Khmer Devata, 12th century Angkor Wat Style, Contemporary Sensuous lips, a deep navel, and breasts firm as ripe fruit: are all elements in the canon of female beauty during the Angkor Wat period when, indeed, it was fashionable for women to remain uncovered above the waist. Celestial Nymphs were born from the Churning of the Milky Ocean which, in addition to the dancing woman represented here, produced a prodigious elixir that ensured immortality, the beautiful goddess Lakshmi who married the Cosmic Progenitor Vishnu, and many marvelous magical objects capable of granting all desires. Represented as demure sirens with mildly erotic charms evoking the sensual pleasures of a mythical paradise, the seductive movements of the Heavenly Nymphs are always restrained. The flowering headdress in this panel associates the dancer with the dryads (tree goddesses) of both Indian and pre-Khmer Cambodian fertility cults. The right hand is raised to grasp a vegetable form - here a garland - a gesture that evokes the miraculous birth of the Buddha when Mahamaya grasped the fruiting branch of the Sal tree and gave painless birth through her right side. Although the art of Angkor Wat was Hindu and not inspired by Buddhism, it nonetheless draws upon the image of the fertility goddess of flowering trees from a folklore widespread throughout Asia and shared by many traditions.
Cast Stone There is a particular region of Thailand that has a long tradition of sandstone sculpting. Unfortunately, the number of exceptional artisans has dwindled in recent generations; there is only a handful of artisans left who qualify for the highest level of Thai craftsmanship. Fortunately, Eastern Serenity has been able to locate them and their prot??g??s. In making cast sandstone, the artisans will hand-design the master relief out of clay - a process that might take weeks to complete, depending on the size and detail of the piece. A mold is then made of this original clay master; this can be a very difficult task for our more detailed pieces. This mold is then used to make reproductions of the original. However, as there are many variables this is not a straightforward task. Determining color and strength is extremely difficult. Too much of one mixing agent can make the piece prone to the elements of nature, too little and the casting just will not hold together. We have also determined how to achieve the right coloring effect - whether it is a long-lasting matte color or a finish that will fade naturally and quickly to give the piece a naturally weathered look. Eastern Serenity has spent the time to discover the correct balance of sandstone powder, binding material, and coloring agents to use for the right outcome. Our sandstone pieces are set in frames of local tropical wood, professionally constructed to give you a long lasting wall hanging with a natural, tropical look and feel.