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Komang Agus Saputra

Artisan Organization: Komang Agus Saputra

Country: Bali and Java

"The place where I was born, Banjar Kawan, Tampak Siring, is renowned for its' alternative jewelry tradition. That is, jewelry crafted with bone, horn, woods, and beads. Growing up here, my creativity and my imagination simply took off.

"My friends describe me as humble, honest, and a little bit stubborn. One of the most difficult times in my life happened when I graduated from high school. Almost all of my friends went to a college or university seeking a better education and life. Unfortunately my parents could not afford the college fees, and I had to work if I wanted to get to university. Working at an accessories workshop, and being a part-time teacher at private school brought color to my life and made it more meaningful. I became a person who can appreciate life for whatever it is. I believe in hard work and in praying, as well as always seeing everything in a positive way.

"For example, I loved riding my bike when I was a kid but one day, I was going down a long steep road and had to turn right, but I found a truck in front of me! I had no choice but to carry on straight even though there was a huge tree with a lot of branches! I ended up hanging from a branch and my bike as well! People around me just laughed for a while before they helped me. It always makes me laugh when I remember – that was scary, but funny too.

"My father is a great wood carver, he taught me how to carve and how to choose the wood. He taught me a lot and was very patient with me. Now I use those techniques to carve different materials other than wood, such as bone and horn too. I make what we call alternative jewelry that is very beautiful.

"Pouring my imagination or inspiration into the media that I choose to work with can be quite challenging to carve. But seeing people wearing what I make and how beautiful it looks makes me feel so grateful and happy.

"Now there are other people working with me. They are young men who want to learn and work for a better life. Most of them are college students who have to manage their time to be able to work with me, and be responsible of their own education too. It's not difficult to work with them since they know what they have to do and keep quality as a priority. That way all I need to do is to focus on designing and promoting the products.

"I know about Novica from my sister Eka, she is already a featured artisan. Though she must work as a nurse, she manages her time to pursue her woodcarving passion. She is my inspiration as a single parent who fights the world for her children. I hope that joining Novica benefits not only me, but the people that work with me too, and that I may help my sister, my family and offer work to other people who want to live a better life." "