Bringing Buddha Closer to Home

Many of our travels have taken us to lands of wats and Buddhas. Now we’re too busy with the business of business for vacation. I really miss traveling to Buddhas.

My sister-in-law knows we like Buddhas and gifted us with a Buddha head to decorate the Chennai apartment. I transformed it a bit:

In my mind, there’s always saffron with wats and Buddhas.

Via Food and Farsi Flickr:

From Steamy Kitchen, another delicious saffron photo, tips on finding quality saffron, plus many recipes in the 100+ comments:

Another striking saffron photo and recipe from Veggie Belly (website full of vegetarian recipes, do check it out):

So, um, why did I come here and start writing? Oh yeah … today I share saffron  in the form of paint. Because I envisioned combining our black Buddha head with saffron and gold for a striking combination. Like this image, “Monks in Yellow Robes” Painting by Aung Kyaw Htet:

Here’s what I did:

  • Found a wood block at Hobby Lobby
  • Painted it with DecoArt Americana acrylic paint in Persimmon color
  • Stamped script text in gold ink on the top of the block
  • Drybrushed light brown paint on the Buddha to make features pop, then lightly dabbed antique gold Rub ‘n Buff (or gold leaf pen? forget now) on the hair to give him a golden glow
  • Glued Buddha on the wood block with E6000 glue

But he was missing something. In Thailand, I loved the texture added by the little squares of gold leaf that people apply to Buddhas, especially when there are many shredding pieces. Via Hawke Backpacking:

So I added a little more gold. Because Buddha is on a lotus, I got an Indian lotus motif wood block stamp from Catfluff on ArtFire — here’s a similar wood block print stamp.

I tried to stamp a gold lotus right on the persimmon-color wood block. But I found wood block stamps made for fabric and paper don’t work so well for wood-to-wood impressions. So I found scrapbook paper with persimmon and other colors in it — I was disappointed about this change of plans at first, but now prefer the extra dimension the mottled paper brings. I cut the paper slightly smaller than the wood block’s sides, and stamped the gold lotus on the papers, one for each side of the block. Then I glued the papers to the wood block, and antiqued the edges with Distress Ink.  Here’s the result:

However the Buddha head is heavier than the wood block, so when put together the whole thing was top-heavy and unstable. So I found an old coaster sized perfectly to fit under the block, and got huge heavy washers at Home Depot to add weight. I glued the washers to the coaster with E6000 glue. Then I applied antique gold Rub ‘n Buff to the coaster, flipped it over, and glued the Buddha block to the coaster with E6000. Ta-da, stability! Always a good thing.

To make a clean bottom, I cut thin cork backing to size and glued that to the bottom.

Now we have a reminder of travels to wats and Buddhas, but closer to home! On our next trip to Chennai, we’ll return him to the India apartment, his intended residence.

So if you have wood block prints, try printing them on paper. You can add extra designs to printed scrapbook papers.

I left gold ink on the stamp and set it out for display on our living room coffee table, along with a paisley wood block stamp from India that I picked up at Uncommon Objects in Austin, Texas.

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4 Replies to “Bringing Buddha Closer to Home”

  1. thanks so much for plugging my blocks not only do I have a happy customer but I found a new interesting blog to follow. Thanks Gabi aka Catfluff

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