Chicago artist Jennifer Dickson has continued her work creating the full-size Sakyamuni statue which will serve as Korinji's honzon (primary image). The 10" maquette she completed earlier this year (see February 2010 posts) serves as the model for this 30" final piece. Jen sent us this photo revealing the work in progress.
When done, the statue will be hollowed, fired and possibly covered with metal leaf (though we're going to wait and see what the rough, fired finish looks like by itself before deciding).
As described earlier, the design process for this statue led us to examine Buddhist sculptural styles from Japan, T'ang China, India and Gandhara. The Gandharan tradition, with its synthesis of Asian and Hellenistic influences, was particularly of meaning to us. We knew from the beginning that we didn't want to ape a Japanese style; like our buildings, it's important that the statue's style not feel completely out of place in the Wisconsin woods! And yet it still has to authentically represent the continuity that is Buddhism's journey through many cultures.
A fascinating project. Jen was told not to feel any pressure; the statue's image would just be plastered all over our website, and physically enshrined at Korinji, for decades to come.