Establishing Balance and Harmony: Making Tsa Tsa moulds (includes videos)
One traditional Buddhist way to restore balance and harmony in the world is to make images of Buddhas using clay and metal clay moulds. These can be placed indoors on a shrine, or outdoors in order to balance nature and sentient beings.
“Turbulence is everywhere. We find disturbance in ecology, in economics, in food supply, in political divisions, in enmity, violence and in war. This is our world as it is and it is our task to bring benefit rather than harm. When, like Hamlet, we are called upon to act, this can feel like a terrible burden. We would prefer it if the burden was falling on other people’s shoulders. However we have turned towards the dharma and made a commitment to the work of developing wisdom and compassion, and so we must find a way to confront the negative forces released by unawareness and dualistic assumptions.”
Extracted from Balance and Harmony
Read and download Balance and Harmony, a text by James Low. It includes a Sutra that highlights the benefits of making images of the Buddhas, as well as a brief Padmasambhava practice you can do whilst preparing the tsa tsa.
The videos show moulds of Padmasambhava being used to make tsa tsa, however you can use moulds of other Buddha figures according to your practice and wish. The images that you make from your moulds can be left plain or painted.
In the videos Agnieszka Radziejewska demonstrates in English and in Polish how to use moulds to make tsa tsa. There is also a video in English only where Agnes answers Sarah Allen’s questions.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gJcNP-ksJI[/embedyt]
[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y_cxUjlGx8[/embedyt] [embedyt] https://youtu.be/7bHmwlfKa4E[/embedyt]
Q1: What sort of clay do we need to use?
Q2: How much clay do we need?
Q3: What consistency does the clay need to be?
Q4: Is there anything that we need to do to prepare the clay ? Oiling the mould.
Q5: What is the best way to dry or fire the clay if we don’t have access to a kiln?
A5: Before putting the tsa tsa in the oven or kiln to bake, it needs to be completely dry or else it may crack and burst. That is why you dry it first on a radiator, on a boiler, or a similar warm place. Although it is not necessary to bake your tsa tsa it will last longer if you do. It will resist rain and damp better. It will also be better for painting.
Q6: What sorts of paints do we need to use? Do we have to paint them?
Q7: Do they need to be sealed or varnished in some way before going outside?
You can order moulds from Gandhanra ART at https://gandhanra.art/pages/contact.
We bought them successfully through this UK website: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GandhanraART?ref=l2-about-shopname.
Their metal moulds are newly made and give a clear definition in the clay.