Granite Bases for Bronzes

This morning Sadasivanathaswami received the photo above of a circular granite base from Thurai Rajasankara in Bengaluru. It's part of a massive push the team there is making. Paramacharya wrote a note to the team that is responsible for the bronze masterpieces, and we thought you would like to look in on the conversation:

Aoha, one and all!

Our team in India is working 20 hours a day to get many things ready for a December shipment of multiple containers. It's quite a push of willpower on their part. 

Just now we received a photo from India of a base completed yesterday, and sharing it with you brings much joy this morning.

Basically, we have designed a simple base for all of the bronze masterpieces we are doing together (team effort can do magical things!). Each bronze sculpture will sit atop a six-inch high granite base, carved with a rough, contemporary texture. This round one is unusual, most are more rectangular. The round one is made to hold the silpi shown below sharpening a chisel on a solid metal brick. The whole effect will be compelling, the metal you are all producing married to the stone from the same quarry as Iraivan carved by the same team. Perfect!

Restored Bench on Grounds

One of the benches on the property broke, so our very own Sadhaka Tejadevanatha made a new one.

Hurricane Protection

The monastery has been working on upgrading its hurricane protection system for some time. The Siddhidata Kulam is suiting up and battening down the hatches on the project. Soon all 200+ vulnerable windows and openings we have around the main building will be hurricane-proof. This is a huge job and requires months of planning.

Iraivan Temple Progress

We've recently received these photos from our carving site in Bengaluru. Great progress is being made on Iraivan Temple's parameter wall and the red granite pots which will sit atop it. Because these stones are not part of the main temple structure, the siplis can utilize small electric tools which are greatly speeding up their masterful work. The main pieces being carved are the wide panels which display carved scripture, the ornate pieces which go between them and the previously mentioned granite pots.

Milling Monkeypod

A couple of weeks ago, Doug, our excellent hired worker, was planning out some closet shelving for the slipi house, which he is helping to renovate. That's the building the slipis live in when they come to Kauai. In passing, he consulted with Acharya Kumarnathaswami as to whether he should buy MDF (press-board) or plywood for them. Acharya offered to provide solid boards instead from our large stock of local woods, milled and dried here at the monastery. 

The option that jumped forward was to use some of the wide monkeypod boards that came from a tree that arborists gifted to the monastery after removing it from the side of the Shell station across the highway from Coco Palms hotel. The tree was enormous, and its antiquity was revealed by the fact that it was already a large tree when captured in a photo taken at Elvis Presley's wedding. 

Over the retreat Acharya chose the boards from a pile made from a single log just the right length, so wastage would be close to zero. Fourteen shelves were needed, 10 of them 19 inches wide and 4 at 16 inches; all about 5 feet long. 

Since our thickness planer accepts a maximum 15" width, Acharya ripped the wide planks down the middle, ran them through the planer and then edge glued them back together. (Sometime in the future, we hope to get a 20 inch planer!)

Step two was to hand plane the machined surface. Step three: sand with 6" orbital sander. Step four, apply sanding sealer, and Step 5 brush on one coat of lacquer. Eighteen man hours after the ambitious offer was made, the shelves stood ready to be installed.

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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