This photo is from 2005. I used to buy a lot of statues through Suri but he couldnt support his family with just me alone so he started another business. I no longer work with him. Sad, but a great example of how this art is dying without support.
An artist files off the excess bronze from a large Mahamehru statue that will be placed in a Hindu temple. The worship of Devi in Srichakra is regarded as the highest form of the Devi worship.
The artist, Ragavanantham holds a Bogashakti that his collective has produced.
The eldest son of Muthu, Sivan, sits in front of a completed wax model of a trident with the goddess Durga on it.
Finishing of Wooden Buddhist sculptures in Vietnam
The process of carving wooden Buddhist statues in Vietnam
This Bodhidharma sculpture was the first statue I saw on my trip to Vietnam. I immediately fell in love!
A wood block is used to hammer the carving tool into the statue. The depth of the cut is determined by the power of the strike of the block.
Standing on top of huge blocks of white marble. You can see the basic outline of the Buddha next to me.
I saw this hanging puja bell with owls on top of it immediately! Stunning!
Nyoto is a new artist that we are working with. He is 38 years old and has been carving for 18 years and with us for only 2 years. We saw his raw potential as a carver with a skill set that just needed to be refined. I look forward to his future with us!
An artist carving a 3 foot tall custom ordered Krishna for one of our customers.
I just loved this picture of Nyoto's family latching onto their father. So cute!
At the home of the artist with his daughter and niece. In Java it is tradition to give a guest food when a guest comes to visit your home. The meatball soup his wife made was great!
It is hard to imagine that each wood statue started as a raw block of wood. Here, the artist draws the initial design on the outside of the wood. Then he spends the next days/weeks coaxing the god out of the wood.
Carving the details on a 36 inch dancing Ganesha with 6 arms.
An artist individually hand paints all the details on our colored wooden sculptures. Hand carved and hand painted!
Here are the various stages of painting a wood statue. First they apply a white coat of paint. Then they do background coloring. Then they do the details. Lastly they give the sculpture shading which dulls the bright coloring giving it a rustic feel.
Baskaran in front of a large Buddha bust! His work is just magnificent!
To make the skin smooth and the tone darker the artist uses a pumice stone to hand file the entire sculpture. This laborious process adds days to the total time it takes to complete the statue.
A sandstone Nataraja being worked on by two artists in Bhubaneshwar , Orissa. Statues from Orissa have their own unique style, much more ornate than south or north Indian styles.
Here I am contemplating this colossal Vishnu beneath a Banyan Tree in my friend, Balan's workshop.
Painting the finishing touches on a 40 inch tall, white marble sculpture of the Hindu Goddess Gayatri in Varanasi
On this trip I reconnected with a marble artist, Ellumalai. He works with grey marble called Durkey Stone. The stone is softer and this enables him to make each sculpture incredibly detailed.
Video of splitting huge blocks of marble. Just watching these huge blocks of white marble be split gives you an appreciation of the huge amount of labor that goes into making one of our marble statues.
Most of my colored red, green, and black marble comes from Balan and his 4 artists. Here he is with his two daughers, Aditiya and Agash.
Click to view this video that shows how these statues are made.
I loved how all the artists just did whatever they were doing while chatting away the day. It was very serene being there.
I was amazed how each curl of the Buddha's hair is made separately and then attached one at a time
Each patina is made in a completely different way with separate layers of color or gold leaf being applied
Putu posing with his father's standing Buddha statue on lotus base in traditional dress before going to temple
The artist, Wayan as he carves the basic outline of a Buddha statue for Lotus Sculpture. Wayan alone carves the whole sculpture. Most artists today work in sets of 4 each with a different carving task, rough cut, details of the boy, the face & sanding.
Master carver, Wayan, uses a knife to hand smooth each Buddha statue, bringing out the natural details of the wood.
Watch the master artisan, Wayan hand carve a Buddha sculpture