The hardest gourd crafting technique is what we call 'carving'.
There are two types of carvings. The one that starts from the upper skin of the material and goes as deep as a hole opens on the gourd.
This is slightly easier than the other carving. The other carving is starting from the outer skin and going as low as the lowest layer and stopping before a hole opens on the calabash. It needs a lot of time, skills and patience. And by mistake you open up a hole. The work is gone. No recovery. Below is a photo demonstration of hardest carving technique and a section from one of our lampshades 'A Union of Circles'.
Why don't we carve too much?
When you search for a gourd lamp on the internet, you will come across extremely impressive carving work with wonderful illuminations around. Fair play to those and I have a lot of respect. Prices may start from 500usd tough.
What differs our work from those artists is that we make our living by making gourd lamps and entirely dependant on the income from our work. Very challenging I must say. Particularly at this part of the world. We need to consider the commercial side of our business to make our living. That's why we don't do a lot of carving work. But it doesn't mean that we can't.
Gourd lamps are entirely handmade.
One person can make only a few number of gourd lamps in a week and if we start carving, we simply can't sell enough to run our workshop. Carvings are nice, impressive but very expensive. Put it this way, I sold only one carving work in the last year. And unfortunately carving reduces the access to gourd craft. Many people love to have a gourd lamp but not many people afford hundreds of dollars to have a decorative object and some illumination on the walls.
By reducing carving work, systemazing some procedures and by introducing moulds and stickers, we have opened the doors for the gourd craft to reach all audiences. We utilized drills and beads and intoruduced other elements to reduce production costs so that we can place a gourd lamp into every house. Yes indeed, in Rising Star's workshop, there is a gourd lamp for all styles and for all budgets. Every home needs a gourd lamp and in Rising Star Workshop there is a gourd lamp for any home.