Graven Image -> Sourcing, Buying & Shipping Agents in Bali
A beginners guide to buying General advice & Information Finding the right location
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Graven Image was established in England in 1986 and originally sold Balinese and Thai Handicrafts via Trade shows and through it’s own show room facilities in the United Kingdom.
In 1992 the company initiated a direct buying service which enabled customers to purchase goods directly from the manufacturers in Indonesia. Goods could either be purchased with a full container load or part container loads
Today Balinese handicraft are displayed in shop windows in almost every corner of the globe. In the early 1980,s most of the handicrafts available, were religious wood carvings, their origins buried deep in Hindu mythology, practised for centuries by the inhabitants of this Island. Images of Flora and Fauna were depicted in these traditional carvings. These religious effigies are what the popular handicrafts of today originate from. The emergence of Balinese Handicrafts on the global market are governed by two factors.

(1) The natural vegetation with it’s abundant source of raw materials including supplies of
replenish able tropical soft woods.
(2) The traditional carving skills of the Balinese crafts people.

In 1998 Graven Image set up a foreign company and eventually based it’s operation entirely in Bali.
Relocating to Bali has given the company the ability to be involved directly with the manufacturing process. This has resulted in a much deeper understanding of local manufacturing methods and the use of material resources.
The gradual influx of tourism in the 1970 & 80 s played a large part in the the development of modern Balinese handicrafts. Visitors to Bali would return to their home country with small crafted souvenir or exquisite wood carvings. The local crafts people in Bali were quick to realize the potential. Soon the visitors would turn into serious buyers and began requesting small volume production of customized artifacts, suitable for selling abroad, an industry was born.
During those years there began to emerge an outpouring of new handicraft designs .
The Balinese flair for colour & design proved these products to be winners. The ability to take local raw materials and put these to incredible effect is evident. At the end of the day it is the Balinese skills and talents that shine, we are merely the commercial agents in the marketplace for these skills.
By the mid 1990s exports of handicrafts from Bali had reached it’s peak ,Balinese handicrafts had become the “in thing” , displayed on the shelves of fashionable gift shops from Tokyo to San Francisco.
By the end of the1990,sBalinese handicraft had already reached the mainstream gift market.
A knowledge of local customs and cultural practices are also important factors in obtaining efficient production. Most of the production in Indonesian is “cottage industry” based, which involves small groups of families. Further to this the Balinese people are devout Hindus and have to divide their time between working and carrying out their religious practices. Their lifestyle has a very direct bearing on manufacturing output. As buying agents the company invariably needs to work around those times when for instance a local family, a village community, or even the entire population is focussing on a religious event.
While still operating in the UK the company was experiencing problems with late container arrivals, further to this, progress was being hampered due to the supply of inconsistent quality products. This problem continued to arise despite employing the services of a buying agent in Bali at that time. Eliminating sub standard products became the number one issue on our priority list. We needed to get to the bottom of the manufacturing processes. To achieve any success it was essential that our activities were based around good quality control methods. This single most important task had to become the corner stone of our service. There were issues for example such as the wood drying process whereby many manufacturers were relying only on the suns activities for the drying of materials During the rainy season this often lead to disaster. Suppliers were delivering finished products with wet wood . This created severe cracking and mold problems.
The solution was to encourage the suppliers to adapt to setting up controlled kiln drying facilities. The Moisture reading meter soon became the single most important tool of our trade. At every stage of the manufacturing process we began to monitor the product for minimum moisture content , followed by the painting preparation and final checking for defects on the finished product.
A major event in 1998 took place with the ousting of the dictator president of Indonesia who ruled the country with an iron rod for almost thirty years. This together with several failing regional economies , lead to the near collapse of the Indonesian economy.The local currency plummeted and foreign buyers began to exploit the situation. Handicrafts could now be purchased for a fraction of there original value.... As a result the quality suffered, which further undermined the handicrafts as a product. Fortunately this was only short lived and over the past few years there have been steady improvement in the quality, finish and value. Today new products replace the old and buyers still continue to visit Bali in search of new product ranges. New buyers to Bali are almost overwhelmed by the sheer scale and variety of artifacts available.
Please note:

The images & information on this website are intended to express a clear, honest and accurate picture of the products and services represented. If you have any suggestions, comments or criticisms on how to improve our presentations, we would be happy to hear from you.

It was through our experience in the retail & wholesale markets that gave us considerable knowledge on how to identify and fulfill each customers different requirements. Putting the right product, at the right time, in the right place and at the right price is vital to the success of any buying strategy.
We also began to realize that with in retail and whole sale industries there were different market segments This gave us the ability to source ranges of products to suit each market segment
Indonesia has some unique Handicraft and furniture products to offer to the global markets. This is due to the excellent resource of natural fibres and raw materials, plus the traditional skills of the local inhabitants, who place their own particular stamp on each product.
Back in 1986 there were few products to choose from and in over three and half decades Bali has come a long way
The variety and choice of products for a first time visitor is almost over whelming. There is this almost constant melting pot of ideas and new materials being pummeled, hammered carved, painted and shaped through out the industry. New products can be tailored and made to suit every market segment for whatever season or special promotion requirement
The shipping and packing services has been in development for more than a decade. Our aim is to give the customer complete peace of mind right from the point of sourcing, to the ordering, the quality control, receivingl payments and finally to the shipping preparation and legal documentation.