Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Varada Mudra

The Gift Bestowing Gesture of Compassion, or Varada Mudra, is a gesture in Buddhist iconography seen in images of the Buddha. It's actually a universal symbol, seen in other cultures as a symbol of the virtue of charity. In Buddhist teaching, wealth begins with generosity, which I find a profound way of viewing the material world. All we have originates in the hands of others.

I like the idea of this little hand worn as an ex voto or amulet around the neck.

I made a steel chain, 18 inches long, with a hook that fastens the assembly to the same link that suspends the hand. It is mild steel, degreased and patinated with gun blue and heat gun in several steps, finished by quenching it hot in mineral oil, cleaning with alcohol and finally waxing, to keep the rust at bay. I think a little bloom of rust would add to it, though. It's funny, sometimes I do get a blue sheen on mild steel with the gun blue finish, but most often not. I think it takes burnishing between steps to get the blue, but I am not sure. Here it's mostly black with a fugitive highlight here and there.

After the time taken chasing the hand in copper, I wanted a break from the project before I was ready to do something with it. Then it took some more time while I wrestled with the need for simplicity. Now I am thinking of doing a series of these, just as simple. They would be interesting worn in multiples layered at different lengths.

1 comment:

  1. This is so great, especially knowing that it was hand forged from beginning to end by your hand.