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24 June 2023

METAL STATUE PROJECT - prototype for the next generation

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After months of dedicated work by the artists at the Kadampa Art Studio, a new metal statue prototype for Kadampa Centres worldwide is nearing completion. Through the processes of bronze casting, welding, chasing, and sanding, the prototype is on the verge of entering the finishing room for its final stages of painting. In two weeks a polished prototype will be handed over to the artists to paint and fill in the statue.

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Metal Statues Project-26

The skin areas, such as the face, chest, hands, and feet, will be painted using Japanese gold mica, while the hair and bowl will be painted in a deep Persian blue colour. To ensure its authenticity as a qualified Kadampa statue, the statue and lotus will be filled with mantras and precious objects.

Find out more about the early stages of this project in the article on the next generation of statues and metal statues process.

See the photo galleries for a progression of the project:

Welding stage

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The body of the Buddha Statue was cast in 16 separate pieces, which were then welded together. The parts were carefully aligned and spot welded before the final welding took place.

With the goal of creating seamless joints, the join lines were then chased and prepared for the subsequent stages of sanding and polishing.

Lotus

Lotus

The lotus of the prototype has transformed from 7 raw bronze casts into a radiant base for the statue. This particular section of the prototype presented more challenges, as the middle of the lotus required the Metal Workers to skilfully conceal any welding marks while maintaining a seamless surface.

Hours of chasing and sanding have been dedicated to achieving the desired finish.

Final Sanding & polishing

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The sanding and polishing phase is nearing completion, with only the arm and hands of the Buddha still to be welded, chased, and sanded. This will bring all 16 pieces together, forming the complete statue.

During the whole process, the Metal Working Team have learnt a lot about how, and how not to, cast and work with bronze casts. Obstacles to achieving the desired finish arose in many areas providing a useful understanding of which processes and equipment are needed for casting and finishing statues in increased numbers in the future.

It is hoped, these statues will serve practitioners for generations to come, providing inspiration and support along their spiritual journeys.

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