The story of the making of Trungpa Teaching
Often in a piece of wood, what it is going to become is embedded. My task as the carver is to bring out the hidden story.
This is a story of the making of this carving that is called Trungpa Teaching.
Driving in Umadui, Bali, I saw a large slab of suar wood. Suar is a tree that grows large and the timber it produces is very stable. Four meters long and about 1 meter wide, it arrested my attention. It was too large to manage as a single piece so I had it cut in two. Once I had it home I leant it up against a wall I sketched out the picture. The planks are actually upside down from the way that the tree grew.The one on the right is the lower part of the log. In your minds eye put it on top of the one on the left abd turn them over and you will see the inner workings of the tree. Also, look at the natural hollows that gave me guidance as to the picture in the wood.
I am feeling impatient and so start to carve, opening up the hollow under the female figures arm.
I see that the teacher has a sash over his arm and a halo around his head. Although he is masculine, he also without sex. I put a batik scarf into the crook of his arm to se how it looks. The progress so far is in Bali. It is time to pack up and go back to Melbourne. This means shipping it home and there will be months before the carving will progress.
Back in my studio. It is so much easier working with my table and equipment to hand.
As the carving nears completion I have to get a couple of wrought iron hinges engineered as the wood is so heavy they need to be stong. Carving finished it looks like this.
I have carved out his elbow and inserted a piece of teak burl with its natural texture to represent the spiritual flame that expands from all the chakra.
The carving is now ready to finish. First I seal the wood and make a base for painting. Then I paint with a wash of oil paint and make the halo gold.
The story depicted is another mystery that can only be told in a personal interaction. Meanwhile, you, dear reader, are free to put your own understanding onto it.