Monday, February 07, 2011

Norbulingka Sculpture Room

In still another building, a few people were working on larger, more dimensional pieces. A motorcycle helmet was placed near the wooden shavings and tools, with its owner carving an incense box. Novices start with pine wood and then graduate up to using teak. Carved dragons slithered their way up the sides and top of an incredibly detailed cabinet, whose designs were created in high relief and through negative spaces carved out using a traditional bamboo fret saw and chisels.

One young man was pounding copper sheeting in a form that looked like a helmet. Two others were working on the copper bust area of a Buddha sculpture the size of a child. Another was hunched over a Buddha only 2 inches high, tapping in details with metal tools. A larger-than-life Buddha sculpture waited for its second hand to be attached. Craftsmen would typically start with using copper and then utilize gold. These sculptures would take about a month to complete.

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