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Pictures from our Monks visit

tickmosis works over in our graphics department, and she is a much better photographer with a much better camera then me. She took some beautiful pictures of the monks working and of the mandala itself. These are from Thursday, so three days into the creation. They finish it tomorrow and dismantle it at 2 pm.

Close Up of the Mandala Close Up of the Mandala
It's amazing how much detail they can create with sand. They can even control shading. I've watched them use tapping to drop the grains in a stream to make lines, which seems to be how they do most of the mandala, but they also will blow the sand out making sure to cover the chakpur opening with their robe and blow through the cloth to prevent inhaling the sand.
The Mandala, not quite as close up. The Mandala, not quite as close up.
Tickmosis did a good job of maintaining the color. Every time I tried to take a picture it whited it out. They are even more vibrant in person. In this shot you can still see the chalk outline not yet filled in. They start in the center and work outwards.
Chakpur - the tools of the trade Chakpur - the tools of the trade
See the tubey things? They use the ends as a scoop (like the Icee straws). I think the other copper tools are what they use to tap with. You can also see some of the rulers. Even the cloth covering the tables are bright, vivid colors.
Sand! Sand!
Look how gorgeous! Look how vivid! Sooooooo pretty! They dip the wider ends of the chakpurs into the sand to scoop it up. In a way, it reminded me of frosting bags, except instead of squeezing they tapped.
Close Up of Orange Sand Close Up of Orange Sand
See he rubs or taps the one tool against the other to control the flow of sand.
Close Up of White Sand Flowing Close Up of White Sand Flowing
Look at the detail they can create!
Concentration Concentration
One of the monks works on a portion of the mandala.
Monks concentrating Monks concentrating
This gives you a good idea how big the mandala is. Considering how much detail they put into each section, that has to be a lot of sand and a lot of time invested. The chalk outline is extremely hardy. I was amazed with how they could lie all over it without spearing it.
Monks concentrate over the mandala Monks concentrate over the mandala
See how the one monk's elbow is pressed down on the chalk? That can't be ordinary chalk.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Gorgeous! I love the sand one especially. Thanks for sharing.
Oct. 19th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
I have that one as my background picture at work. :)
Oct. 18th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
How do they design those mandalas?
Using loving touches that's how!

Oct. 18th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
Your husband called me today.... he said the Monks were in town, and he wanted to know if I wanted to watch the ceremony with you guys and also if I would stand near him again.


(Deleted comment)
Oct. 19th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
I made Monkeys read your comment cuz it was hysterical.:)
Oct. 19th, 2008 05:32 am (UTC)
Well, since it appears that Tickmosis has abandoned her LJ account, I hope she reads this here. Those photos do indeed kick ass. That is the one thing I have never been good at, picking a living subject and getting "in close" enough to get good shots. I always feel like I am encroaching on personal space, even when they are in public and I am nowhere near the individual.

I suppose good subject matter such as these monks working on that exquisite art helps as well.
Oct. 19th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Photos
I will definitely pass the message on to the Tick. I'm just like you in not feeling comfortable about taking close-up shots of people. Of course, I can have personal space issues in real life, too, so it makes sense.

Yet those intense close-up shots are frequently the ones I admire most when she shares her pictures with me.

I wish you could be here to see the mandalas in real life. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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