Ahmad Ekvan, to all Ifam, seemed destined to be a tailor. His family sewed and mended clothes in Lumanjan, a town on the island of Java where he was born in 1986, but they never let him touch a needle or a thread. His father would not allow it and did not tell him why.
When he was in high school, at age 14, a neighbour taught him how to make silver bracelets and chains, the specialty of this eastern Javanese region. Ifam, like many Indonesian teenagers, needed to work and dropped out of school.
For four years he learned from the Lumanjan goldsmiths, but he knew that the most renowned artists were in Bali, the neighbouring island, separated from Java by a strait of just two kilometers. He wanted to gain experience and chose this path, although, again, he did not have the permission of his parents.
He came to Celuk in 2004 and worked in the workshop of a jewellery and art business. Despite meeting very few people, he got this job within a week. They were difficult years because he did not even have a motorcycle - an essential means of transportation for the Balinese - but he learned everything he could about rings, earrings and necklaces.
In 2008 he took a new risk: he moved to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, to specialize in setting diamonds and other stones in jewellery. It is a delicate and high precision job. The bet paid off: in addition to improving his skills, he met his future wife and mother of his two children (one is 12 years old, and the other is a toddler).
In 2012, after spending about 6 months in Lemanjan, he decided to return to Celuk with his wife and son. He was working in different workshops, until eight years ago he joined eThnoPur. He is the man of the stones, the one who has to set diamonds, sapphires and emeralds in the delicate rings, necklaces, and earrings that his companions make.
Always silent and focused, with the stable salary of the last few years, he pays the rent of a room in a shared house near the workshop, and bought a piece of land in Java in the town where his wife's grandmother lives. There, he is planning to build is own house in the next few years.