Artisan Organization: Seji Taram
Country: Bali and Java
It is with a very heavy heart that we mourn the death of Ketut Taram from lung cancer. He was the best man I ever knew, and the best husband I could ever hope for. He always made me feel loved. He was always gentle and caring, especially with our children ‚Äî he never got angry and always had a great capacity for understanding, his wife Seji told us. A friend and artisan, he will be much missed by all of us.
My name is Ketut Taram and I was born in the Gianyar regency, Bali, in 1967. I learned how to create my first sculpture from my older brother, Made Mudiawan. From 1975 until 1990, I worked primarily in suar wood. Then, from 1990 until 2000, I made the sculptures from sandalwood. Lately, I enjoy sculpting with both.
I began carving on my own in 1992. Before that, I'd worked together with my older brother, saving until I had enough money to open my own workshop. There are five people working with me now.
Balinese culture and tradition inspire my artwork. As the son of Wayan Kicen, a wood carver, it is easy and enjoyable for me to transfer my imagination into my work.
I have participated in several exhibitions around Bali. Thank you for promoting my artwork to the whole world. Through my art I do hope to provide a good life and a better future for my family, especially for my children.
Always happy and smiling, Taram's carving legacy will be continued by Seji, who says,
I met Ketut Taram when I was 19, and we were married three years later. He was a very quiet man, very kind, didn't talk much, and cared very much for me and our children. He didn't tell us he was seriously ill because he didn't want to make us sad or worry us. He only told me three months before he passed away.
We have a young son and an older daughter. They inspire me and motivate me to make sure I can give them a better life until they graduate from university. But it has been difficult since my husband passed away ‚Äì I try to fill my day with different activities, working hard.
I'll always remember what my husband said before died. He wanted me to carry on caring wisely for our children, and he also encouraged me to be a stronger woman for our children's sake.
Being associated with you has really made our situation easier, before and after my husband passed away, because we only focus on your orders. We sell most of our sculptures through you and, from that, we can pay for food and also our children's school fees.
I learned this art from my husband, and now I continue to craft his designs, sometimes with your advice on how to improve and create new designs from my own ideas. I hope my hard work will help us sell more, and that everyone likes my new designs."