I have had this water fountain in my dining room since approximately 2008 and love the glow which the light casts on Buddha’s face. I remember seeing this fountain at a local garden center and just had to get it. Since I already had fountains outside, I decided to put it in the dining room, making sure to place it in a spot which was clearly visible from the living room as well. This isn’t a small tabletop fountain (it measures 27 inches high, 15-1/2 inches wide, and 7 inches in depth), so it definitely carries some visual impact.
Eventually, this fountain developed a number of issues, such as a burnt out adapter for the light, a spewing corner of the fountain which caused it to leak onto the floor, a strong tendency to build up sediment in the reservoir, and a very loud pump. My cats also were drawn to the fountain and would (and still do!) drink from it, much to my horror, since there was so much sediment floating around in the water.
I finally completely cleaned out this fountain TWICE this year, bought a new light, and connected a quiet pump to the fountain. I also elected to fill the fountain only with distilled water. As a result of my efforts, this fountain is now the relaxing, quiet, and mesmerizing showpiece it was meant to be.
I recently was blessed enough to go to Bali for several days, and was able to visit Seminyak and Ubud for a number of shopping excursions. Ubud is known for its wood working factories and silver factories, so it was a dream come true for a wood carving and silver jewelry freak like me to visit. There are factories all over Ubud, most of which not only display the finished works of the artisans, but also feature the artisans at work on pieces.
One thing I did NOT like was how much the salespeople would hover over me as I walked through the stores. The best thing to do is to walk through a store without indicating interest in any of the pieces until you have determined which ones you are truly interested in purchasing, otherwise you will be asked incessantly, “You like this one? Give good price, not final price!” until you walk out of the store. The majority of stores will have what is called first price, which is the price they quote, but you are expected to haggle with the salesperson until you arrive at a price which is usually about 25% to 40% of the first price. Even so, whenever I would hear “6 million rupiah” ($500 US) for a 20 inch Buddha carving, I would think it was way too expensive and walk on.
One salesperson took the time to educate me on the different types of wood commonly used in Balinese carvings. I learned how to distinguish between hibiscus (which is always two-toned and has a slight reddish hue), coconut (a lighter, greenish, variegated wood), ebony, and mahogany.
Coconut wood carvings are in foreground here
Ebony wood carving
He also informed me that there were three different levels of wood carvers: Student, Teacher and Master. Master carvings command the highest prices since the skill level of the artisan is the highest, followed by the Teacher and then the Student. I was thankful for the information because I discovered that a 24 inch Balinese Buddha wood carving which I have had for about 7 years was created by a Master out of a beautiful piece of hibiscus wood. Later in the day, I saw strikingly beautiful and ornate carvings like this life-sized horse:
When I saw the gorgeous woodwork in Bali, it me wish I had a huge home with a real need for wooden sculptures and furnishings. If you love hand carved wooden sculptures and furniture with an ethnic flavor, you really should visit Bali.