Update – South India

On my buying trip to India in February I made it a point to visit the people who we donated rice to during the covid lockdown. I wanted to meet them, hear their stories, and see first hand if we touched their lives in any way.

I was uncharacteristically nervous on the drive there.

Please click here to follow my journey throughout Asia on our Instagram page. I recently traveled through North and South India and Nepal.

My first stop was the young woman who was pregnant during COVID last year and did not have a place to live. Here she is with her husband and daughter, now 9 months old. Her daughter is a beautiful, happy and healthy young girl. As we were leaving she told me “thank you” in English and I could see in her eyes that she truly meant it. The “thank you” touched me deeply.

Next, we visited the family with two blind sons. Only one was there at the time. The mother was a wonderful woman who was all smiles and chatting to me in Tamil. She showed me her house and how they all slept on the floor together in one cinderblock room with a corrugated roof and a fan. She told me that when she got the rice, she immediately started a fire to start cooking it because they literally had no food to eat. She was so thankful for what we had done for her family.

We visited a village that could not have been any more marginalized by society. They lived on the outskirts of town with no water or electricity. No government aid gets to them and they are purely subsistence living. On the drive getting there I was amazed at how my friend, Balan was even able to find these people. When I was there Balan told me how some of the villagers were amazed that the rice was whole grain rice. They were used to only eating cracked rice, basically, they could only afford the low-quality rice that had some defects to it.

It was an incredibly rewarding and difficult day for me. It was rewarding to connect with the actual people we donated rice to, look into their eyes and feel how appreciative they were of our help. It was difficult because you can see how large the issues are with poverty in India and the world. As much as I would love to solve the issue, it is not something that one person can come in to correct. It would take a massive effort to change society.

Balan and I were brainstorming over things we can do in the future and hope to bring another donation opportunity to everyone again soon.

Thank you again to everyone who donated to help make this happen.

~Kyle Tortora, Founder, Lotus Sculpture

Click to watch the video of my experiences visiting the people we donated rice to during the covid lockdown.

Nepal – The Birthplace of Buddha

I met the same sadhus who I met with my mother 16 years ago when I first visited Nepal at Pashupatinath Temple

It has been 16 years since I first visited Nepal. Lotus Sculpture has never imported any statues from Nepal so this past week was like a buying trip 20 years ago, exploring Kathmandu valley and searching for new artisans with exceptional statues.
Happily, we found them!

Please click here to follow my journey throughout Asia on our Instagram page. I recently traveled through North and South India and Nepal.

Here is Mr. Shakya holding a gold-plated statue of Indra in a loving embrace with Shakti. I loved this man! he had a youthful charm to him that was infectious.

The moment that I laid my eyes on this stunning Nataraj statue I knew I would have to bring Him home with me. I have never before seen a dancing Shiva in this style. It is a perfect statue in casting, form, and painting.

From the moment I met Siddartha I knew I had met a lifelong friend. He has a calm grace and inner peace that emanates from him. And he has some amazing statues like this amazing Vajrasatva (coming to Lotus Sculpture soon)!

Going from shop to shop finding some hidden treasures like this copper double dorje brings out the inner Indiana Jones in me.

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Batsa is a young 29-year-old artist shown creating a wax mold of Vajrayogini. He uses yak bone to shape it. The saliva keeps them from sticking together which differs from how stipathis (wax modelers) of South India create their wax molds. He spends all day drawing and creating wax molds. I loved him. He is a dedicated, true artist!

Learn about all Lotus Sculpture’s artists

I knew I was going to find amazing statues, but when I saw some amazing prayer wheels I had to learn where and how they are made. The mantra “Om Mani Padme Om” is pounded into copper sheets and then made into a prayer wheel and filled with prayers. I know you will be as excited about them as I am!

Mahesh is a Master craftsman! All of his statues are made at another level of artistry. I can not wait to show them to you!

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We are going to have a big selection of masterpieces coming from Nepal! As big a selection as Indra’s arms are wide.

Vajrasatva is jeweled with rubies, red coral, and emeralds. Stunning carving!

“Being in Nepal was like experiencing my first buying trip as a young man 22 years ago. With every step I took on the streets of Kathmandu, I was in search of something new for Lotus Sculpture, a new artisan or a new art form. Every day was exhilarating!”

~Kyle Tortora, Founder, Lotus Sculpture

One sees colorful Prayer flags fluttering everywhere

Refreshing the temple outdoor deities with a coat of paint.

Here are the ghats or steps where bodies are cremated at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was a very heavy difficult day for me. There were children begging, old sadhus laying on the ground in awful health conditions that aren’t appropriate to share, and then seeing bodies burning on funeral pyres really affected me. The Buddha said that “all life is suffering.” It was easy to understand why he uttered those words so long ago. It was also very easy to see the impermanence of all life in those moments as both life and death were on display in front of me.

A beautiful Manjushree statue sits with a sword raised beneath a blue sky filled with prayer flags. 
What a sight!

New Brass Statues of Hindu Gods

Brass Statue of Hindu God Ganesh
Click here to view all our brass statues of Hindu Gods including this seated Ganesh statue

Lotus Sculpture has received a new shipment from North India of brass statues of Hindu Gods. The brass statues are a completely new addition to Lotus Sculpture’s offerings.  The Hindu brass statues are made in Delhi, India. Brass sculptures are less expensive than the bronze statues we carry making it possible for everyone to bring home a Hindu statue from Lotus Sculpture without spending hundreds of dollars.

Brass Hindu statues are typically much less expensive than bronze. This makes them very attractive to households looking for a Hindu deity for their home altar for daily puja. Brass statues take less time to make than their bronze counterparts as each design is copied from one master mold. It is possible to find multiple copies of each brass statue. Each statue Lotus Sculpture carries is hand selected by the founder of Lotus Sculpture, Kyle Tortora who regularly visits Asia to choose the statues for the store.

“I take great pride in personally selecting each statue Lotus Sculpture carries and am happy to now offer high quality, brass statues of Hindu gods further making Lotus Sculpture the destination to find the highest quality Hindu sculpture in the world.”

says Tortora

Over the years, the quality of brass statues has risen significantly. It is now possible to find quality brass statues in India which is the reason Lotus Sculpture is now carrying them. The quality will never reach the level of detail and power inherent in lost wax method bronze statues, however, the quality and price of the statues makes them the perfect statues for homes that want a quality Hindu god but cannot quite afford the highest quality bronze statues.

Bronze Hindu God Krishna statue
Click here to view all our Lost Wax Method Hindu Bronze Statues including this Krishna statue

Previously, Lotus Sculpture has exclusively carried one of a kind, lost wax method bronze statues. Bronzes are made in Tamil Nadu in the South of India. Bronze statues are one of a kind statues made by hand. The bronze making art has been passed on from generation to generation unchanged since the Chola dynasty in South India 1100AD. Lost wax bronze statues are used in Hindu temples throughout India and the world. Bronze statues are prized for their fine detail and their connection to the past. Bronze antiques are prized by collectors and are seen in museums around the world. The high quality bronzes take months and sometimes years to produce. Lost wax bronze statues are made from a combination of 5 metals with high amounts of copper which produces a high quality metal alloy; bronze. Only one statue is made at a time. Each step of the lengthy and complicated lost wax process is performed in rural villages using the same techniques passed down for centuries. Lotus Sculpture is pleased to play their part in keeping the lost wax tradition alive in India.

Lotus Sculpture’s addition of Hindu brass statues to our collection of lost wax bronze statues will further reinforce that there is only one place to find the highest quality Hindu sculpture in the world; Lotus Sculpture!