Things to do in Ubud with Kids: Ceramics and Silversmithing

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Things to do in Ubud with Kids: CeramicsAs you may have read in my recent posts, creativity has been on my mind. Bali was certainly one great place to express it. Alas, the “Eat Pray Love” boom has caused irreparable damage to the island. Some would even advise you not to go at all, but don’t listen to them.

To be sure, many of the beaches are wrecked, but we don’t go to Bali to swim. Instead, we head to Ubud, the cultural capital of the island. There are plenty of creative activities to do in Ubud with kids. Last week I described our woodcarving and painting lessons. Today I’ll finish up with a little breakdown on two other classes we took: ceramics and silversmithing.

Things to do in Ubud with Kids: Ceramics

Things to do in Ubud, ceramics, silversmithingThings to do in UbudSari Api

The ceramics class we took is held every Saturday morning from 10:30am to noon at Sari Api studios north of the city. The class is IDR 60,000 (approx. USD $5) and includes a cup of hibiscus lemonade for the kids.

We had considered moving to Bali before we decided on Penang. If we had chosen Ubud, we would certainly be at Sari Api every weekend.

Each child gets a mound of clay to work with. No real lessons are being taught in hand-building — everyone is basically on their own, which is kind of nice because then you can work with the kids if you want, or simply leave them to their own devices if that’s what they’d prefer.

Get there early

The tables are covered in tools and an array of glazes and brushes. I recommend arriving a few minutes early so you can draw a number for a wheel-throwing lesson. This is also included, but there’s only enough time for the first 15 students who draw a number.

Having 10 minutes on a potter’s wheel with an instructor each week is a nice bonus, and if you’re there for several weeks, then they’ll fire the plates, bowls and cups you make with glazes of your choosing.

Things to do in UbudThe studio is run by Susan, a Swiss expat with the patience and talent to manage both hordes of children and their hovering parents (there were a few helicopter moms there). We went twice, and I’d say that about half of the families there were travelers, and half were expat residents of some sort.

You’ll need a scooter to get out to Sari Api. Well, I guess you could hire a taxi, but the area surrounding the studio is very scenic and one of my favorite parts of Ubud. Give yourself a little time to ride around the rice patties — that is, if the kids aren’t starving by then (the class ends conveniently at lunchtime).

Things to do in UbudThings to do in UbudSilversmithing in Ubud

For the Silversmithing class in Ubud, there seemed to be several available around town, but we took the one at Studio Perak in downtown Ubud. This three-hour lesson cost IDR 350,000 (approx. USD $30) and included five grams of silver to fashion into a ring or pendant, with more silver available if needed (they weighed your creation at the end).

Keiko and I were convinced that five grams each wouldn’t be nearly enough, and that supplying additional silver was how they milked tourists like us for extra cash. We were, however, pleasantly surprised when both kids’ pendants came in under.

Studio Perak

The tools involved were fascinating: files, buffers, hammers and blowtorches. Our kids really enjoyed the hands-on approach and really felt a sense of accomplishment afterwards.

I had read that the instructor here was a bit of a grouch, but he was nothing but kind to us. His shop was full that day, mind you, but he gave both kids individual attention at each stage of the process.

Things to do in Ubud

Have you been to Ubud with kids? Have you taken classes like this there? Or elsewhere?  How did your kids respond?

Comments

  1. Jaymi Washburn says:

    Hi there! thanks for all your info! I have two kids, ages 3.5 and 6.5 (that .5 matters!)… I really want to do the silversmithing class but I am wondering if it’s too advanced for our kids? Thoughts on taking younger kids to this? Thanks!!

    • Hi Jaymi

      Depends on the kids and their abilities, of course, and you know that best. That said, I would have taken my kids at around 6, sure. Keep in mind that you might be helping out a lot. As for a 3.5-year-old, I wouldn’t personally. Not that it’s dangerous (although there are some torches used), but it requires some dexterity and focus that I’m certain my kids didn’t have at that age. Just my two cents. Hope you have a GREAT trip!

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