The glory of Sri-Lakshmi is omnipresent. From Chakravartin kings ruling from their grand palaces to the commoners in their ordinary life, everyone seeks the blessings of Devi Lakshmi. Her status in the Hindu pantheon is that of the supreme mother-goddess, worshipped alongside her husband Lord Vishnu or independently as the provider of dharma (virtue), artha (wealth), kama (pleasure), and moksha, the four cardinal goals of human life. Befitting her brilliance and prowess as Padma (the lady of the lotus, whose beauty is like a freshly blossomed lotus) and Mahalakshmi (the great Lakshmi, goddess who vanquished Mahishasura and his forces) this large wooden standing goddess Lakshmi statue is unmistakably a gem for anyone who wishes to attain unending splendors.
standing goddess Lakshmi statue and the marvelous Kirtimukha (face of glory) aureole surrounding her are placed on a relatively modern-looking wood
platform whose simplicity lets the eye focus on the intricate work of the icon.
Made from teakwood, the Maa Lakshmi wood statue depicts her standing gracefully
on an open lotus whose petals appear strikingly realistic. The goddess is
four-armed, with her two secondary hands holding bunches of three lotus buds,
her primary left hand is in the gesture of giving boons (Varada Mudra) and her
right hand is raised in the Abhaya Mudra (gesture of fearlessness). Rounded and
plump, Devi Lakshmi’s face glows like the full moon and is adorned by a royal
crown that is complemented by intricately carved jeweled ornaments.
weight elegantly shifted on her right leg, Maa Lakshmi in this wooden statue is
the very picture of feminine delicateness, a picture which is enhanced by the
dhoti (lower body garment) decorated with strings of pearls which are defined
using symmetrically placed tiny bumps on her attire. The regal feel of this
wooden Maa Lakshmi statue is furthered by the elaborate girdle and U-shaped
waist ornament that hangs on the obverse and reverse of the icon, embellished
by floral and paisley motifs. Vegetation, symbolic of life-affirming forces spurt
from the sides of the goddess Lakshmi's wood statue reinforcing her connections
to the realm of fecundity and auspiciousness.
recurring theme with goddess Lakshmi is that of royalty. Her potential that can
bestow upon her devotee the wealth of Indra (king of gods) is exalted in texts
that call her “Rajya Sri” (Sri-Lakshmi who confers state and stateliness). The
manifestation of Devi’s sway over monarchs is conveyed in this wooden standing
Lakshmi statue by the grand Kirtimukha aura with numerous detailed motifs
carved over it. In the center of the imposing aureole is the face of the
Kirtimukha demon with awe-inspiring features- bulging eyes, flared nostrils,
sharp fangs, and a long, lolling tongue. A shapely arch carved with a flower
pattern on the inner portion and curling vines on the outer part appears to be
simultaneously sprouting from the mouths of the Makara (composite mythical
animal, amalgamation of crocodile, eagle, and elephant) and Kirtimukha. The
Prabhavali (aureole) is supported by two sturdy Yali (lion-elephant composite
animal) pillars, in whose middle section you can observe a unique image of the
Yali standing atop an elephant who with an upraised trunk is paying his
Kirtimukha, the Makara, and the Yali are traditional elements
associated with royalty and divinity in Indian art. Surrounded by these
ethereal creatures, Devi Lakshmi in this wooden sculpture is the Mahishi (queen
mother) whose opulent presence is sought by Sri-Hari Vishnu himself.
How to care for Wood Statues?
Wood is extensively used in sculpting especially in countries like China, Germany, and Japan. One feature that makes the wood extremely suitable for making statues and sculptures is that it is light and can take very fine detail. It is easier for artists to work with wood than with other materials such as metal or stone. Both hardwoods, as well as softwood, are used for making sculptures. Wood is mainly used for indoor sculptures because it is not as durable as stone. Changes in weather cause wooden sculptures to split or be attacked by insects or fungus. The principal woods for making sculptures and statues are cedar, pine, walnut, oak, and mahogany. The most common technique that sculptors use to make sculptures out of wood is carving with a chisel and a mallet. Since wooden statues are prone to damage, fire, and rot, they require proper care and maintenance.
It is extremely important to preserve and protect wooden sculptures with proper care. A little carelessness and negligence can lead to their decay, resulting in losing all their beauty and strength. Therefore, a regular clean-up of the sculptures is a must to prolong their age and to maintain their shine and luster.
Wood has been a preferred material for sculptures and statues
since ancient times. It is easy to work with than most metals and
stones and therefore requires less effort to shape it into any
desired shape or form. The texture of the wood gives an element of
realism to the sculpture. The selection of an appropriate wood
type is necessary for carving. Woods that are too resinous or
coniferous are not considered good for carving as their fiber is
very soft and thus lacks strength. On the other hand, wood such as
Mahogany, Oakwood, Walnut wood, Weet cherry wood, etc., are
preferred by sculptors because their fiber is harder.
A wood sculptor uses various tools such as a pointed chisel in one
hand and a mallet in another to bring the wood to the desired
measurement and to make intricate details on it. A carving knife
is used to cut and smooth the wood. Other tools such as the gouge,
V-tool, and coping saw also serve as important tools in wood
carving. Although the wood carving technique is not as complex and
tough as stone carving or metal sculpting, nonetheless, a wood
carver requires a high level of skills and expertise to create a
The process of wood carving begins with selecting a chunk of wood
that is required according to the type and shape of the statue to
be created by the sculptor. Both hardwoods and softwoods are used
for making artistic pieces, however, hardwoods are preferred more
than softer woods because of their durability and longevity. But
if heavy detailing is to be done on the statue, wood with fine
grain would be needed as it would be difficult to work with
Once the wood type is selected, the wood carver begins the
general shaping process using gouges of various sizes. A gouge
is a tool having a curved cutting edge which is useful in
removing large unwanted portions of wood easily without
splitting the wood. The sculptor always carves the wood across
the grain of the wood and not against it.
When a refined shape of the statue is obtained, it is time for
making details on the statue using different tools. This is
achieved by using tools such as a veiner to make and a V-tool to
create decorative and sharp cuts.
Once finer details have been added, the sculptor is ready to
smoothen the surface and give it a perfect finish. Tools such as
rasps and rifflers are used to get a smooth surface. The finer
polishing is obtained by rubbing the surface with sandpaper. If
a textured surface is required, this step is skipped. Finally,
to protect the statue from excessive dirt accumulation, the
sculptor applies natural oils such as walnut or linseed oil all
over it. This also brings a natural sheen to the statue.
Wood statues are lighter in weight and less expensive than metal
or stone pieces. Because wood is prone to fast decay by fungus and
algae, statues made out of this material are not preferred to be
kept outside. The rich tradition of wood carving in countries such
as Africa, Egypt, India, and Nepal has been followed for many
centuries. Indian craftsmen are specialized in this classic art
and continue to exhibit their extraordinary artistic skills.
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