Room Conversation About Making Deities , Honolulu , 1975-06-16

Prabhupāda: This cow you have made?

Vṛṣṇi: Yes.

Govinda dāsī: Śrīla Prabhupāda, Vṛṣṇi made the Deities along with me. He’s a very excellent sculptor. He is the boy who is responsible for most of the work on the Deities. And so I called, you know, so far as making more Deities...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Why don’t you make Deity of cement or plaster of Paris? Your wife worked a lot on this Deity?

Vṛṣṇi: She did a great deal of the sanding.

Devotee: On that?

Vṛṣṇi: She does a lot of the sanding, and she helped on the Deities that were made.

Prabhupāda: How long are you married?

Vṛṣṇi: Two and a half years.

Prabhupāda: No children?

Vṛṣṇi: No, not yet.

[long pause]

Prabhupāda: So you live the other island?

Govinda dāsī: Yes. He lives on the same island I live.

Prabhupāda: When I went there, you were present?

Vṛṣṇi: Yes.

[long pause]

Prabhupāda: So what is this, earth?

Vṛṣṇi: Excuse me?

Prabhupāda: What is made of? Earth?

Vṛṣṇi: Yeah, ceramic, clay.

Prabhupāda: You have not done it? No.

Vṛṣṇi: Did I make that?

Prabhupāda: No, you have made it?

Vṛṣṇi: Yes.

Prabhupāda: And wherefrom the flowers collected?

Vṛṣṇi: Oh, they were purchased.

Prabhupāda: Purchased?

Vṛṣṇi: Yes.

Prabhupāda: You do not grow flower?

Vṛṣṇi: We just planted some flowers in the front of our house.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Vṛṣṇi: They’re about this big right now.

[long pause; sounds of birds and japa]

Prabhupāda: So, what is next?

Vṛṣṇi: Do you have, uh...

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Vṛṣṇi: For making the Deities, do you have specifications, or...?

Prabhupāda: Hmm? Govinda dāsī has them.

Vṛṣṇi: Same size, or does it matter so much?

Prabhupāda: Gaura-Nitāi, or Pañca-tattva. Better Gaura-Nitāi first time.

Govinda dāsī: There was other materials that I was thinking of---liquid marble, resin or hydrostone. All of these are eq..., as hard as cement. [aside:] Aren’t they?

Vṛṣṇi: Uh-huh.

Govinda dāsī: I’ve heard liquid marble is very beautiful. Costs a lot, but very beautiful.

Vṛṣṇi: [indistinct]

Govinda dāsī: They have this marble powder mixed with plaster or hydrostone, this harder stuff, mixed together, and you pour it and it looks just like marble, the finish...

Prabhupāda: Whether...?

Govinda dāsī: ...looks like marble...

Prabhupāda: Whether...?

Govinda dāsī: ...but very hard. So I was thinking this might be nicer...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Govinda dāsī: ...you know, and, and then there’s this hydrostone, which is real fine. We tried that once before, remember? But we couldn’t get the mold to work.

Prabhupāda: Marble powder and?

Govinda dāsī: It’s marble powder. There’s a way that they pour marble nowadays. They make it look like marble, but it’s somehow poured.

Vṛṣṇi: You can do that with cement, too.

Govinda dāsī: It’s got cement mixed with it?

Vṛṣṇi: You can do it with cement. You can mix it with it.

Govinda dāsī: Yeah. And then there’s this other substance called resin, which is very hard, but you don’t want to work with resin; it stinks, that’s the only thing.

Prabhupāda: Resin is [indistinct]?

Vṛṣṇi: It’s very poisonous.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Vṛṣṇi: If you work with it, you will get very sick.

Prabhupāda: Resin?

Vṛṣṇi: Yeah. But then it...

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Govinda dāsī: Once it’s dry it’s not, but working with it, it has a poisoned smell.

Vṛṣṇi: Even when it’s dry you have to sand it, and the dust will give you pneumonia.

Govinda dāsī: So liquid marble maybe.

Prabhupāda: Marble powder is very nice. That will be nice.

Govinda dāsī: Maybe it can be tinted, too, golden color. Lord Nityānanda should also be the same golden color.

Prabhupāda: Oh?

Govinda dāsī: They should Both be this golden color. You’re satisfied with this coloring?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Govinda dāsī: Are you satisfied with this, the coloring of the deities?

Prabhupāda: Coloring, no. If it is marble-looking it doesn’t require coloring. Simply eyes and mouth, color. Otherwise, it doesn’t require color.

Vṛṣṇi: Do you want that They should be the same size, or smaller or...?

Prabhupāda: Little smaller can be also.

Govinda dāsī: You said about three feet the other day, you were saying.

Prabhupāda: What is the size of this?

Vṛṣṇi: Four feet.

Govinda dāsī: Four feet?

Vṛṣṇi: Yes, four feet.

Prabhupāda: Forty inches.

Vṛṣṇi: This is, uh, almost forty-eight, I think. Isn’t it?

Govinda dāsī: I can’t remember.

Vṛṣṇi: I’m not sure exactly.

Govinda dāsī: But you said about three feet. That would be about this big.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that much is...

Vṛṣṇi: That’s [indistinct]. If you’re gonna use a heavy material, that heavy material...

Govinda dāsī: Yeah, that’s true. Unless, of course that there’s the possibility of brass even. Too hard?

Vṛṣṇi: Uh, I could make them in..., in... Could be made in brass, but it would be very, very, very expensive.

Prabhupāda: No. Brass, it can be done here?

Govinda dāsī: He can do brass, but it would cost a lot.

Vṛṣṇi: I would... I could make the, uh, the mold and the wax positive forms, and then there would have to be commercial casting by [indistinct], and that would be very expensive.

Prabhupāda: There is a factory casting?

Vṛṣṇi: There is a person who has done it.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Vṛṣṇi: There is a person who, at least this was when I was in school about four or five years ago, who was..., who had set up a commercial foundry...

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Vṛṣṇi: ...and he could..., I’m sure he could cast it. There also, another possibility is the University, Hawaii, may also be able to cast it, but I don’t know about that large.

Prabhupāda: Unless we get professional, we cannot.

Vṛṣṇi: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: No amature can. Those are molding such things. They can do it.

Vṛṣṇi: If there is... If, if there is a person who would professionally cast them, and, uh, it would be very simple to make the wax forms.

Prabhupāda: Wax? Why wax?

Vṛṣṇi: Because to cast them into brass, first you have to make them wax, and then you put a mold around them, the, the form, and then you melt it so that the wax runs out, and then you have to pour in the molten metal inside. That is the process. So the original forms could be made in wax...

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Vṛṣṇi: ...which would be very simple, because all you have to make is..., is a plaster mold. You make the first one with clay, and make a plaster mold, and from that plaster mold you can make a great many wax forms. Pour the wax in, the wax hardens, put them together, make them smooth, and then they’re...

Prabhupāda: Why wax?

Vṛṣṇi: Why wax?

Prabhupāda: You cannot make the mold directly?

Vṛṣṇi: No.

Govinda dāsī: The..., the metal burns out the wax, doesn’t it?

Vṛṣṇi: Well, first you burn out the wax in..., in oven or kiln, and then you pour in the metal.

Prabhupāda: That I do not know.

Govinda dāsī: It’s a part of the process, that, to make the brass.

Prabhupāda: But in India they do not make wax.

Vṛṣṇi: Perhaps they carve it in wood and then burn out the...

Prabhupāda: No.

Vṛṣṇi: I don’t know how to make it.

[long pause]

Prabhupāda: Metal will very costly be. Don’t do it. That powder. Rather, make a wire framework inside, and then apply this marble. Just with the stone and the...

Govinda dāsī: Hmm.

Prabhupāda: ...make inside.

Govinda dāsī: [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Metal wire form. That is not very difficult.

Govinda dāsī: That, that’s...

Prabhupāda: Then apply this, and then finish.

Govinda dāsī: That’s how we did Kartāmiśāyī that time.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Govinda dāsī: We made a rubber mold over the original. We made a rubber mold, and then it was plaster on the outside, then poured the liquid hydrostone, then, and put the wire frame, wire frame for strength...

Prabhupāda: That was practical. Very, very strong.

Govinda dāsī: ...and, uh, that’s how we used hydrostone.

Prabhupāda: The clay, you make a framework with straw and apply the clay. It becomes quickly done. If you have got a frame, then it is very easy. You just apply the clay and then finish it nicely.

Vṛṣṇi: What kind of..., what kind of clay do they use? Is it baked or...?

Prabhupāda: Ordinary clay. They mix with some straw dust and cow dung. That is not permanent, but they very quickly work, one or two days they make one doll. Our Bharadvāja knows it perfectly. He is doing already, clay. They are so expert, in one day they will make one doll. And as soon as it is little dried up, then there are cracks, then they will finish it, fill up these cracks, and then at last they fix up the head. Head at last. Head is not straw; clay. Head is solid clay, but body made of straw and rope. Very quick business. One day they make the form, and the next day they cover it with clay, and the third day or fourth day, and it is dried up and finished. In this way, at most takes one week.

Govinda dāsī: They let it dry in the sun?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Govinda dāsī: They let it dry in the sun?

Prabhupāda: No. Just dries in the room by the air.

Govinda dāsī: And it becomes hard and doesn’t break easily?

Prabhupāda: No. The clay mortar is there, inside, and it will rise up on account of the straw frame. It is not very... [break] [end]