We visit Kubera Sthapati’s shop in Swamimalai. It is about 100 meters from the Swamimalai Swaminathan Temple.
We inspected and finalized some of the details on the Avudaiyar (Base for the Iraivan Crystal Lingam)
Selvanathan Sthapati, designer, (center) and Kubera Sthapati, master craftsman (right)
Discussing the final metal pour to connect the top section with the rest.
A group photo after a puja to Siva Nataraja to bless the completion of the work by January 25.
Next was a visit to a metal foundry also in Swamimalai. The worker in the foreground is preparing a sand mold while a fire in the back melts the metal.
Tools of the trade.
Inspecting a section of a standing lamp. It will later be welded together.
They also make this Indian cinema award, their version of the Oscars.
An ancient metal lathe.
The head of this foundry discussing making lamps for Kadavul temple with Yoginathaswami.
View of the shop.
The frames to hold the sand for the molds. We forget the name of these….
One hot fire.
The sand mold for a small tiruvasi for a home deity.
packing the sand.
preparing the mold for pouring.
Another metal lathe, this mounted at ground level.
A lamp in progress.
A visit to the vast Swaminathan and Son Brass Store. They had tens of thousands of brass items for sale.
The proprietor asked us to visit his house behind the shop. He does a three hour puja daily, starting with worship of his cows, and ending in his shrine room.
In Chidambaram we stop to buy vibhuti.
We just love signs like this, “Please don’t give rice, coconut, banana fruit to the elephant,”--who was unfortunately out for a walk at the moment.