Through a century old process used and developed by countless artists that has helped the Dharma Practitioners, from the very first stage to the last, this process connects many families working in the statues.
Statue figures are created through the ‘lost wax process.’ Each artists and craftsmen is specialized in each of the stage. With time and patience, we are able to work through this process.
The artist envisions the statue and creates a wax figure. This is created through sculpting using traditional tools. This first piece of statue that has been sculpted by hand is known as the Masterpiece Statue.
Thasa kagu (Moulding) is the process of taking the shape of the masterpiece. Moulding is generally done through Rubber (rubber moulding) or wax.
Many wax figures of the masterpiece can now be replicated after this process.
The wax figures are now coated with layers of sand mixed with cow dung. After heating the cast, the wax melts off through an opening created in the mould. Melted Metal (Copper) is then added to the mould which fills the vacant spaces left by the wax.
After the mould has been dried, it is then broken to get the metal figure. This entire process is called Dhale Yaigu (Casting).
When the metal figure comes out of the mould, it is still in its raw form. The statues are first cleaned and all sand present in the statue is taken out. After this, the carving craftsman begins to engrave using traditional tools.
Carving and engraving gives detailing to the raw metal statue. ‘Buttakigu’ is a part of the engraving, whereby the artist adds various designs in the robes of the statue.
Buffing is the process of polishing the statues after it has been carved and engraved.
After Buffing, we are now able to plate the statue with gold or silver and oxidize them. We use Fire mercury gilding to coat the statues with either gold or silver.
Face painting is the final stage of the statue making process. The face is painted using melted gold and the use of poster colours to paint the eye and the lips.
Now we add turquoise stones in the jewelleries of the statues. After this, the statue is ready to be blessed and put in the shrine of the practitioner.
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