Gold and silver smith always remind about the name of Celuk
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Desa Mas is belong to the administrative area of Kecamatan Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, 8 km away from Denpasar city, 23 km from Kuta and 38 km from Nusa Dua area. Desa Celuk is bordering with Desa Batubulan which is known for it's stone carving and stages of Barong dances. This location is on the way of the leading road from Denpasar to Ubud or to Gianyar and within the tour itinerary both Batubulan and Celuk usually two places never absent on the tour itinerary. Just after the visit of Barong dance at one of the stages at Batubulan visiting the work of silver and gold accessories at one of the artist's exhibition house or art shops. Many guests protested the itinerary which mentioned Celuk as a village and they said is a town. That is the situation of Celuk today, that the view is a real small town with bustling life of artists and their activities. Most of gold and silver production at Celuk has been oriented to the export with proud exhibition halls at each of the gallery that line up on the left and right sides of the main road of Celuk. Desa Celuk is bordering directly with Desa Sukawati, where the head of Kecamatan administrative office is located, and Desa Singapadu beside Batubulan. Desa Singapadu is strongly influenced by the main activities of the people at Celuk and now become the only competitor of Celuk in the production of gold and silver products.

Interest of Desa Celuk

As already publicated on many brochures or writing about Bali and its tourism, Celuk must have been well known in all countries, that the main interest of this town is their production of specific accessories made of gold and silver. Many people asking when it was started that the people of Celuk produced such accessories? This question can not be answered sufficiently, since what people in Bali know about Celuk in the past was the place where people making bowls for religious ceremony in silver leave called " bokoran " This type of bowl is ony used for activities of religious or ritual relating to the tradition. Suddenly in 1930s the first reported gold and silversmith was in Celuk, and travelers who visited Bali during that time explored the interesting places of Bali including the village. And late 1990s the number of art galleries and unit of gold and silversmiths were increasing in big numbers followed by the mass production of various designs of decorative art, accessories and others. The growing popularity of Celuk as the stop of sightseeing itinerary giving favorable condition for the birth of many exporters to various contries in the world. This international trade of gold and silver products from Celuk even made the name of the previously known village become well known world wide.

Changes of Profession

During the periode from 1980 to 1990 was heard that almost every families in the village engaged in the work of silver and gold leaving the rice field and animal breeding un-managed. The birth of big art shops working with local tour operators and or importers from various countries has been encouraged the families to follow the step and tried to deal with foreighners without knowing the requirement of international trade, only based on trust and good smile of new buyers. As a result many producers felt into bangkruftcy due to the unpaid shipment or sales. The discussion of writer to many families at Celuk and Singapadu in 1995 disclosed that actually the number of producers being cheated by their overseas partners were surprisingly high. The value of their shipment un-paid varied between Rp 5.000.000 to Rp 30.000.000 at the time, and compared to the value of money today it can mean hundred of millions. It is not ethical to mentioned here what the nationality of the buyers who cheated them, but for the families in Celuk it was a traumatic experience causing them to sell everything they had to cover their labour and material costs, even their own costs. The art galleries that line up reaching Batubulan, along 2 kms to reach the orignal village of Celuk in the east was the luckiest among them, because they worked with local inbound tour operator, preparing the visitors with various product of gold and silvers, sell based on retail and cash. So, they enjoy better conditon of sales compared to those who tried to look for short cut to sell directly to foreign importers. There are many big exporters who knew better the detail of international trade with showrooms at bigger cities such as Kuta, Nusa Dua or Denpasar. They had more detail information on how to manage the shipment and get them paid through international methodes, get security for both importers and exporters.

Influence of Celuk Craft

Celuk is the inspirator of the growth of silver and gold product not only in Bali but also in Yogyakarta, especially in Kota Gede. Art galleries, and exporters in Bali sell as much as the gold and silver products that made in Bali and in Yogyakarta. Even in most cases such as in Singapadu and bigger town such as Kuta and Denpasar the product of Yogyakarta even bigger then what were produced in Bali. This is due to their technic of production is better and their design was more varied compared to their counterparts in Bali. That was why the great number of shipment from Yogyakarta comes every week to Bali, especially to Celuk, Denpasar and Kuta. Since Yogyakarta also developed production, most of travelers visited directly the production in Yogyakarta, but they brought the product to Bali before shipment to their countries to the reason that they will be easier in co-ordinating the shipment and the administration, beside the frequency of flight from Bali to abroad that that time was far much bigger compared from Yogyakarta. It can be said that the growth of gold and silver production both in Celuk and Yogyakata has been going parallel, giving great advantage to big number of informal workers, absorbed big nubmer of less skill workers and house-wives, and even children can take part-time among their school time. During the era of 1980 to 1990s, in Celuk almost no child roaming on the road, and also writer heard in Kota Gede Yogyakarta, as they were participating in family working. But this situation was totally changed after Islamic Jihad blew bom in Kuta, known as Bali bom I in 2002. All production in Celuk and Singapadu step by step taking rest, and shipment from Yogyakarta also slow but firmly dropping into the zero level and totally stop after Bali bom II in 2005. The learning of Islamic jihad is very well know how to kill the economy of people in Yogyakarta and Bali, especially Kota Gede with their silver and gold accessories and decorations.

Type of Articles

The most important product of gold and silver are women accessories such as earings, bracelets, broces, noodles, pins, bottons, wall decors and sitting decor for table, pandles, frames, vases, watches, and many others more then a hundreds designs were ever recorded at one of the show room in Celuk. The designs were purely developped by local artists both in Bali and in Yogyakarta, only few of them brought from overseas, since the character of silver and gold products from overseas were really hard to be produced in Bali or Yogyakarta, due to the precision methode and consistency of elements. The main interest of the local product just relaid on the uniqueness of the products and the low prices tagged to their individual products.

Other Interesting Places

Art Center
Barong Dance
Desa Banjar
Desa Batubulan
Desa Celuk
Desa Mas
Desa Singapadu
Gunung Kawi
Kecak Dance
Kerta Gosha
Le Mayeur Museum
Monkey Forest Ubud
Pasar Badung
Pura Kehen
Tirta Gangga

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