Darta, artist of the wax molds

Darta, artist of the wax molds

In Tangkas, a town in southeastern Bali, Darta stood out at school for his speed over short distances. During those years he used to help his father with their farm animals, he competed in regional races and whenever he found some free time he went to the river to fish and swim.

At age 15 he found himself at a crossroads: his family could no longer pay for him to go to school. He decided to accept the invitation of some friends and they explored every corner of the Gianyar district to find work.
Darta earned his first rupees by making wooden crafts for tourists. With time his skills developped and he learned how to sculpt wooden doors and sophisticated figures.

Darta, artist of the wax molds

When he was 24, one of his brothers started teaching him the different techniques of making rings and bracelets. The first piece of jewellery they made together was a necklace. When he acquired more experience, he was accepted at some of Celuk's jewellery and art workshops, but those were jobs that came and went at the pace of an always uncertain demand. Darta took advantage of those years to specialize in wax molds which are the shaping foundation of many pieces of jewellery. It worked out well because he already had the experience of carving fine artwork out of wood.

Darta, artist of the wax molds

In 2008, he married Made Mariani, with whom he has two children: Ni Luh Putu Darmayani (12 years old) and I Kadek Dwipayara Putra (7 years old). The early years of their marriage were not easy, and Darta recalls the constant concern of having to earn the rupees to pay the rent of their small room in Celuk. He wanted to be close to the workshops and he also had a workbench next to his room. Sometimes orders came in, and many others they did not.
In early 2014, the scenario changed: he began working at eThnoPur’s workshop as one of the smiths who gently and patiently sculpt the wax molds. With his young family, he returned to the family home in Tangkas, 30 meters away from a beautiful school.

Darta, artist of the wax molds

With a stable income and without the pressure of having to pay rent for his house - despite a longer trip to work - the family economy improved. Darta does not sit back and continues to make jewellery in his spare time on the workbench that is only two meters away from his bed. He wants to make sure that his family will be fine.