Former BIS student Avalon Carpenter certainly lives up to his name. Now in his twenties, he started asking himself the big questions: what does he want to be and his purpose in life, how could he create a positive influence upon others.. those sorts of existential, monumental queries?
Avalon always enjoyed his woodworking class while studying at BIS tried his hand at some personal carpentry and craftsmanship projects. Maybe it was his last name that helped kindle his passion, or perhaps it was just a coincidence. Whatever the reason, Avalon took another step in fulfilling his life’s purpose, and in 2007 built Kalpa Taru, a design and manufacturing company. Avalon say down with us to tell us more.
Why Kalpa Taru?
Kalpa Taru is the Sanskrit word for the Tree of Life, which grants all of one’s wishes. The name feels right to me as we are in the business of woodworking and custom manufacturing, creating products tailored for our clients. Furthermore, as a Bali-based company I wanted to go with something with true meaning.
What are your clients’ backgrounds?
Most of our projects are privately-owned residences with a specific furniture ideas in mind. I mostly work with architects, interior designers and artists. I’m blessed with the opportunity to work with some of the world’s best, who are also my personal heroes. In turn we are able to provide expertise in manufacturing and the ability to bring concepts to life.
Which sustainable practices does Kalpa Taru follow when sourcing material and manufacturing?
Building a sustainable planet for the future is the core value of Kalpa Taru. We mostly use reclaimed tropical hardwoods from colonial-era buildings, or plantation teak which was introduced into Indonesia over 500 years ago. Indonesia is the world’s leader in plantation teak, and due to its high value it is very well managed by the forestry department. We also only use Javanese teak because of its quality, and don’t use teak sourced from Papua or Kalimantan. Another element of sustainability is how long it lasts. We aim to make furniture, buildings, and art that can be passed down from one generation to the next. Proper joinery, materials selection, and timeless design, are sustainability’s key factors.
While we love using wood, we also try to experiment with materials for the future, such as recycled plastics, and have a large number of products using various carpentry techniques. It is every individual’s responsibility to understand what they are consuming and buying, and at the same time to place pressure on governments to implement better plans that protect the environment. Don’t just believe in a product because it claims to be eco- or green-friendly, as there is so much green-washing going on out there. Try to study it in-depth to find out the truth. It is our personal responsibility.
What values learned during your time at Bali Island School are you still using today, both personally and professionally?
Bali International School was such a special place where I learned so many things that I still apply to my life today. It was the foundation I needed to become an independent adult and a lifelong learner- just like its mission as an IB school. I learned about human values, history, scientific reasons for why the world is the way it is, languages and cultures. And all are still a part of my life today. Occasionally, I even apply some algebra to my work, even though I always wondered what the point of maths class was. Most of all I learned to be self- confident, to set goals and to always believe in myself.