Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Let's spin the Wheel (of prayer)

I’ve been fairly quiet this last week on this blog.  I’m trying to figure out how often I should post something.  Once a day is far too much for me, I don’t do nearly enough interesting things to justify that.  So I thought maybe once a week would be good, but then some weeks are just kind of dull while some are full of excitement.  What I’ve decided is to write a blog when I feel like I have something to talk about and not try to force myself to write about something that even I don’t find interesting. 
That being said I’ve always found religions to be interesting, especially eastern ones like Taoism, Shinto, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.  I find the way each one prays to be the most interesting, and how they believe those prayers go out and affect the world.  The one I find to be most interesting is the Tibetan Buddhists idea of the Prayer Wheel.  In this idea prayers are carved on the outside of a drum shape and prayers are also written on paper and placed inside of the drum, it is then mounted in such a way to make it able to spin.  When such a wheel is spun it is said that the prayers written on and inside of the wheel are sent out into the world each revolution of the wheel as if the spinner was saying them aloud.  While in graduate school I played with this idea, the idea of what people pray for and how those prayers are answered (link).
I thought I would revisit this idea and make some new prayer wheels.  I’m unsure of what I’m going to decorate them with, but I know how I’m going to decorate them.  The plan is to infuse a slip (liquid clay) with iron oxide and coat the forms with that.  Once that has dried enough I plan on using a technique called scraffito to scratch through the layer of slip revealing the clay body beneath it.  Here’s a picture of the forms so far,

 they still need to have a bottom thrown for them.  I plan on putting some lazy suzan hardware between the bottom and the body so that the prayer wheel will spin.  I will post another blog or maybe some pictures on our Facebook page when I make it a little further on this project.  Thanks for visiting. 

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