The Creative Process continues and a Tibetan Dragon Bed

June 2, 2008

You know what – today I had a real enlightenment! While I was thinking about all the effort I am investing right now into my documentary work and whether this is of any significance to anybody (surely it isn’t) besides myself 😕 it came to my mind that this – the documentation – helps me to recognize what kind of person I am ( hm – some people may be quicker with that…).

It is not my intention to sound important – it was simply pleasing to recognize this milestone: I need no longer be ashamed of anything I have ever done in my artistic career because every single small or bigger step made me what I am. I also need not ask myself any more whether I am painter, a sculptor, a fiber artist, a quilter, a photographer etc. – this question is simply redundant. I am what I do. Period. Now go and find a drawer 😆

All those discussions I have participated in with real people and which cost so much wasted energy about the ifs and whens and overalls were, what I just said, wasted energy. The classification of certain works and people into something like a caste system (as in India) is so very much off the real sense that lies behind everything you do – learning. So why should I not talk about all the steps it took to make me what I am. There is nothing to hide. And perhaps it may help someone else who has difficulties to see the achievements in her/his own life.

People who sniff at a style, a medium or simply at a person who does not follow the trends simply miss something very important: authenticity and soul. And this is all I want to say about this now.

Back to the theme!

Well – it was so much fun to construct, build and ornament the desk, so I decided to continue with the next important project: a bed. Our old one was more than ready to go but what now? 💡

So I let the juices of my inspiration flow and went to design something completely new and different from everything I had done so far. What about a Tibetan/Nepalese dragon bed? I have always been fascinated by Tibetan and Nepalese Tankhas (mostly religious silk scroll paintings mounted on brocade) with vivid images of gods, demons and the whole pantheon of the Buddhist world.

The form of the head piece should be simple, the motif 2 dragons – which are a lucky symbol in all Asian countries. I love dragons. And so I decided to carve 2 facing dragons on this head piece of the bed together with some ornaments and some magic signs for long life etc.

pic 1

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pic 2

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All other parts were supposed to be very low so that the whole was only a kind of frame for the tatamis and the futon (as you can see in the photos below).

Additionally I wanted the complete construction to be de-mountable again for very practical reasons. The tatamis were supposed to lie on a simple wooden panel exactly fitting the size of the 2 tatamis. The 3 side pieces were connected by simple brass hinges.

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pic 3

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I decided to use the same wood as for the desk. It was heavy but very solid and sturdy and exactly the right material to carry the carvings I had in my mind. Also I wanted to design the headpiece in an open work as you can see in the photos. This was only possible with a laminated wood (not plywood but at least 11 layers of wood glued upon one another). The open pattern was supposed to be sawed with a scroll saw.

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pic 4

Also this time the whole work started with detailed drawings from the various motifs which were then transferred to the wood. After that the open parts were sawed with a scroll saw and finally the detailed ornaments carved with the electric chisel I was talking about earlier (in last post about the desk)

In order to give more depth to the head piece which means it should be further off the wall I built a kind of shadow frame around it. You can see what I mean in pic.2 above.
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pic 5

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In the left image you can see the detailed relief carvings of the dragons and the stylized flower elements that are repeated in the sidepieces – see below:
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pic 6

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pic 7

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Finally the wood was sanded again, varnished, treated with a finish on the basis of beeswax and polished with pure beeswax in order to achieve a velvety shimmer and a very smooth surface.

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In order to connect head piece, the side pieces and the foot piece I mounted brass hinges. This way the whole bed could be taken apart in a couple of seconds.

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One Response to “The Creative Process continues and a Tibetan Dragon Bed”

  1. Alexsis Brittain Says:

    And how much do you charge? Lol. Its beautiful. I wish I could find someone to help me create my dream bed. My funds are limited, but then again I haven’t found anyone who could do this. My dream bed is this: chines style dragon head criss crossing on itself to creat the head board. Tail doing the same thing to create the foot board. Legs and feet of dragon to creat the four posts. Wings coming up on either side of the head board perpindicular to the head board to kind of close in the top half of the bead. Kinda so I would be sleeping on the dragons back. Complicated like crazy, but its my dream bed. Has been since I was little.


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