Gilding Arts Studio            

"Opening the Eyes"


Buddhist Art for the 21st Century


Buddha Śākyamuni

 Sculpture formed in copper repoussť and gilt finished with fine gold, rose gold, green gold, white gold, also palladium and some polychrome acrylic; the hands in bhumisparsha mudra have been cast.

Buddha Shakyamuni (Skt. Śākyamuni; Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་ཤཱཀྱ་ཐུབ་པ་, Wyl. sangs rgyas shAkya thub pa)

Frame Size 64cm. x 70cm. (25in. x 27in.)

The Indian prince Gautama Siddhartha reached enlightenment and became a Buddha in the 6th cent. B.C.; he taught a spritual path which is now followed by millions all over the world.

Bhumisparsha means 'touching the earth'. It is more commonly known as the 'earth witness' mudra. This mudra, formed with the fingers of the right hand extended to touch the ground, symbolizes the Buddha's enlightenment under the bodhi tree when he summoned the earth to bear witness to his attainment of enlightenment. The right hand is complemented by the left hand-which is held flat in the lap in the dhyana mudra of meditation, symbolizing the union of method and wisdom, samsara and nirvana, and also the realizations of the conventional and ultimate truths. It is in this posture that Shakyamuni overcame the obstructions of Mara while meditating on Truth. As in the tradition of an ordained bhikku in the Sangha, the Buddha holds a bowl for collecting alms.


Photographing these pieces is not particularly easy! Not only is the gilt finish highly reflective but the brocades also have reflective elements woven into the fabric. However background brocades can be changed to suit different preferences.

The sculpture is hollow and a copper back-plate and access hole has been added to allow filling and empowering with mantras and other sacred material.  

Fabricated in the workshop of Chaitya Raj Shakya in Patan, Nepal with sons Saroj, Surendra and Sudan.

Metal Finishing and gilding by Martin Walker-Watson at the Gilding Arts Studio, Nalanda, Bruny Island.

oṃ mune mune mahāmunaye svāhā


 is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented or shaped by hammering from the reverse side. There are few techniques that offer such diversity of expression while still being relatively economical. Chasing is the opposite technique to repoussť, and the two are used in conjunction to create a finished piece. It is also known as embossing which uses pre-formed dies and punches.

While repoussť is used to work on the reverse of the metal to form a raised design on the front, chasing is used to refine the design on the front of the work by sinking the metal.There is no loss of metal in the process, as it is stretched and the surface remains continuous. The process is relatively slow, but a maximum of form is achieved, with one continuous surface of sheet metal of essentially the same thickness. Direct contact of the tools used is usually visible in the result, a condition not always apparent in other techniques, where all evidence of the working method is eliminated.

The techniques of repoussť have been used widely since antiquity, with gold and silver for fine detailed work and with copper, tin, and bronze for larger sculptures.



for more repoussé - click here

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