Dharma Mountain and Forest Meditation Temple

I remember the first time Tai came into our warehouse.  I was instantly drawn to him and his bright youthful smile. He was dressed in his mustard-colored monk’s robes with a brown shawl. He radiated bliss and happiness. He walked around the warehouse like he had been there a thousand times before, laughing as my dog, Oso, came up to greet him with a sniff, and taking pictures with my employee, Mark.  He was looking for a Buddha statue for the main shrine of his new Temple in Valley Center, Dharma Mountain and Forest Meditation Temple  (Thiền Viện Pháp Thuận). He was the happiest person I had ever met.  
Since that first meeting, Tai has become a regular here at Lotus Sculpture.  Over the years we have made several deliveries of temple sculptures to Dharma Mountain including a large 7 foot meditating Buddha sculpture that is nestled under a tree in their large open front yard. More recently, we delivered a large incense urn to be placed in front of the Buddha. It has been a pleasure visiting Tai over the years and watching the temple grow.  

I have a deep sense of peace and contentment whenever I am in the open spaces of the temple with Tai. Oso is always welcome to join me. He runs freely on the grounds and has even jumped into the temple pond for a quick swim. 

I always comment on the lifelong relationships I have developed with my artisans.  The relationships that have blossomed between my customers and I have been just as valuable and have brought Tai’s blissful disposition into my life. For that, I am forever grateful. 

~Kyle Tortora, Founder, Lotus Sculpture

Buddha Head Fountain Comes to Niagra!

Our huge 50″ Buddha Head Fountain is one of our best-selling items. This fountain weighs a whopping 650lbs (head+basin). That said, the Buddha Fountain installation process takes time, careful preparation, patience, and in this case, a good friend.

Buddha made the long journey from Oceanside, California to the beautiful community of Niagra-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada.

When it came time for the Buddha Fountain installation, our customer, Greg, called his local fountain retailer who informed him that the Buddha was too heavy and too wide for them to move it. He then contacted a landscaping company that would not have been available to come out for another two weeks… That’s when Greg and his *neighbor of the year* Paul decided to install the Buddha themselves with just a couple of dollies, a crowbar, and a hammer.


Enjoy their journey…

>>>Click here to view our 50″ Buddha Head Fountain<<<

The Buddha Fountain Arrives!

Along comes Greg’s neighbor Paul to check in on the progress. Little does he know he is about to save the day.

Buddha Head in the crate
The basin
Installing the basin
“How did I get myself in this situation…. Who is going to lift this thing and put it in the Basin?”
The crowbar came in handy
Amazing what a couple of 2 x 4’s can do!
Piece of cake!

Moved and assembled in less than an hour!
Cost: 2 bottles of Mineral Water!

>>>Click here to view our 50″ Buddha Head Fountain<<<

The Passing of an Indian Master Artisan

I recently heard the sad news that one of the artisans, with whom I have been working with for over 20 years, had passed away. Elumalai was a master of his craft. He specialized in carving with a grey marble stone that was softer than typical colored marbles. This allowed him to give all his statues intricate details that are often missing from marble statues. 

Looking into the eyes of one of his Parvati murtis is like peering into the eyes of the actual Goddess.  She was alive in the statue and looking back into your soul.”

The facial expressions in his carvings had a softness and inner beauty in them that was unique to his sculptures. Looking into the eyes of one of his Parvati murtis is like peering into the eyes of the actual Goddess.  She was alive in the statue and looking back into your soul. 

Over the years I have unfortunately gotten news of artists passing and it shakes me to my core. It is truly sad to lose someone who has been a part of my yearly trips to India, someone I have spent so much time with discussing their statues. It is doubly sad to know that they will no longer carve statues for the world to see. When a master passes, himself and the promise of his future masterpieces passes with him.  

The loss is more apparent when one realizes that there are few new novices to take his place. India is modernizing and there are many other possibilities for earning a living than there were previously, thus there are much fewer younger apprentices learning from the older masters. This is true all over Asia and it worries me for the future of this art form for generations to come.  

From the day I came up with the idea to start Lotus Sculpture it was always my goal to keep the industry of statue making alive and thriving in Asia. Every statue bought puts life back into the family who made each statue and gives incentive for future artisans to carry on with the tradition of statue making. Just know that by buying from Lotus Sculpture you are doing your part to keep the industry alive. For this I thank you on behalf of all of our artisans and from Elumalai, whom you supported all these years.

How to Make a Beautiful Wood Base for your Statue

I often get asked about bases or stands for our Buddha and Hindu statues.  You may be looking to add an extra few inches or so to the height of your statue to make it ideal for your home or space. 

One of our customers, Michael, recently built a beautiful custom statue base for his Thai Brass Buddha Statue. I wanted to share his process with all of you, so here it is!

Custom Statue Base

It’s an asymmetrically shaped base, so an outline diagram was made first to figure out the positioning of the segments. The base was built out of 1″x7″ red oak boards.

Custom Statue Base

A single coat of ebony stain was then applied (to tone down the red), and the base was finished off with two coats of satin polyurethane (didn’t want it to be too glossy).

Custom Statue Base

Two lengths of different boards were needed to do the job, and one was a bit lighter (much less red). The boards were alternated throughout, which gave an effect that’s not entirely objectionable. 

The side grain of the wood was then matched in a mirror pattern which resulted in an interesting “narrow lotus petal” effect.

Custom Statue Base

By design, the base is hollow inside to save on wood, weight and expenses. Numerous clamps and glue were involved in attaching first the doubled segments, then the growing sections, until it was all attached.

Custom Statue Base

The final product is stunning and perfectly complements the statue itself. I sincerely hope that this brief DIY helps you to get started building your very own custom statue base.

Custom Statue Base With Buddha
The artwork on the wall above/behind the Buddha sculpture is by Michael’s wife, artist Gema Alava https://gemaalava.com/

Looking for a base for your garden statue?

Check out our post HOW TO MAKE A BASE FOR YOUR GARDEN STATUE to learn the 3 things that I tell to everyone on how to go about fashioning a pedestal for your statue.

How to Make a Base for your Garden Statue

On an almost daily basis, I have people asking me about a base or stand for their garden Buddha and Hindu statues.  Many times the statue is perfect but on some occasions, an extra 6 or 12 inches is needed to make it ideal for their space.  Here are 3 things that I tell to everyone on how to go about fashioning a pedestal for your statue.

This stone garden Buddha statue is raised on a base of local river stone surrounded by paving stones to raise the entire bed up about 12 inches

Look locally

I feel that each region has its own dominant colors and textures found in nature.  San Diego is a desert and thus there is a tan sandstone, desert feel to it.  The northeast of the States has fall colors and granite stone.  Look at the colors in your back yard and then head down to a local masonry store, quarry, or anywhere that would sell local stone.  See if they sell chunks of local stone.  Most likely you will find many smaller pieces that would need to be placed together but you may get lucky enough to find a whole block!

Pavers

Head over to your local hardware store and see what they have for pavers.  These can easily be arranged in whatever shape and height you would like.  I have seen pavers used with and without mortar so you may not need to make too much of a mess.

Build your own base! 

The perfect base made from a concrete mold!

This is the most do-it-yourself option of the 3.  A customer of ours sent in a picture to our #mylotussculpture page with one of our Buddha Head fountains on a beautiful base and I immediately noticed the base the Buddha’s head was on.  This option is great because you have control over the shape and the height of the base.  Here are the directions he gave to me for making a base:

a. We bought an oval 40 gallon Tuff Stuff Tub from Tractor Supply and used it as a mold. We chose that because the edges were curved and gave the base a nice shape for Buddha and around the right size.
b. Mixed concrete and charcoal colored dye in the tub itself and just added the right amount of concrete to get the base height we wanted. Then when the concrete cured, we flipped it over to use as the base. It comes out very easily. We applied satin polyurethane to the base to keep it scratch resistant and look a little darker. It probably cost around $60 to do this.

If you have any other suggestions please email me at [email protected] and I will be happy to add them!

The customer went to the local masonry store and picked up the perfect block of local stone for Garden Ganesha!

4 rows of pavers lifted the Buddha head up an additional 24 inches!

The customer created a base using local leftover shale stone

  • Page 1 Of 3