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Pottery and Terracota -

Ceramic firing techniques never developed into an advanced craft on Bali. Up until the early 1970s, precious green Sung dynasty plates would still occasionally turn up.

On some Balinese temple walls dating from the last century, valuable ceramic bowls and saucers of European origin have been embedded in plaster (visit Puri Anyar in Kerambitan village, Tabanan). Even 'Kitchen Ming' chinaware plates, once used in common trading and bartering, are now becoming scarce, only available on Kuta Beach at exorbitant prices.

For modern ceramics, check out Sari Bumi on Jl. D. Tamblingan opposite Batu Jimbar in Sanur. Started by New Zealander Brent Heslin, these functional, high-fired glazed ceramics include salt and peppershakers, ashtrays, small vases, etc. All the major hotels carry his stuff. Also check out Nacha in Legian for housewares, tea and dinner sets, vases, lamps, etc.

A distinguished ceramics designer, Kay It, lived and worked in Tabanan. Born of a Chinese-Balinese family of shopkeepers, It was one of Indonesia's most promising modern impressionistic artists until he died suddenly in 1977 at the age of 39. It's tall totem poles and other ceramics on the landscaped grounds of the Bali Hyatt in Sanur remind one of the ancient Incan and Aztec designs.

It's works can also be viewed in the Neka Gallery and Puri Lukisan in Ubud, and his influence can still be seen in the designs of many small ceramics available in Bali's markets: ashtrays, candleholders in the chili style, and tiles for wall hangings.

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