Galungan festivity brings special blessing for tray crafters. Before celebration of this festivity, the demand for the ritual paraphernalia increased about 5 percent. The orders are not only from local markets, but also from Sulawesi and Lombok. Within a day, the orders could reach more than 20 pieces. Other than trays, the order of bowls and oblation basket (sokasi) also increase.
Gusti Putu Artawan (40), a tray crafter from Tengah Hamlet, Kukuh Village, Marga, said that increasing demand for trays had become a tradition every arrival of Galungan. However, this time he was adequately overwhelmed to meet the orders because the price of raw materials for making trays skyrocketed up to 300 percent. Formerly, it cost only IDR 10,000, but now increased to IDR 30,000 per piece, he complained.
Apart from being expensive, crafters also complained about the difficulty to get raw materials. So far, crafters remained to rely on the supplies from Bangli. Raw material in use was albasia. Since it was rare, crafters had to wait several days to get the supply delivery, whereas the demand for trays continued to flow. Similarly, orders from outside the region started flowing since last week, mainly from Sulawesi.
Trays produced by Kukuh villagers are somewhat unique because its ornament used a variety of decorative glass affixed. On that account, the making process is quite difficult and requires patience. A piece of new tray can be accomplished in one day and so do oblation basket and bowl. Since it is difficult, the price of these crafts is relatively expensive. A tray is sold at IDR 125,000, bowl at IDR 100,000 and oblation basket at IDR 225,000.
We set the price pursuant to the size of each item, he said. Some of these crafts were also sold at lower price ranging from IDR 60,000 to IDR 80,000. Apart from bowls, crafters also make container of holy water decorated with glasses. Another problem faced by crafters is the weather condition. When it rains, they are unable to work. During school holidays, many crafters harness the students to learn to make the trays as carried out by Artawan at his home last Saturday.
Dozens of girls of secondary school and senior high school were busy decorating trays with glass. They worked since the morning until late afternoon. Most of the students were local residents. Within a day, they could averagely accomplish a tray. For a piece of tray, they earned IDR 20,000. The longest time was the making of oblation basket. Craftsmen took three days to finalize it.