Artisan Organization: Made Mulyani
"I was born in 1975 to a wood carver family in a small town in Bali. We live in a rural area of the island that is so peaceful and where kinship bonds are strong. Our family's life was financially limited, therefore I wasn't able to continue my studies after senior high school.
"I'm a simple woman who enjoys cycling and aerobics. Friends know me as an honest woman, a hard worker and a person who likes helping others. I married in 1997 and have two children who made my life become happier and perfect. Since then, there have been many changes in my life. I have more responsibilities now but what's most important to me is my children's future.
"In 2002, there was a very difficult moment in my life. I was starting a small shop in the market with a bank loan. Suddenly, a bomb exploded in Bali's tourist area! People suffered a lot because most work is dependent on tourism. Bali became so quiet, and no visitors or customers came. I think this was the toughest time in my whole life.
"My island is rich in artistic and historical temples, which I love. Whenever there are ceremonies, I pray and perform our rituals there. I cannot imagine how our ancestors built such great temples with the limited tools and resources at that time. Bali also has beautiful scenery and friendly people from different cultures.
"My parents and my brother taught me to make sculptures. I started by watching them carving wood at home. I was excited with the final results and worked hard at learning how to create them.
"After high school, I worked at a supermarket but wasn't happy with the salary, so I decided to do wood carving after I got married. There are now ten artisans helping me and we create designs inspired by Bali's traditional cultures. We use manual tools like mallets, wood saws and chisels to carve acacia, suar and hibiscus woods by hand. By creating these beautifully detailed sculptures and masks, we'd like to introduce our traditional culture to the world.
"I heard about you from my brother-in-law, Made Wirata, who is also a featured artisan. Now, I hope people worldwide will come to know our culture.""