Laura Bellows -- Designer & Owner of JUL

I was trained as an anthropologist at the University of Virginia. I earned my PhD in cultural anthropology in 2003 based on two years of field research in Bali, Indonesia. Click here to see a website aimed at a lay audience for which I provided images and text aimed at making Balinese cultural life more accessible. This website was part of an exhibition of Balinese paintings and sculpture that I conceptualized and curated with Emeritus Professor Clark Cunningham at the Spurlock Museum during a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

My research-adventure in Bali allowed me to develop relationships with the people and the culture that were essential for my founding of JUL in 2007 and which remain so to the present day.  My son Julian, who has accompanied me on nearly all of my overseas travels (starting at age one and a half!) and counts Bali as his second home, first designed for JUL when he was still in middle school.  Now 21 and attending art school, his contribution to new design-development has proved critical, especially on our most recent product development trip back to Bali 

 

Agus Astradhi--Designer and Co-Owner of JUL

Agus Astradhi was trained at the Arts University in Bali as a painter and designer. Upon graduation he created jewelry designs for the world famous Balinese jewelry company Suarti. He worked as a free-lance jewelry designer and graphic artist before joining me to found JUL in 2007.  

Artisans in Indonesia

We work with skilled metal and wood-workers in Indonesia.  We give them our custom designs for execution and then work closely and collaboratively to develop these pieces into JUL products.  The artisans we work with establish their own prices for each piece we contract with them to make.  We do not try to bargain their prices lower.  We consider our artisans to be creative partners as we frequently ask them to make designs that are very different those they receive from other clients. Because our designs are unconventional compared to the other designers they work with, their willingness to develop creative solutions with us, and to experiment and innovate is an important factor in our working relationship. Not all artisans are interested in learning something new and working in such a collaborative and dialogic manner. We have developed these relationships of mutual understanding and creative partnership over the course of the past decade.