Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Balance


It's taken me years to come to terms with making a buddha piece. I've made a few in porcelain that have been given away to friends. They were pressed from a mold I made of amulets that I brought back from Thailand a long time ago. That was when we were still living in Melbourne and it was just as easy (and no more expensive) to fly around the world with a stop over in Europe and Asia as it was to fly home to the US and back to Australia. I know that might sound a bit glamorous, but 15 hour flights aren't really a picnic and having to spend that much time away from home is draining. But I did love the opportunity to visit Bangkok.


I bought these amulets from an amulet vendor outside a wat (temple). They, like most amulets, are thought of as giving one protection. They also serve as a reminder of the Buddha's teaching. In Thailand all images of the Buddha are considered sacred. You see, 90% of Thais are practicing Buddhists and it is a very religious country. You see monks in safron robes every where. It is quite beautiful.

So my dilemma in making these pieces was the sacred part of the image and respect for where these amulets came from. The amulets I have are not by any means precious in any way other than their significance in a deeply religious culture. Amulet vendors are a common sight and people do in fact buy them as travel souveniers.  I have a deep respect for these amulets and their role in Thai life. It just did not feel right to make a cast of them.


The absolute calm of these amulets speaks to me. So I've spent quite a lot of time thinking about them and what was in them that was doing the talking, doing the calming, making me think, making me let go. I made drawing after drawing. Finally I finished with what said to me most, the essence of these amulets. This buddha has hands in his lap, right resting on the left. The meditation mudra, the final meditation and balance. It seems to me to be the essence of what we all strive for in life.

11 comments:

mairedodd said...

you took my breath away this morning - and i will tell you, i did not finish reading the post until i went to your shop and bought a buddha and a lotus...
your drawing is so evocative - i am in awe of your ability time and time again to make something your own and then take it from paper to clay...
leann, these are incredibly special - and there are going to be many people interested in them...

Melissa Meman said...

This is really beautiful, LeAnn!

steufel said...

Oh LeAnn, I'm speechless. WOW!

Mary Newton Designs said...

Oh, Leann, all your new pieces are so beautiful!

stregata said...

LeAnn - you are working magic here. You have distilled the very essence of this symbol into your amulet - and in such a very beautiful design. It is just gorgeous.

TesoriTrovati said...

each is more incredible than the last. i am loving this new medium for you. and i have a custom order in mind... i will email you!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Anna Lear said...

Just perfect -- so simple yet evocative, and I also love what you wrote about the process of creating them. I agree, this is an awesome new medium for you!

sharon said...

I completely understand your thought process, I feel it all the time, and have concluded after the mental struggle that it is the comfort and respect that I feel that draws me to create with religious items, not exploit. It was hard for me to let go of the childhood catholic school girl guilt, but I know now in my heart what is right. This piece is stunning and very beautiful and powerful.

barbarasfernald.com said...

The thought and consideration you put into this piece sounds like a spiritual process to me. It is beautiful and calming. Well done!

SueBeads said...

They are fantastic! I need one for my daughter - I hope you have some left!

The Joy of Nesting said...

I think you have found the true reason for a talisman's existance. It is not the physical material but the spiritual that gives it power. And the spirit must have a conduit to work through. Your Buddha(s) are a perfect home, made of the earth with respect,love,humility & joy!! Well done Lit'l sister!!

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.