The New Pique Assiette Buddha Shrine Part 5 – The Inevitable But Strangely Perfect Conclusion

The Buddha Shrine is finally done. My little Buddha, rescued this summer from the back of a truck full of junk, now sits in splendor, cross legged, quietly contemplating the lotus flower I have bestowed upon him. Will is sure his expression is now one of serenity with just a hint of a smile. All problems have been solved, all has come to it’s inevitable conclusion, all is as it was meant to be.

Well that’s pretty well how it seems to me now, now that it’s all done. The dishes I thought I needed, I didn’t need. The dishes I had and the decisions I made now all seem right, destined even.

I suddenly came to a conclusion about the back and just filled the space with green and blue turquoise dishes. Dishes, I might add, that were in my kitchen cupboard all along. Sometimes I use dishes meant for mosaic for a while and I’d totally forgotten they were there to be used.

back, progress, Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

The color fit well with the front of the shrine and it also leant a quietness to the design. So another problem solved with no effort.

The edge was done with the little scraps of gold tile I had left and the skinny little pieces seemed to be the right design solution after all.

side, progress, Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

So yesterday, Will and I donned our rubber gloves and slathered on the grout. The grout color was somehow fittingly called Green Tea, to which I added water colored with just a bit of Phthalo green paint. I wanted the grout to be more turquoise. Oddly that didn’t work either but the color actually became an almost exact match for the Buddha’s antique finish. Another strangely perfect conclusion. I was actually quite pleased when we finally glued him in place and grouted around him, just how well the grout color fit so well with the Buddha.

 Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

So here it is, all done. Candles lit. Shown here as he is in daylight.
Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

And then here as he is at night with the glow of the tea lights flickering on his meditation.

Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

Now all I have to do is find a spot for him or a new home where he will be appreciated, where his serene meditation of a lotus flower in front of the tranquil green rippling pond will remind an onlooker to slow a bit and quiet their thoughts. And realize that everything has a way of flowing, just as this little shrine did, to it’s inevitable conclusion.


The New Pique Assiette Mosaic Buddha Shrine Part 4 – The Search for Serenity

What is it about this little shrine that makes me think that it is becoming a string of problems, one thing after another? Why does it seem like every dish I planned to use on it is either wrong or I don’t have enough of it? Decisions I make and try out, turn out to look all wrong. Frustration is becoming a constant visitor.

Oh, of course, here’s me trying to be as serene as the Buddha, but I can’t.  No, it’s not going to happen. No serenity here today. Ok, Helen, Breathe.

I started on the back of the shrine the other day. I thought OK this lovely little plate and this lovely little edge will be perfect. And that part of it is. I’m happy, I’m serene, even, with that. But then I needed to fill in the space. First I just was going to do a mixture of turquoise, bright green (the same plate as the lily leaves on the front) and yellow. This would be picking up the colors in the pattern on the central area. Then I got the bright idea of having a starburst in yellow and then filling in the spaces with greens.

detail, progress on back, Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

Well, after spending almost a whole afternoon at it and then looking at it again the next day, I decided it didn’t work. Too bright, too whatever, at any rate, I removed it.

Since then I’ve been checking out thrift store dishes every chance I get and nothing, nada, I haven’t found anything that is just right….yet.

Ok never mind, I said to myself. Work on the front.
First, I needed to make a little stand for the teacup that I plan to use for a tea light holder. Will, thank goodness, found the perfect solution, a little piece of dowel, now covered in gold tile.

Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

As you know, I’ve been looking for more of that lovely dark green malachite looking plate. Again, no luck. I used almost every little scrap of the dark green plate to finish the pond. I wanted to rim the pond with it too. So, ever the problem solver, I decided to go with using my tiny cache of gold tiles to rim the pond.

detail, progress, Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

Each little piece of gold had to be cut from an inch square tile, and individually glued on. At last, something that just required some time doing tedious, repetitious work. Strangely, this became an exercise in becoming calm, focusing and patiently working.

detail, progress, Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

Last night, after I glued on the last tiny little bit, I stood back and enjoyed the almost finished front.

But then today, out on my walk, I quickly nipped into the thrift store across the street, looking for the perfect plates to finish the back. Again, no success. OK Helen, Breathe, Relax and Know that you will find the perfect plates yet. They are just still on their way. Be Serene.

Last installment Buddha Shrine Part 5, The Inevitable but Strangely Perfect Conclusion


The New Pique Assiette Mosaic Buddha Shrine – Part 3 (Progress, a Piece at a Time)

The Buddha shrine is slowly coming along. I haven’t had much time to work on it in the last little while but I did manage to get the base that the Buddha is resting on covered in gold tile. I did say it’s a slow art, didn’t I?

The gold tile is from a stash of Italian tile that I picked up at a garage sale years ago. There is very little of it left and I do what I can to stretch it out. A sneaky way to do that is to cut the tile up into smaller pieces. Luckily the brick pattern I chose perfectly fit the space.

detail, progress, Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

The top of the base where the Buddha sits meditating was filled in with tile while the statue was in place. Much the best way to ensure that by grouting time the space where he will be glued down is exactly right. Right now you can see the broken raw edge of the Buddha statue around the bottom, but trust me, when I grout this, it will all look great and be hidden. I’m considering a sort of verdigris color of grout.

detail, progress, Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

I’ve been doing some of what I call “fine fitting” to make all the little spots left on the back fit well. One of my students this summer, a nurse, left me a pair of forceps and I must admit they’ve come in very handy when fitting tiny bits of mosaic in tight spaces.

I always tell my students to grab all they can if they see a plate that they know they love and will use. Why oh why didn’t I follow my own advice? I’d seen two of these plates a few weeks back in a thrift shop but had the idea that I had much more of it than I actually did and didn’t buy them. Last weekend I hit as many thrift shops as I could, but no luck. Ah well, I’ll keep looking but I may have to come up with another solution for the raw edge around the pond.

detail, progress, Buddha Shrine by Helen Bushell,

All in all, though, I’m quite pleased with how it’s progressing. At the moment my next decision is whether or not to mosaic the back of the stand behind the statue. Will it find a home against a wall? Will the back be seen when it’s all done? On the other hand, it does give it a finished look. Oh, more decisions. But I may find just the right plates and that will make the decision easier. I’d still love to find some sort of feet to put under the stand. Wish me luck.

Click for Buddha Shrine Part 4  The Search for Serenity