Hunters hunt, and makers make. Dek does both well. He’s a great hunter and guide when we are on one of our buying trips to Java. He and his scouts hunt for and find all manner of wood, stone, antiques, folk art and sculpture that are otherwise simply impossible to find or incredibly expensive. He’s also a brilliant maker of solid wood furniture with traditional joinery and innovative design, the hallmarks of the pieces made in his studio.
On every trip to Bali I spend as much time as I can with Dek both hunting and designing furniture. It’s a joy to work with a man who immediately and intuitively grasps the essence of the piece I want to make and improves on the design almost without thinking. I probably learn more about Balinese culture from Dek than anyone. He’s insightful and eloquent and I love the evening time we have when on the road so we can talk about culture, religion, and dreams.
We share a warehouse and workshops of some 9,000 square feet. He guides and teaches his team of 7 artisans, as well as my 5 staff people who take care of my inventory, carve, make furniture, computer work, and take care of the gardens, ground and buildings. Two of the staff actually live on site as watchmen.
Dek’s artisans seem to be able to produce anything Dek and I can design. It’s a dream of dreams come true for me. To build a good prototype of a chair though several renditions would cost $6,000 – $8000 in the States. In our studio in Bali, I can afford to experiment, re-work mistakes, and abandon failed projects, without guilt or failure. It’s simply what it takes to try and perfect new pieces. We have the craftsmen, the space, the materials and the mad vision to do it and Dek is the reason all of that is possible
Dek is a family man and a young village elder who is pure Balinese and 100% a world citizen. He is intelligent, educated, fun, easy to look at, creative, hard working, and a true friend. He’s a regular Eagle-scout kind-of-a-guy with the spiritual sense of a shaman. I’m thankful for his being in my life.