Sculpture: Making a Concrete Shakyamuni Buddha Zen Garden Statue

I decided to make a Buddha statue for our backyard garden, but I thought it would be cool if I could make more for other people, so my plan was to sculpt it out of clay, then create a mold for multiple concrete and plaster casts.

I particularly like the meditating Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuni Buddha poses, seated in a zazen lotus position, because of the serenity and calm he evokes.

First, I began creating a Buddha base head and torso, but I didn’t really like how this one was turning out–plus, I ran out of clay for his arms.

clay Buddha sculpt (1) clay Buddha sculpt (4)

After a bit of a redesign for Buddha’s face and head (and some additional blue colored clay for his arms), I got the shape and form how I wanted it.

Here are a few photos of the sculpt before I added the little “curly hair spikes.”

clay Buddha statue (4) clay Buddha statue (6)

After getting the sculpt the way I liked it, I had to figure out how to make the uniform little spikes in his hair.  For this, I made one spike out of clay, and then created a “push mold” out of plaster by pouring plaster over the clay and letting it set.  Once I had this, all I had to do was take lumps of clay and push them into the mold and out would pop a chocolate kiss-shaped hair spike.

clay Buddha statue (1) clay Buddha statue (9)

Next, I started making a urethane glove mold, much like how I make my mask molds.

After I finished making the mother mold, I poured Ultracal 30 plaster (which is a mixture of plaster and portland cement, into the mold.  Here are two photos of making the mold, then the poured plaster.

Making the mold for the Buddha statue Pouring the concrete cast of the Buddha statue

Once the plaster sets, it will start to steam and turn really hot.  I decided to de-mold when it was still warm, but everything turned out really nicely, as you can see in this photo!



This one is suitable for indoors, but, for a garden statue, I am going to be using a white concrete mixture. This sculpture is for sale if you’d like to purchase it.

UPDATE:  Okay, so I pulled the concrete out of the mold and it looks WAY more weathered and aged–like it’s 2000 years old.  I really like how different they look.  Here are a couple photos of that one:

Buddha Garden Statue Concrete Buddha Garden Statue



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