Friday, September 14, 2012

Balinese Building Blocks ---

On one of our jaunts, we were walked past a home that was having their family temple remodeled.

It was so interesting to see how the workers were handling things. Mawa told us how the bricks are made, and they don’t turn the bright orange red until they are fired.

They also use very little mortar between the bricks, and thanks to his explanations – I started noticing and paying attention to these things everywhere.

And the mythology ---these stories of dragons and demons and the continuous fight of good vs evil, they were present everywhere in the details carved into cornerstones and at either side of entryways, wherever we walked.

I am fascinated with learning about other cultures and the lessons their myths teach.

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Here Mawa is explaining about the bricks and how close set they are --- do you see grout lines? Barely if any! And look at the decorations! These lions are hand carved, not poured from concrete.

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The designs are so intricate!

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Beautiful curiques evolve into frightening faces ---but see also the panels on the wall behind them. So ornate! Often times I was thinking of how these curls and flowers and things could be represented in machine quilting.

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Here are stone workers carving. It just made me think that here in Western culture we are taught to let machines do the work. Here, it is the skill of the artist that does the work.

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If you look toward the upper left..there is a face that is partially carved. The cornerstones also will be carved as the work progresses. The stone is embedded as blocks…and THEN carved by the artists.

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Another view of the carving going on..you can see the progress on that one cornerstone. The full face of the character isn’t finished yet. Also notice the partially carved detail around the panel toward the bottom center. The carving here is still in progress too.

Hours and hours and hours! I don’t know how long it took to rebuild this family temple, but the time it took doesn’t seem to matter as much as doing it right. With the best that is available.

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A glimpse toward the inside of the courtyard with bricks and other supplies close at hand.

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This was another shrine we passed on our walk, hibiscus flowers plainly visible on his head. The new stone we saw being carved on the family’s temple will age over time to look like this.

And I thought of quilts, the place where we show our artistry and skill. Some take a long long time to complete, but it’s worth it. Over time, the fabrics may fade and edges may get worn, but they still show the evidence of our handiwork and are beautiful in their aged and well-loved state maybe even more so than when they were brand spanking new because they’ve lived a life and have placed themselves into the memory of those who slept beneath them.

Fading is going to happen. Aging is going to happen. But I’d rather have the quilts out being used and enjoying them instead of locking them in a closet away from life.

My mailbox is tackled! I opened it this morning and whewwww! What a good feeling! No more nagging stuff that needs replies or filing or deleting or scheduling! We are caught up to date!

This morning I have an appt with my physical therapist. I’m afraid I spent too much time sitting yesterday – I was hurting last night by the time I went to bed….so far the best thing seems to be "Don’t do too much of any ONE thing --- switch it up!" It’s not easy when the machine beckons after the computer work is done.

My flight to Indiana leaves tomorrow morning, so there is much repacking of the trunk show going on today! There is mail to be dropped off at the post office along with ((FINALLY)) the estimate of repair for the demolition of my laptop by the airlines. Now we wait to see if they will hold good to their word and reimburse me. It should be just enough to cover the cost of the new one I had to buy.

And that’s all that’s going on in my world! It’s not that interesting at present, but you know what? I kind of like it this way!

DH returns from Corning, NY tonight –he’s there on business, and if all goes well, plan on QuiltCam time around 9pm Eastern tonight ---We will be good to go, he won’t be home until about 11pm!!

Have a great Friday, everyone!


  1. I really enjoyed seeing the photos of stone carvers at work. My grandfather was a stone mason, so I have a soft spot for beautiful stone and brick work. I hope your hubby had a chance to see the glass artists at work in Corning.

  2. Tina in NJ9:06 AM EDT

    While I am in awe of the stone/concrete carvers, I also liked the look of the concrete blocks before they were carved. It had an Art Deco feel to it. I would have thought they'd do the carving first, then set the blocks.

  3. Really interesting about the carving artists. Beautiful work.....and yeah, the filigree curly-cues would make for some fantastic fmq! Thanks for sharing the pics!

  4. It's been fun reading about all your adventures in Bali. I love seeing how the artisans work and am amazed that we don't pay more for their fabric with all the handwork that goes into making it. I'll be cleaning my sewing machine and packing supplies today for your Indiana crumbs workshop. See you there!

  5. We think of all the decorative arts as from the past, like we are looking at antiques. In other photos I was wondering how they keep those statues so white and clean. Now I know, its a living art form and there is new art being made all the time. I also love understanding the mythology of other cultures (and our own). The more we know the more similarities we find. It is fascinating. Thanks for sharing this and for your point of view.

  6. I can see how all of that hand work would interest you. I remeber how proud I was that I hand quilted. Now that Arthur has affected my hands, I quilt and sew by machine. Still I love the by hand work. I would like toknow what kind of stone they are carving out of it sure looked like cement. I am w you on those curly cues and dragon faces would make an awesome quillting design.... new book?

  7. Bonnie, you have the most interesting stories to tell and information to share. Thank you so much. Bali is a place the I think I have to put on my Bucket List. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Anonymous5:37 PM EDT

    I don't travel usually past 30 miles of home, so your pictures and comments of the different trips you take helps fill my desire to travel. Whether it's thousands of miles away or 60 miles from my home, I enjoy the pictures and stories and almost feel like I have been there. Thanks so much for sharing.


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