Monday, 11 August 2014

Calligraphy in Wood

All across Asia, calligraphy carved into wood is traditionally used to prominently display building names, placed above doorways of temples, palaces and shops. 
The natural grain and figure of wood makes a beautiful natural ground for fine calligraphy, a match made in heaven, or painted in the classical combination of lapis blue with gilt gold letters carved in relief, such as the above sign that sits pride of place over the main entrance of the Lama temple in Beijing. 
Also common on temples in Tibet, this sign gives the name "The blessed place of tushita heavenly joy" typically in three languages: Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese. 

In contrast is the below sign is from a Japanese sweet store that reads "Forever Happiness"

A contemporary combination of natural wood and calligraphy has been artfully explored by Vermont based Tim Brookes, who runs the worthy 'Endangered Alphabets Project'
Tim recently contacted Tashi to carve his Tibetan calligraphy in wood, an on-going project that in time will boast a number of hand carved master pieces, which are intended to raise funds toward Rokpa International that has many projects in the Tibetan homeland, such as the preservation and education of the Tibetan language.

Above, "Moon over Water" is a piece created by Tim Brookes using calligraphy by Tashi Mannox, the top left ideograph is the word moon the Tibetan Drutsa script. Below right is a Wartu Sanskrit monogram of two words Eh and Vam. for a greater explanation of Eh-Vam, please follow the link here.

Here below is another wood carving shown though the process of creation by the skilful hand of Tim Brookers, once again using a Tashi calligraphy as the subject. The words "Graceful Kindness"arranged as a circular design is also a popular tattoo design and available  as a high resolution down-load.

The below image shows the Tibetan syllable hum, that was hand carved by another artist Mel Du Pontet, in a piece of English Yew wood some 20 years ago. The piece has aged a beautiful rich colour. A piece of Boltic amber fills a knot hole that incorporates part of the syllable, this is the ma sound that represents the sun, below which is a crescent moon,  both symbols are part of the whole character that has been gilded in real gold leaf. Here

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