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.