The idea to build and establish a thriving art studio at Chenrezig Institute was conceived around the turn of the new millenium by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual director of the FPMT.
The art studio is now the creative heart of Chenrezig. Traditional skills, processes and techniques are all skillfully employed to produce a diverse range of sacred Buddhist art forms. The experience and expertise of our practitioners ensure an exceptionally high standard of product, which is critical to any holy object.
The opportunity to create holy objects is highly beneficial. Artists are deeply engaged in practice while working on the objects and at the same time they are helping support many projects at the centre, thereby creating merit for themselves and others.
Much of the ongoing work in the studio is focused on the creation of memorial stupas for placement in the Garden of Enlightenment. We also fulfill commissions to produce stupas for FPMT centres around the world, in addition to supplying stupas to individuals for private use at home.
More information about the Garden of Enlightenment can be found here.
The holy object fund
Many of the statues and decorations you see in our beautiful gompa have been made possible by the establishment of the holy object fund. A percentage of all art studio donations is directed towards this important resource, so the gompa can continue to expand its collection of holy objects, for the benefit of all who come into contact with them.
COMING EVENTS AT THE STUDIO
KEEP AN EYE OUT HERE AND IN OUR WEBSITE EVENT CALENDAR, FOR EXCITING EVENTS ORGANISED BY THE CHENREZIG ART STUDIO – EXHIBITIONS AND CLASSES!
CLASSES WITH JANE – first Saturday morning each month
CLASSES WITH SHANNON – every Friday afternoon
CRAFT MORNINGS – third Saturday morning every month
BONSAI INSTRUCTION AND WORK – every Wednesday morning
COMING: ART EXHIBITION – 5th to 10th JANUARY
Call out for the exhibition ends the 21st of November.
We produce a large range of different sized tsa tsas, which are cast images of the many Buddhist deities. Tsas tsas are very beneficial holy objects which are placed on altars for various reasons, such as surmounting health problems or overcoming obstacles in practice. Tsa tsas are available for puchase in the studio shop. One of our friendly volunteers will be happy to help you understand the meaning of each one.
Buddhist Thangka PAINTINGS
The upstairs area of the art studio is spacious, light and comfortable and dedicated to the highly specialised art of traditional Buddhist thangka (scroll) painting.
We usually hold several guided courses each year led by a highly experienced thangka artist, or indeed a master. Those interested in learning this rare art form are welcome to attend, though this practice does require a degree of ongoing commitment
High quality prints, framed or unframed, featuring the work of a few of our talented artists are available in the studio shop as well as the Dharma shop at the top of the hill (under the Big Love Café).
Gold Pen Sutra Writing
“Even writing one letter from Prajnaparamita, even writing one letter, one syllable, the benefits are unbelievable, unbelievable, more than making extensive offerings, skies of extensive offerings to all the buddhas, so many eons, the merits you collect are unbelievable.” — Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Ven Thubten will facilitate the golden pen writing of sutras in the Tara Room each Sunday afternoon from 1.00pm – 3.00pm. Check the event calendar for any changes to the venue or timing.
A wide range of beautifully crafted holy objects is produced on the ground level of the art studio, all of which require specialised skills, knowledge and experience.
Stupas represent the mind’s limitless potential, the mind of enlightenment. Over 15 sizes and types of stupa are created here, a complex process which starts with the making of moulds and pouring of material. The stupa is carefully assembled and the interior filled with a life tree, many mantras, and precious substances. Finally, the stupa is sealed and painted. The highest degree of finish is vital for this holy object, as it reflects the perfection of the Buddha and is, by its nature, transformative.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche says each time we see a stupa ‘there is great, great purification and that brings you to enlightenment; this is just by looking at the stupa’.
All stupas and holy objects produced here are blessed by our Tibetan Buddhist teacher Geshe Tsultrim. Your loved one’s ashes can be consecrated by Geshe Tsultrim in a special ceremony which involves very specific prayers and rituals. The ashes are then sealed inside a niche at the base of the stupa, which is finally placed on a plinth in the tranquil surroundings of the Garden of Enlightenment. Ashes may also be placed in a niche in one of the 13 shrine rooms in the main building, or be placed in one of the Eight Great Stupas on the roof.
Please note: examples in the brochure are indicative only due to the year of printing. Please take a look and then contact us directly to talk about your needs.
OTHER STUDIO WORK
The downstairs studio is also the scene for many other processes and activities, including gold-leafing, the preparation and painting of tsa tsas, the rolling of mantras for placement in holy objects, and the repair of damaged holy objects. The art studio shop is situated here too, with all statues and holy objects on display produced right here at the studio and available for sale.
Art Studio Reviews...
Dear Garrey and art studio volunteers
On behalf of our resident teacher Gen Thubten Dondrub and the Buddha house community, I would like to sincerely thank you for all the support you have offered particularly within the last 5 years to Buddha House.
Listing some of the work you and the CI art workshop has helped Buddha House with, it was with your co-ordination of 1,000 Ganapati tsa tsa’s, as advised by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche that any obstacles were overcome and we were successful in bidding for the property that has become our home. Completing these tsa tsa’s within a week prior to the auction date, was an incredible feat. With your support and your volunteer group we have been able to secure a stable long term FPMT Dharma centre that is fully functionable and very well appointed to suit the needs of our members and wider community. The importance of this cannot be understated as it took many difficult years to reach this aim.
Thank you for guiding and advising Tony Migalka with all the Holy objects that have been acquired over the last several years. Your devotion to these projects has been an inspiration and your attention to detail has been amazing. The statues, stupa’s and other holy objects have arrived intact and undamaged and are truly beautiful. The workmanship is truly amazing and is really appreciated!
We wish you well dharma brother and thank you for your current and ongoing support. Could you please relay our greatest heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers that have helped with all our projects.
– Lyndy Abram and the Buddha House community
how to Sponsor tsa tsas
Those wishing to sponsor tsa tsas for their health, to solve other problems, or to complete a dharma commitment can commission the making of any number of tsa tsas This can be just a single deity, or many hundreds.
Sponsorship costs vary, depending on the size of the tsa tsa, quantity needed, and the required finish, with gold leafing an option.
For example: a commission of 50 Medicine Buddha tsa tsas 7 cms high, dedicated for a person’s health would be approximately:
$5.00 each unpainted
$10.00 each painted
$25.00 each gold-leafed
These figures are current in 2023. It is best to contact us directly if you have any enquiries about sponsorship so we can better guide you towards the best decision for your situation.