Dewa, the painter who became a toucan

Dewa, the painter who became a toucan

During his childhood in Ubud, Dewa Putu Dewantara used to play being a painter. His father and other relatives sold small paintings depicting the rice fields, landscapes and beautiful birds of Bali. When Dewa put down the brush, he escaped with his friends to catch the eels that hid camouflaging beneath the mud and water of the rice paddies. They cooked the eels for dinner. Unlike many toucans who started work as soon as they finished high school, or even before, Dewa continued studying. He obtained a degree in arts because he intended to become a painter. He tried, but it was difficult to sell the paintings.

Dewa, the painter who became a toucan

In 2002 his life changed for two reasons: he married Ida Ayu Pusparini, with whom he has three teenage daughters. And, a terrorist attack collapsed the economy of Bali. During those months, his wife became pregnant with their first daughter, Dewa Ayu Rodina (who is 18 years old today), and she could no longer work in quality control at a jewellery shop in Singapadu. They asked Dewa to replace her and there, he began to learn about jewellery. He now remembers that he liked to see the toucans at work and that he was very curious about everything they did. When he returned home, he practiced the techniques and in every of those moments he learned the craft.

Later, he was encouraged to apply for a job as a toucan in another workshop. He accepted it but had to learn a new skill: create the wax models that constitute parts of necklaces and earrings. It was a difficult time, and Dewa highlights the patience of his co-workers who taught him. When he began to master the technique, the workshop owner told him that he had to fire all of them, because no more orders were coming in.

Dewa, the painter who became a toucan

Dewa had never stopped accepting orders as a freelance toucan and with the orders that came in, he gathered the rupees he needed to support his family.
Seven years ago, a friend told him that they were looking for staff at the eThnoPur workshop. He was accepted, and he is one of our two smiths in charge of elaborating the wax models.
He says he enjoys the workshop routine because he likes to work in a team. He is someone who usually ends his sentences with a smile and surprises his co-workers with his jokes.
In his spare time, he sometimes likes to paint, but what he enjoys most is going to the beaches near Dempassar with his wife and their three daughters.