes is run by a full-service boutique jewellery team that specialises in classes, design, and production in the heart of Canggu. To all the Wood Shop geeks in high school, this is right up your alley. The classes are very hands-on, meaning students get to choose, create, and effectively act on their own ideas utilising the available tools and techniques. The equipment provided in the workshop are all traditional machinery – brought by the Indians and could be seen in Egyptian museums! The extensive metalsmith equipment includes gas torches, rotary tools, rolling mills, polishing wheels, spot-welder, ultrasonic and steam cleaners, mould-making and wax injection facility. Don’t let these alien objects put you off, as the beginner classes are offered for laymen for a purpose. The staff are friendly and well-trained to assist and essentially keep an eye out on you to operate a safe and secure experience.
You’ll be working alongside dedicated silversmiths, wax-carvers, and experienced jewelery designers with over 17 years of experience in the industry. Their design studio also welcomes anyone who has a basic understanding of smithing and seeks to continue learning or working on creating more designs.
You would want to dedicate ample time in the studio to make your gift particularly special and thoughtful. The staff will give you the liberty of choosing your own design – whether you would like to keep it simple, opt for more intricate details, or add a gemstone. This will then determine the technique. Designs with detailed precision are made on wax, while rudimentary patterns (e.g. a wave line) are handmade. Whichever you decide on; brass, bronze, or silver; rhinestones or crystals, jewellery carries an intrinsic emotional value. It’s where personal stories, traditional and luxury craftsmanship intertwine. It’s perfect for a personalised Christmas present for anyone. Plus you’ll bring home handy crafting skills.
Canggu Jewelry Classes
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.27B, Canggu
+62 821 4734 8746
Memories triggered by scent have some of the strongest emotional connections. Your sense of smell is tied to your mood and thoughts, so if you’re aiming to linger in their head (or nose) for good, gift them a signature scent this Christmas.
Nora Gasparini attended a fragrance school in Paris where she studied perfumery before travelling to and falling for the Island of the Gods. L’atelier Parfums and Creations was birthed in 2009 when her passion for scent married her obsession with Indonesia. She conceived a simple concept for her esteemed clientele: to explore first-hand the exciting and one-of-a-kind fragrances that Indonesia is blessed with, whilst travelling through the archipelago; which will act as the muse to your personalised perfume. Her workshops are an amalgamation of the art of French perfumery and Indonesian ingredients – utilising her French knowledge to promote Indonesia’s natural beauty.
The workshops vary in duration: the 90-minute class gives a brief overview of perfume-making and an interactive lesson on how to tailor-make your own scent, whereas the full 3-hour class includes a presentation on the role of Indonesia in perfumery followed by the 90-minute workshop. To stand adjacent to her initial purpose of creating the studio, the full scheme focuses to be educational before practising creativity. She ensures she passes on her love of the alluring aromas that Indonesia has to offer.
In the workshop, you’ll find a dome resembling an organ stood before you with 47 raw ingredients that are divided into three layers, or notes. After taking a quiz to narrow down the variety of choices, you’ll be given two cards that accurately depicts your character and effectively suggests your top, middle, and base notes. These are the core components to perfume-making. The selection for top notes are usually strong scents but not long-lasting, whilst middle notes are floral, fruity, spicy, and base notes are more woody and earthy. You have the liberty to opt for all your favourite aromas before the instructor assists you on concocting the perfect blend. So, you can trust your wildest imagination.
For a last minute Christmas present, or if you’re on the go, they also offer a quick 20-minute session where you can simply choose the scents and let the team do the rest. Children workshops are available for ages 5 to 11 years, which aims to introduce the little ones to the Art of Fragrance creation and develop their interest for perfumery. Additionally, you could always spoil your loved one with a gift certificate to L’Atelier’s custom-blend perfume workshops.
Like unboxing presents on Christmas morning, it gets better. L’Atelier Parfums et Creations are introducing a DIY perfume-making kit that you can bring home. It will come in a box with a mini organ that holds the necessary ingredients to create 3 x 10ML perfumes and ample instructions to turn your desk to a compact perfume laboratory!
L’Atelier Parfums et Creations studios can be found in Ayana Resort and Spa, Jimbaran, and The Ritz-Carlton, Nusa Dua.
Ayana Resort and Spa
Jl. Karang Mas, Jimbaran
+62 361 702222 (#7020)
The Ritz-Carlton, Nusa Dua
Jalan Raya Nusa Dua Selaton Lot III, Sawangan, Nusa Dua
+62 361 849 8988 (#3941)
Batik is native to the Javanese culture, however, has its own Balinese rendition originating in Ubud. Tucked away in the backstreet of Ubud’s bustling crowd lies a tranquil artistry operated by a father and son. Nyoman is a leading batik artist based in Tegal Sari, Ubud, and has been passing on art and life lessons for decades through his workshops.
The studio is set in his charming back garden. Don’t be surprised if you are taken back to playground days, painting watercolours on A4 paper. If you’re lucky, you’ll have Nyoman himself sharing the life and times of a Balinese artist in the olden days; the struggles of landing a job with no formal education, to escaping the Bali bombings. He argues that kids today have lost interest in batik, hence why he has committed his time and talent to impart his unique ways of creating batik to keep it exciting and relevant. His best-kept secret is to stop aiming for perfection, as in grasping the teachings before perfecting it and fully understanding it before even getting it right.
You start off with a blank canvas, a pencil, and eraser. Remember to do your homework beforehand: settling on a design that you would like to create on the day. The process is an experience to witness. You’ll have Wayan (the son) guide you through the journey. You’ll witness the sorcery of colour-altering paint once it makes contact with water, sketching with wax, and the pure, authentic talent of both Nyoman and Wayan.
People flock in with a mere concept in their heads but leave with a new set of skills, life lessons, and a little piece of yourself (and Bali) to give to someone you love. Put your creativity to practice in a serene setting at I Nyoman Warta Batik Class.
The class is ideal for 5 people but they are open to private sessions as well.
I Nyoman Warta Batik Class
Jl. Gootama No.12, Ubud
+62 813 3746 5854
’Tis the season to gift and glow! Bali is an island rich with natural beauty and its people surely know how to use it to its best potential and end up with magical things. Skincare products are one of the many wonderful products secondarily conceived by mother nature in Bali. As the raw and organic trend is rising and loved by millions, it may be worth putting your horticultural knowledge to a test for a loved one. Taking a trip to the Sunday markets to purchase off the shelf organic soap doesn’t seem as fulfilling as concocting a bespoke potion. Just like cooking your own meal, it’s nice to know what you’re putting onto your skin and hair.
With Ubud Botany Interactive, you can join botany expert Dewi on a guided stroll on an off the beaten track among lush greenery and familiarise yourself with native plants and local crops. Visualise homegrown aloe vera, colourful Hibiscus, and a variety of other local flora. You can’t claim to possess a love for the island if you haven’t witnessed it inside and out!
Back in the lab, you’ll create your all-natural botanical products kicking off with a set line up of Hibiscus shampoo, natural sunscreen, Aloe Vera body scrub, and Boreh (healing scrub) all freshly cherry-picked by you. Your sweat and hard work will either be traditionally wrapped in palm leaves or recycled glass bottles, whichever you please. They work with local farmers so rest easy knowing the ingredients are fairly traded. They also hire kids to collect bottles and other packaging products used in the making to recycle and ultimately support the environment.
Dewi comes from a farmer family and a botany background and has been in the industry for decades. She now manages her workshops with her partner that runs every Monday to Saturday at 11am and 2pm. Her most sought-after package is The Combined Tour that stretches 3 hours, which include the guided walk and workshop. You’ll leave with an assortment of fresh, locally-sourced skincare products and Dewi’s secrets to creating natural body care products from selected flowering plants.
Ubud Botany Interactive
Jalan Kajeng No.32A, Ubud
+62 856 371 9259