Gilding (23 karat rose gold leaf), filling and consecrating.
These Kadampa Stupas are cast, gilded, filled, sealed and consecrated
here in my studio on Bruny Island following guidelines from Lama
Zopa Rinpoche. They are filled with a roll of 108 Dharmakaya Relic
Mantras and medicinal herbs picked from around the Mt. Everest
region of Nepal. The gold leaf is protected by a coat of natural
shellac and the consecration ritual is Rab Nä, the Great Abiding. It
is possible to customise the contents of the filling with other
relics or cremated remains that you may already have.
stupas are only made by commission, there is no set price. Each one
is unique so you only pay for the cost of the materials. Dana can be
offered for my time and labour. Any dana offered will go to making
more stupas for others.
Small Kadampa stupas (16 cms) are
meant for placement on altars and serve as a support for meditation
and as a symbolic reminder of the awakened state of mind. The stupa
representing Buddha’s mind, is one of the three required objects on
a Buddhist altar. The others are an image of the Buddha,
representing his body, and a sacred text, which represents his
Kadampa stupas differ from other stupas in their
form. Although they possess the same underlying elements as other
stupas, these elements take on a distinctive form and arrangement.
The most recognisable feature of this stupa is its overall bell-like
shape which may be seen as the abode of the perfect Buddha in his
transcendent state. The dome rests on a double row of lotus petals
representing perfected lovingkindness and compassion. Above the
dome is the enclosed “pure abode” (harmika), that encompasses the
foundations of the path to enlightenment. It holds the central axis
or cosmic tree and consists of thirteen steps symbolising the ten
bodhisattva stages leading to enlightenment and the three
foundations of mindfulness. The cosmic tree supports a parasol
symbolising the supreme nature of the attainment of enlightenment.
Upon this sits a lotus bud, which is a symbol for the fully
enlightened being who remains connected with the world because of
his compassion, but transcends the world because of his wisdom.
This form has its roots in ancient India. It is
based on a stupa brought to Tibet by Lama Atisha, the great teacher of
the second propagation of the Buddhist doctrine in Tibet. Whenever Lama
Atisha traveled in Tibet, he carried a wooden stupa of this style with
him for his spiritual support. The stupa serves as one of his
distinctive attributes. One who practices in the tradition of Lama
Atisha is called a "Kadampa," the tradition of practice estalished by
Lama Atisha's heart disciple, Dromtonpa. The stupa of the style used by
Lama Atisha is thus closely linked to the Kadam sect, as is reflected in
the name, Incidentally, relics of both Lama Atisha and Dromtonpa are
enshrined within large Kadampa stupas at the Neton Drolma Lhakhang
monastery, the site of Lama Atisha's death in 1054, located just outside
of Lhasa, Tibet.
Avalokiteśvara 1000 Armed
Chag Tong Chen Tong Tibetan Buddhist Meditation
prominent Buddhist story tells of Avalokiteśvara vowing never to rest
until he had freed all sentient beings from samsāra.
effort, he realizes that many unhappy beings were yet to be saved.
to comprehend the needs of so many, his head splits into as many as a
his plight, gives him eleven heads with which to hear the cries of the
suffering placing an image of himself at the top.
Upon hearing these
cries and comprehending them,
Avalokiteśvara tries to reach out to all
those who needed aid, but found that his two arms also shattered into pieces.
Amitābha comes to his aid and invests him with a thousand arms with
which to aid all suffering beings.
The eleven heads symbolize the ten directions of space with Amitabha
Buddha, the spiritual teacher at the top,
suggesting that Avalokiteśvara’s compassionate gaze is infinite in scope
Each of the thousand hands, which are arrayed like an aura around the
standing figure of Avalokiteśvara, has an eye in the centre of the palm,
suggesting that his beneficial activities are informed by transcendental
Many of the hands bear implements, suggesting the skilful means that
Avalokiteśvara employs in saving sentient beings from the sufferings of
Mahayana Buddhism, the bodhisattva of infinite compassion and mercy, is
possibly the most popular of all figures in Buddhist legend.
supremely exemplifies the bodhisattva’s resolve to postpone his own
buddhahood until he has helped every sentient being on earth achieve
liberation from suffering and the process of death and rebirth.
His name has been variously interpreted as “the lord who looks in every
direction” and “the lord of what we see”.
In Tibet he is known as Chenrezig (“With a Pitying Look”)
in Mongolia as Nidü-ber üjegči (“He Who Looks with the Eyes”).
The title invariably used for him in Cambodia and Thailand is Lokeshvara
(“Lord of the World”)
and Lokanatha in Myanmar (Burma)
In China, Avalokiteśvarawhere is worshipped in female form as
Guanyin, the Goddess of
Mercy (“Hearing the Cries”).
In Sri Lanka he is known as Natha-deva,
in Japan as Kannon,
Gwanseum in Korea
and Quan Am in Vietnam.
In Nepal Avalokiteśvara is known as Jana Baha Dyah, Karunamaya, Seto
Machindranath and Padmapani (Holder of the Lotus).
Avalokiteśvara was introduced into Tibet in
the 7th century, where he quickly became the most-popular figure in the
successively reincarnated in each Dalai Lama. and is credited with introducing the mantra
om mani padme huṃ
Avalokiteśvara's first two hands are in front of
the heart, palms
together, holding a wish-fulfilling gem.
The Wish-Fulfilling Gem fulfills all of one's
(Skt. Chintamani, Tib. Norbu Rinpoche)
Its radiance illuminates the darkness of night
It cools when the days are hot and warms when
the days are cold
It causes a spring of sweet water to appear when
one is thirsty
It brings into existence everything that the
turner of the wheel of dharma desires
It controls the nagas, preventing floods,
hailstorms, and torrential rain from occuring
It emits light which heals all emotional
afflictions and imperfections of nature
Its radiance cures all illnesses
It prevents untimely death ensuring that death
occurs in a natural and auspicious sequence.
On Avalokiteśvara's right,
the second arm holds a crystal mala (rosary),
a reminder to recite the
om mani padme huṃ
the third arm holds the Dharmachakra wheel of knowledge,
and the fourth arm is
in the Varada mudra of giving supreme
On Avalokiteśvara's left,
the second arm holds a golden lotus, the purest of
flowers although it is born from the mud.
the third arm holds an undrawn bow and arrow symbolizing defeat of the
four negative forces,
and the fourth arm holds the empowerment vase containing the nectar of
his compassionate wisdom.
The other 992 hands are in the gesture of giving the highest
An antelope skin is draped over his left shoulder, symbolizing that
hatred is overcome completely by peaceful, compassionate wisdom.
Buddha House, Adelaide, South Australia
Tong Chen Tong, FPMT at Kickstart Arts, Hobart
Gilt finished in Platinum, 23 karat Red Gold, 18 karat Green Gold, also
Palladium and Silver. Various gemstones represent the jewellery typically worn by
the bodhisattva. Formed in copper repoussé, with the hands
cast from wax models.
bodhisattva associated with transcendent wisdom in Mahāyāna Buddhism.
The Sanskrit name Mañjuśrī can be translated as "Gentle Glory".
is depicted as a male bodhisattva
wielding a flaming sword in his right hand, representing the realization
of transcendent wisdom which cuts down ignorance and duality. The text supported by the lotus held in his left hand is a Prajñāpāramitā sūtra, representing his attainment of ultimate
realization from the blossoming of wisdom.
is one of the Four Great Bodhisattvas of Chinese Buddhism, the other
three being: Kṣitigarbha, Avalokiteśvara, and Samantabhadra.
is sometimes depicted in a trinity with
Avalokiteśvara (Tib. Chenrezig) and Vajrapāṇi (Tib. Channa Dorje).
and Surendra Shakya in Patan
making the first push of repoussé
on a sheet of copper
Second push of
All the extra
elements are soldered on (such as the hands, forearms,
lotus stem with the Prajñāpāramitā sūtra,
flaming sword, crown and earrings). The copper is
then sealed with
enamel in preparation for sizing and laying the platinum and goldleaf.
Green Tārā is the
Bodhisattva of Enlightened Activity
Gilt finished in 18 kt Green Gold and 23 kt Red Gold; also finished with
Palladium and Silver. Various gems represent the jewelry typically worn by
the goddess. Formed in copper repoussé, with some elements (the hands
and feet) cast from wax models.
Tārā is a female Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism and a
female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism. She is known as the "mother of
liberation", and represents the virtues of success in work and
achievements. As a meditation deity the practice is to develop certain
inner qualities and to understand teachings about compassion and
emptiness. Tara is a multitude of Buddhas or bodhisattvas of similar
aspect. These may more properly be understood as different aspects of
the same quality, as bodhisattvas are often considered metaphoric for
Buddhist virtues. She is considered to be the "Mother of
all Buddhas," which usually refers to the enlightened wisdom of the
Buddhas, while simultaneously echoing the ancient concept of the Mother
Goddess in India.
Kathmandu Aug 2012
Queen Maya of Shakya and the baby Prince Siddhartha
24 karat Fine Gold, 18 karat Green Gold, also Rose and White Gold.
Pearls, Onyx and Lapis Lazuli
(cast powdered stone, from a copper
Size: 20 cms / 8 inches dia.
Queen Māyā of Sakya (Māyādevī)
was the birth mother of the historical Gautama Buddha, Siddhārtha of the
Gautama gotra, and sister of Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī the first Buddhist nun
ordained by the Buddha. "Māyā" means "illusion" or "enchantment" in
Sanskrit and Pāli. Māyā is also called Mahāmāyā ("Great Māyā") and
Māyādevī ("Queen, literally a female-deva, 'goddess,' Māyā"). Queen Mayadevi was born in Devadaha kingdom of
means “Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World"
the Chinese name for Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion as
venerated by Buddhists from east Asia. Though commonly portrayed as
female and known asthe Goddess of Mercy, this sculpture (modeled
on the famous Water and Moon Guanyin in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
in Kansas) shows the deity as a male figure.
like the challenge of gilding these small sculptures, however, smaller
is often more difficult as the detailing needs to be more precise. With
so many surfaces to finish it is easy to miss areas which then require
re-gilding which of course takes more time and more metal-leaf!
Finished in fine gold, red gold, green gold, palladium-gold, platinum,
white gold and silver.
cms / 6 ½ in.
The artworks shown here in the gallery are part of the collection
"SACRED COLOURS "
Buddhist Art for the 21st Century
All the pieces are gilded by hand with goldleaf of
varying karat, and other metal-leaf such as Platinum, Palladium and
Silver. The goldleaf was produced from gold alloyed with different
metals, which resulted in the variety of different colors.
The gilt finish is completed using techniques
practiced since ancient times, and without the use of mercury and lead.
Please enquire for more info about these unique handcrafted artworks or how to commission a
Repoussé is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is
first shaped by hammering from the reverse side and then chased on
the front side which is the opposite technique. The two are used in conjunction to create a finished piece.
Embossing is similar in that it uses dies and pre-formed punches to push
While repoussé is used to work on the reverse of the metal to form a raised design
from the back, chasing is used to refine the design on the front of the work by sinking the metal.
The techniques of repoussé and chasing utilise the maleability of
various metals to slowly form the shape required. It is started by drawing the deity or other figure on the flat sheet of copper. There is no loss of metal in the process as it is stretched and the surface remains continuous. The process is relatively slow, but a maximum of form is achieved, with one continuous surface of sheet metal of essentially the same thickness.
The techniques of repoussé have been used widely since antiquity, with gold and silver for fine detailed work and with copper, tin, and bronze for larger sculptures. In modern times, a famous contemporary sculpture created with this technique is the Statue of Liberty in New York. The statue was formed by copper repoussé in sections using wooden structures to shape each piece during the hammering process.
Dedication to your art and craft brings its own reward, and shows
through these beautiful works, G & JK
What an extraordinary and unique art form that you have here on display!
The beauty of the images is timeless and radiant. Thank you for your
life's journey, bringing such beauty and inspiration to all who see it,
Wonderful exhibit - the grace and beauty of the sacred art is
It's a great pleasure to visit your exhibition and see your work. It's
great to know that somebody crossed cultural borders and mastered such
profound art training. Wish you all the best and long life, your friend
and thanka painter, AK
What a joy - what treasure! Thank you so much for enriching our vision
and sharing your love and skill, JH
Thank you for bringing these beautiful images out to the world. Great
Exquisite and inspiring work, ND
A dream in a forest. Amazing creativity!! Quite speechless. KB
So glad I came today on the last day of the exhibition. I had no idea
about so many beautiful colors of gold. F & JU
Thank you for the beautiful work you bring to us with your energy and
love. Bless you now and for ever. I wish you all the best and lots of
success in your life journey. Love and light.