Statues and thangkas (scroll paintings) are inseparable from Tibetan Buddhism. The manifold Buddha forms are useful to bring to mind the Buddha aspects during meditation. These cause responses in our mind.
In order to make statues and thangkas work, they have to be produced in accordance to defined standards and they need to possess attributes that are described in the meditation instructions. For their transmission experienced masters are needed.
BINTA is the short form of Buddhist Institute of Tibetan Art, based in the Braunschweig Buddhist Center, Germany.
Building clay statues – statues for the center altars
Since 2006 the knowledge of building clay statues is being transmitted/conveyed by acknowledged statue builders to western students in Braunschweig.
In October 2015 Lama Ole Nydahl gave us the permission to build statues for the centers and requested the founding of a school in which the art of building statues could be acquired.
“This is our technique, clay is the material in the Himalaya. You ought to build statues for the centers.”
(Lama Ole Nydahl on the occasion of visiting the statue-building workshop during the German-speaking Center Meeting in October 2015 in Braunschweig)
Korlo Demchog, 150cm,
Gift to Lama Ole, temporarly in Braunschweig BC
Dorje Chang, 100cm, Katowice
Mahakala, 72cm, Wroclaw
We continuously offer courses in which one can get a sense of the tradition of building clay statues that goes back now for more than a thousand years. Meanwhile we have elaborated a curriculum together with statue building master Chhemet Rigzin. One can acquire the technique and proportions of building statues in the “Buddhafabrik”, Braunschweig. Traditionally speaking, the basic training of a statue builder lasts between 7 and 13 years.
The preliminary courses are a first step to familiarise with the art of building statues. In the course of a weekend one gets a taste of the technique, the material and the tools. Afterwards, the participation in further preliminary courses and in courses with Chhemet Rigzin are possible. Right now around four preliminary courses take place annually. Once a year Chhemet Rigzin comes to Braunschweig instructing beginners as well as advanced students. These courses last from one week to a month.
In order to participate in one of these courses, the membership of one of our Diamondway centers is required.
Impressions from courses with Chhemet
Archive and Library
Along with the practical work on statues, we collect texts, books and doctoral theses and exhibition catalogues about traditional Buddhist art. An archive composed of photographs of statues and documentations of the technique of building statues is planned in the long run. Additionally, we give lectures about the history and technique of building clay statues.