"It is always our dreams and our belief in life that give us the best results, no matter how difficult the dream or how sore our feet get during the journey."
The artistry of I Ketut Sandi has been featured in numerous periodicals and on Oxygen TV. He is also featured in Keepers of the Arts, a beautiful hardcover book available through Novica.
"Every time I think about my childhood, I remember that what I really wanted to do was what I am doing now. But because times were hard, I tried to learn how to do other things, like painting and normal statue carving – all to be able to make ends meet. In the end, however, what finally worked for me was to make my chess tables. It is always our dreams and our belief in life that give us the best results, no matter how difficult the dream or how sore our feet get during the journey.
"I started to learn how to carve in 1968 and began my full-time apprenticeship in 1981. I studied under a master carver who taught me how to be more creative, even with ordinary figures. His creativity sparked my own; it was then that I had the idea to create chess sets, not only in the Western style, but also in a style that reflected Balinese culture.
"I tried to sell my chess tables at art fairs, but couldn't make enough money to support my family. So I tried to sell them on my own, walking up and down the streets of nearby villages. After a while of hard times and sore feet, I was introduced to Novica. I was very happy because the people at Novica were appreciative of my ideas. Soon, I was able to take care of my family, send my children to school, and focus on making even better quality carvings.
"I have now spent 17 years of my life crafting chess sets, and finally consider my efforts a success. My wife, Wayan Putri, and 15 helpers now work with me to create these sets. We all learn together and work together happily, and continue to invent new designs."
My new jewelry box, by I Ketut Sandi, in a dark hand-rubbed wood is very Old World-looking and makes a very elegant addition to my bedroom decor. I am so impressed with the artistry of the carved tiger on top and with the flawless way the box is finished. Anyone would be proud to own a beautiful as well as useful object like this.
- Alice F, New York, NY, USA
After searching the internet extensively for the "perfect" backgammon set, I decided on Innner Secrets because it looked very unique and interesting. Although not promised for Valentine's Day, it did arrive just in time and I gave it to my husband today. We are both so impressed with the outstanding workmanship, and are honored to have such a special set to admire when we play our daily matches. You'd have thought he'd let me win the first game - NOT! Anyway, I was incredibly impressed with the whole order process - packaging, shipping and regular updates from Novica on the arrival schedule. We're already planning to select a chess set from the I Ketut Sandi collection. Thank you so much!
- Melinda A, Fallbrook, Ca. USA
I received my order yesterday, and I was simply stunned when I opened it--the workmanship is incredible. The box is beautiful, and the detail is exquisite. Thank you so much for such a lovely, carefully crafted object--I love it. I received the box very quickly, and it was wrapped in several layers of insulation to prevent damage. The pictures on Novica.com of the item were completely accurate--thanks so much to Novica for being able to offer me a fabulous item at such a good price, and to the artist I Ketut Sandi for creating something so lovely. I can't wait to see what else I Ketut Sandi creates!
- Ashley R, California, US
We received our "fighting tigers" chess set in time for Christmas, and we LOVED it! I can't imagine the time and effort it took to create such a beautiful piece. We will definitely be ordering more items by I Ketut Sandi......such a talented artist! Frank and Jennifer Dichazi
- Jnnifer D, Port St. Lucie, FL, USA
I received the relief panel " Elephant Parade with Monkeys". It was so well packaged and wrapped that I took a picture before I could open it. " Oh, Oh my God...how beautiful" These were my words when I opened...the best present I ever gave to myself. Ketut you are blessed with this wonderful gift and I am so blessed to have this piece of Art in my humble home. It is my first piece of Art I never dreamed I would ever have a treasure. It wont be my last if I can help it. And I hope to be able and give some of your work to my family and friends. Everybody that would receive one piece will treasure it for live, God know`s I will. Thank you from KY
- Martina G, Trenton Ky USA
Dear Ketut Sandi, Received the backgammon carved board "Inner Secrets"" and inspired by your wonderful workmanship and attention to detail. I shall enjoy this for a long time and be proud to show it to my friends--Thank You. Even the packing of the box was done with great care and I enjoyed the decoration that was placed on the inside on the wrapping -- how thoughtful! Will tell everyone what a great artist and craftsman you are. Thanks again. Robert Poskus
- Robert P, E. Dennis, MA USA
I recently purchased a Wood relief panel 'Deer in the Forest' made by I Ketut Sandi for an Anniversary present for my wife. We were amazed at the detailed carvings in this piece, it is beautiful and admired by all who have seen it. I look forward to purchasing more items from I Ketut Sandi; you are very gifted, I greatly appreciate your artistry. Thank You.
- ROBERT B., Florida
There are no words to describe how beautiful the chess set I bought is. When I recived it I spent hours just looking at the details and the craftsmenship that went into carving this work of art. When I saw your chess sets, they cought my eye because I was looking for one for my best friend. He loves chess and frogs and I wanted to get him a set made from wood. Finding those three items in the same set was extremely hard let me tell you. I have been looking for four months for the perfect set but had no luck. Finally I ran into your sight and fell in love with the sets. However, I did not hold my breath because I thought finding one with frogs on it would be a miracle. Well, you made a miracle happen and I thank you for that. I know my friend will love this set for the rest of his life. Very Happy Customer, Adrienne Mounsey
- Adrienne M, El Paso, Texas, US
My new coat rack is a beautifully made piece of art. The design, the intricate carving, and the overall craftmanship is wonderful. Thank you MrSandi!
- Mary Ellen B, Granille, MA USA
I bought the "classic" chess set as a gift for my fiance. We were both amazed by the intricate work. We had never seen anything like it before. We will enjoy it for years to come. Thank you!
- Melissa K, Washington DC/USA
I bought one of Ketut Sandi's chess sets for my husband's Christmas present last year. He has expressed a desire to collect especially artful chess sets, and Sandi's set is the first of his new collection. We love playing with it or just looking at it--it is a unique, functional, and beautiful piece of art.
- Carrie C, USA
We recently purchased the "Fighting Tigers" chess set and we are extremely impressed by the workmanship of the artist, Ketut Sandi, his detail in each piece is incredible. Thank you.
- Robin & Matthew H, Port St. Lucie/FL/USA
Man oh man!! I was so excited to recieve the Flowers Chess set from Ketut Sandi. The craftsman ship of the pieces and the board itself are amazing. I enjoy not just playing but looking at each uniquely detailed piece. You guys are nuts!!
- Kobie N, Washington DC, USA
I purchased Lion's Head a while back and for some reason had never posted a review. It is a beautiful, finely carved wooden box that is perfect for storing sacred, precious items. Not only that, but the box is a true work of art. Its craftmanship is superb, and the quality of the wood is incredible. I really love it and it's been one of my favorite purchases from Novica. I would highly recommend Ketut Sandi's work to others, too.
- Ashley R, California
the box you carved for me with the deer is beautful. I keep my pins in it, thank you so much, I love it. Marilyn
- Marilyn L S, Stow, Ohio U.S.A