[UPDATE:] …the AME-NO-UZUME-ZOU is cast and remains a laborious and painstaking process of polishing…
[UPDATE:] Application of the mold rubber to the drum is complete…
…and in the background, Barry-san prepares a lego container for the first layer of mold rubber to be poured onto AME-NO-UZUME-ZOU’s spear…
..outside the silicone, Barry-san applies burlap soaked in plaster-of-paris as the first layer of the drum’s mother mold…
...as Barry-san removes first the mother-mold and then the silicone rubber from the original sculpture of the drum, it becomes obvious why a supporting mother mold is so critical to the process!
[UPDATE:] AME-NO-UZUME-ZOU’sarms are being molded separately… so many layers of multi-colored silicone are applied…
Back to the main part of the ZOU: all the layers of mold material have been built up. Next is a hard shell: sometime referred to as the mother mold. This will be comprised of several separate sections. Parting lines of water-based ceramic clay define the sections (the wet clay is covered overnight with plastic to keep it from drying out).
Barry begins to apply the “Plasti-paste II” which will form the hard mother mold. The paste is a two-component, fiber-filled resin: when the two parts are mixed the paste is workable for JUST 10 MINUTES before it begins to set. Barry-san must mix and apply multiple small batches of Plasti-paste.
[UPDATE:] Kimbal Sensei builds a base for AME-NO-UZUME-ZOU, using an actual wooden tub as a basis for the clay sculpture of a taiko drum… AME-NO-UZUME-NO-MIKOTO danced on an upturned tub, to tempt the Sun Goddess out of the cave… thereby inventing both Kagura sacred dance and taiko-drumming…
[UPDATE:] Meanwhile AME-NO-UZUME-ZOU is now in the molding room – at Laf’n Bear Sculpture Studio, pictured here with Dojo member, Barry Moore, of BearCast Molding and Casting:
Barry-san begins to apply the first “imprint” coat of silicone molding material carefully drizzled on with a brush, then moved into fine detail areas with compressed air.
24 hours later, the silicone has set to a rubbery firmness, and more layers of silicone are added, to build up thickness.
Barry-san tints each coat to help keep track of the layers. On day 2, AME-NO-UXUME-ZOU is robed in purple…
First thing in the morning on day 3, another layer, this time pink. Each successive layer is somewhat more viscous and thicker than the previous layer.
Purple again… and by early afternoon on day 3, Barry-san is adding tabs of cured silicone to the seamlines to reinforce those areas. Held in place by T-pins, the overall effect is one of an odd variation of acupuncture. The tabs are “glued” into place with yet another layer of silicone mold material…
– – – by Kimbal Anderson Sensei
For some weeks, now, I’ve been working at constructing a statue for Tsubaki Jinja in America. While we tend to think of Shinto as being very much based in natural phenomena – we think of the beautiful torii gate in the middle of a forest… or the sacred stones surrounded by shimenawa…there is, in fact, quite a bit of lineage concerning the making of sacred images. For instance, if you go to a shrine and you’re going to make a branch shrine – a secondary shrine – they will give you a go-shintai: a go-shintai is something that has been blessed by the parent shrine, and it’s like a little holographic chunk of what the parent shrine has… and often it’s a little statue.
Now, at Tsubaki America Jinja, there is already a
statue, which I was able to construct, and which has been there for many years, and it has found its way into rooting itself into the landscape properly.
I had made a statue of
before, and wanted to give one to the shrine, as a gift from our school. I feel that it’s really important to consider female energy – she represents, of course, sacred movement, for us in aikido – but also the balancing aspect of having both kinds of energy in a place: the sacred marriage of the energies.
The first time around, I built her just as a pure figure, with the properties which are folk-loric, but without the well-known story. But this time, we’re including the story, and that’s why she’s decorated the way she is, with a bamboo frond in one hand, and a head-dress of sakaki and a belt of woven club-moss. Now each one of these has some meaning… and I also put tama in her head-dress, and suchlike…
I also looked at some ancient, ancient stuff: the shamanesses and oracles in old Korea – women who danced – and women who are reflected in the first miko that ruled Japan… I think that pretty much
is a metaphor for them, and these dances… they are basically spiral dances.
And I wanted to make her spear a particular way, so that while it’s not the Spirit that Creates the Earth in particular, yet there’s a reason she has it. So I like the idea of it being the jeweled spear of creation – and it’s also a male principle that she’s holding, there.
I really like the old Jomon pottery. There are so many similarities to the world of Shinto shrines as they are today: the Oyu stone circles on the top of a hill… with a Te-Mizu-ya – a place for washing hands and mouth clean – just down the hill, before you get to the top… and pottery discovered there, decorated with the image of people seated, meditating, with halos… from this time, the decoration always has a very clear yang, or a very clear yin feel to it: and there are a lot of spiral designs.
So I reflected these spiral designs on her garments, as an allusion to the ancient knowledge.
And I’m going to construct the tub that she dances on in the story. And I’m going to use the old version: people often think it should be something like an old whiskey barrel, but my own feeling is that it’s much more like the thing I make my sushi-rice in. More like a straight-sided cylinder.
And I’d like to make it so that when the wind blew, she danced – I could balance her so she could rotate.
My inspiration is to support Tsubaki America. I’ve been involved for 30 years, trying to help Guji-san make that shrine-world possible for Americans to experience. He’s done such an amazing job with the energy, there: it truly is one of the most extraordinarily potent places on the planet.
I think the
will be really be nice because it’ll help balance everything. Guji-san has a wonderful spot in mind, where she and her husband will be able to see each other, so they can be conjoined in that spot. And people will be able to come and experience it.
I’d also like to make some of those figures, those really ancient Haniwa, guardians… to give the shrine a connection to the very, very ancient stuff. If you look at these ancient things, you know, they’ve carried over… it’s the deep soil of it.
And I hope to have the
reproduced, reduced in size, for people who would like to have one… about the size of a Goshintai, so if you have a shrine at home you could have it…
Ideally we’d cast it in meteorite-iron…. we’ll see!