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Kadek Darmini

Artisan Organization: Kadek Darmini

Country: Bali and Java

"I am Ni Kadek Darmini and I was born in 1972. I'm proud of my community, which has conserved Bali's rich culture and tradition.

"I became a woodcarver after following in my parents' footsteps, and learned from my father when I was still a girl. My friends were also interested in carving, so we checked out other woodcarvers at work and learned by watching.

"My parents separated when I was in elementary school, leaving me — along with my three younger siblings — with my father. Since then, I've worked in my neighbor's workshop to help my father earn enough for our tuition.

"Unfortunately, our efforts weren't enough. My father and I couldn't pay for everyone's education, and I dropped out after finishing junior high. I then began carving wood and selling my sculptures to help my younger brothers and sisters pursue their education.

"I am married to Nyoman Sudiana, who is also a Novica-featured artisan, and we've both had our ups and downs. When we realized we couldn't have a child, my husband became very frustrated and even left me for a few days. Our neighbors heard the news and made fun of us. Fortunately, my husband underwent some treatments and we were blessed with our own child. This has been the greatest gift to us. We now have three boys and live happily. My husband and I are highly motivated to give them a better future. I remember my mother-in-law saying, 'Have patience in facing your life — happiness is only one or two hard steps away.'

"My masks and wood sculptures are made from crocodile, suar or sono wood. They are carved with unique Balinese motifs and then polished.

"My goal is to express myself through woodcarving and I hope to help support my family.""