Monday, 6 August 2012

shopping for silver

Mom has a thing for bags... And brooches... Well, and flower seeds and gardening. She tried to resist my offer to buy her something from Bali, but then she said, "Well, if you INSIST, then a silver brooch," to which I replied, "But Mom, I bought you a silver brooch when I came to Bali two years ago and you never wore it!"

"Says who? I wear it often! The thing is, it the pin was bent, so I'm worried it'll break," she said.

So off we went to Ubud, where silver jewelry (the highest quality in Bali) abound. If you're looking for silver jewelry or silver artisans, Bali and Yogyakarta (central Java) are famous for silver. The designs and the craftsmanship are exquisite (this was the word I kept muttering when I saw the silver collections).

Our search began in several artisan shops in an area called Celuk. They sell exquisite jewelry from rings, brooches, hair pins, to earrings, and bracelets and bangles, and decorations made of silver and or gold. We went to one artisan shop and there was this exquisite (see, I keep repeating that word) brooch. The price tag was around USD 600. The seller saw that we were locals, so he gave us USD 300. When we were about to leave, he gave us USD 100.

We went to other artisan shops, including one called UC Silver. Their collections are beautiful, but too crazy contemporary. Too modern for my taste. I was looking for something more local, more traditional, more Indonesian, and definitely not that expensive (Ruby encrusted brooch for USD 1,200? Really? I guess they have to pay for the billboards, the shops, the personal assistants for shoppers (yes, kidding I am not), the display, the decor, and the renovation for the new parking lot).

Then we began our search to smaller silver boutiques in Ubud, and I found the perfect brooch for Mom. Strangely, it was at CV Utami, the store where I bought Mom her first silver brooch.

Isn't it just exquisite? I couldn't find a cat, so I chose a peacock. Hopefully it'll remind her of my tattoo and give her subliminal messages to allow me to get more ink.

Finally, we had lunch at Tutma, a cozy open-air restaurant in Ubud. I had Vegetarian Platter (seriously overpriced and not even tasty) and iced tea (which had an icky aftertaste), and Cinnamon Roll (this one is crazy good. It was big and warm, picture attached). 

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