Artisan Organization: Komang Wilis
Country: Bali & Java
"I'm Ni Komang Wilis. I was born in a Balinese village known for its beautiful scenery, its culture, crafts and arts. My father was a peddler and also a silversmith who helped neighbors and friends fill jewelry orders. My mother was a homemaker.
"I'm the third of five children. Our life lacked many privileges and this pushed me to earn money to help my parents. I also worked so I could pay my own school fees and finally was able to graduate from senior high school.
"My dream was to continue studying at the university but my parents' age prevented them from working. So I had to face this reality with only what I know and have now.
"I took jobs in different shops but then my younger brother, who is a silversmith, began teaching me to work in silver. I also learned from my husband who is a designer that makes wax figures and molds for silver casting.
"We are blessed with three daughters, although sometimes I feel life is very hard for me. But with a strong will, faith and hard work, I can handle it. Of course, the help of God is the most important part of facing life with optimism.
"My sterling silver jewelry is mostly inspired by nature and our Balinese culture. My husband's creations also inspire me. We combine silver with gemstones or pearls. My husband helps me with designs, and I create them with the help of a silversmith. We use both lost wax casting as well as handmade methods, just as our grandparents did, and sometimes combine the techniques. It really depends on what shoppers like.
"I'm excited to show our designs and creations to people all over the world.""