Thai Brass Artists

Jew is an amazing person! He is responsible for making all of our Thai brass statues. He basically supports an entire village with his work. He is so passionate about making Buddhas! Every time I am with him he says how he would be making Buddha statues even if no one bought them because he loves Buddha so much. His passion is infecting!

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
A completed wax model of a meditating Naga Buddha Statue
If there are small casting errors a blow torch is used to fill in the holes
Master wax modeler prepares the lions mane of the famous Buddha image of 3 lions
This novice wax modeler makes the makes the body of the Buddha making sure he is proportional
This artist is using a smoothing tool to take off excess wax to make sure the base of the Buddha is even
A wax modeler smiles as he creates the details of the Buddha's crown in wax
Two wax modelers working together crafting the crown of the Buddha
A boy with his sister visit their mother and father who both work making our Thai Buddha statues.
I always look at each Buddha statue to make sure it does not have any flaws and to make sure that it is up Lotus Sculpture's standards. If I would not want it in my house than I won't choose it for Lotus Sculpture!
A Thai wax artist works to extract an arch for a Buddha statue from the wax mold. The wax piece will then be encased in 7 layers of earth mold prior to the wax being melted out of the earthen mold & then liquid metal being poured into the vacant space.
A wax model artist is working to take out the wax model of a Buddha statues's arch from the wax mold. In front of her are Buddha statues that she will be preparing an earthen mold for prior to casting.
I always love sifting through some old inventory looking for a great dust covered Buddha sculpture!
Jew and I speak in front of a large wax model he is making for a local temple. It always amazes me how many steps and how much work goes into making every statue!
For larger Buddha statues, multiple artists work to pour the metal in at the same time to maintain the same temperature of metal inside the mold. If the liquid metal is added at different temperatures there can be problems with the final casting.
The molten liquid brass evaporates any liquid and burns any solid in the mold creating wisps of smoke & condensation.
When the liquid brass is being poured into the mold they use a rectangular metal spoon to remove excess dirt and unwanted pieces in the liquid brass.
My friend, Jew, points to the brass ingots used for the metal casting. Jew is the lead artist and manager for the surrounding village of Buddha artisans.
The artist take one cup at a time from the crucible filled with 200 pounds of liquid brass. Like in India, they refuse to wear any protective clothing and even wear sandals for footwear!
Each earthen mold containing the shape of a Buddha inside is filled one at a time by the Thai artist.
Thai brass artists work non-stop filling Buddha molds with liquid brass. They have to cast hundreds of molds under 30 minutes so the metal and the earthen mold does not cool below a certain temperature.
It is amazing to see the liquid brass enter the mold and know that it will become a beautiful Buddha sculpture!
As this mold was being filled with the liquid brass, the mold started to leak liquid brass. The artist in front was putting earthen clay on the leak so it would stop leaking brass.
The artists work tirelessly to fill the more than 200 molds they fill with every casting. There are 6 people working at the same time to fill each Buddha mold.
These molds have been filled with brass and are cooling down. After 1 day they are fully cooled and they break apart the earth mold covering the brass Buddha inside.
Watch as our Thai artists take liquid brass metal from a crucible filled with molten brass and take it to be poured into the Buddha molds waiting to be filled.
Jew & I took a day and went to explore the old Thai capital of Ayutthaya. I love this picture because the Buddha face is in a tree. We are bending to be lower than the Buddha as a sign of respect to the Buddha. One of the things I love about Thailand.
A new mold of meditating Buddha statue waitng to come to life! I love the Gandhara style with his flowing hair! He even wears a set of mala beads.
Wax models of some Buddha statues
A wax model artist making the mold for the flaming arch of a Buddha statue
I love sorting through the statues finding the best ones! It is so hot though!
The statue has to go through numerous rounds of coloring to get it just right
Cleaning off the patina after the coloring process
He couldnt stop laughing when I was taking his picture!
Applying the base color to the statue
The owner, Jew in with some of his favorite statues in his collection. These are the ones I love buying from him as he loves these as much as I do!
Beautiful new styles with antique coloring
The washed statues before coloring
Washing the statues off after the casting process before the coloring process