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Padmasambhava, the Guru Rinpoche

Gilding (23 karat rose gold leaf), filling and consecrating.

Kadampa Stupas

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.

As the 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 speech.

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 Chenrezig

Chag Tong Chen Tong Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre, Tasmania






One prominent Buddhist story tells of Avalokiteśvara vowing never to rest until he had freed all sentient beings from samsāra.

Despite strenuous effort, he realizes that many unhappy beings were yet to be saved.

After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, his head splits into as many as a thousand pieces.

Amitābha seeing 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.

Once more, 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

throughout the entire universe and all physical space.

Specifically, the ten directions are the eight directions of the compass—northsoutheastwestnorthwestnortheastsoutheast, and southwest—plus up and down. 

Buddhist scriptures refer to the existence of Buddha lands in all directions throughout the universe, each with its own Buddha.

The expression "the Buddhas of the ten directions" in the sutras indicates these Buddhas.

The phrase ten directions often appears with the phrase three existencesmeaning past, present, and future existences. "

The Buddhas of the ten directions and three existences" thus means all Buddhas throughout space and time.


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 wisdom.

Many of the hands bear implements, suggesting the skilful means that Avalokiteśvara employs in saving sentient beings from the sufferings of samsara.


Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit: avalokita, “looking on”; ishivara,“lord”)

 Primarily in Mahayana Buddhism, the bodhisattva of infinite compassion and mercy, is possibly the most popular of all figures in Buddhist legend.

Avalokiteśvara 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 pantheon,

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 altruistic desires

(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 mantra

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 realizations.  

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 realizations.

An antelope skin is draped over his left shoulder, symbolizing that hatred is overcome completely by peaceful, compassionate wisdom.





Buddha Shakyamuni

Buddha House, Adelaide, South Australia


Gilding the Buddha

Chag Tong Chen Tong, FPMT at Kickstart Arts, Hobart









Gilt finished in Platinum, 23 karat Red Gold, 18 karat Green Gold, also Fine Gold, Palladium and Silver. Various gemstones represent the jewellery typically worn by the bodhisattva. Formed in copper repoussé, with the hands cast from wax models.



Mañjuśrī is a bodhisattva associated with transcendent wisdom in Mahāyāna Buddhism. The Sanskrit name Mañjuśrī can be translated as "Gentle Glory".

Mañjuśrī 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.

Mañjuśrī is one of the Four Great Bodhisattvas of Chinese Buddhism, the other three being: Kṣitigarbha, Avalokiteśvara, and Samantabhadra.

In Tibetan Buddhism Mañjuśrī is sometimes depicted in a trinity with Avalokiteśvara (Tib. Chenrezig) and Vajrapāṇi (Tib. Channa Dorje).


My original Mañjuśrī drawing.


Planning the repoussé with Saroj and Surendra Shakya in Patan


Saroj Shakya making the first push of repoussé on a sheet of copper


Second push of repoussé after chasing


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.

















 Patan and Kathmandu Aug 2012





















Queen Maya of Shakya and the baby Prince Siddhartha Gautama

Gilded Stone Relief



24 karat Fine Gold, 18 karat Green Gold, also Rose and White Gold.

Pearls, Onyx and Lapis Lazuli

(cast powdered stone, from a copper repoussé mold)

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 Nepal.
















Guanyin which means “Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World"

is the Chinese name for Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion as venerated by Buddhists from east Asia.  Though commonly portrayed as female and known as the 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.

I 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.

Cast resin

17 cms / 6 ½ in.





The artworks shown here in the gallery are part of the collection


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 piece. 

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 the form.

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, QJ


Wonderful exhibit - the grace and beauty of the sacred art is impressive, SP


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 blessings! RB


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.


Amazing! DK


Impressive work! Nice meeting you again. AW




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