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Creating Sacred Space – Building a Meditation Room

Friday, August 04, 2017

This blog describes the restoration, repurposing, and rebuilding of an exterior stone facade salvaged from an earthquake as a complete interior environment called The Meditation Room...

Symbolic Stone – Indian Temple Ornamentation

Saturday, April 22, 2017

As one would expect from any ancient culture, over time India has developed an exceptionally rich architectural heritage. This is evident in famous structures such as the Taj Mahal and the Ajanta Caves, for example; but it also becomes apparent in countless other structures dotting the entire country. Perhaps the greatest contribution of Indian architecture is the spiritual content found in many “buildings,” many unrivaled in their local areas in terms of grandeur and the exhibition of material wealth; and when it comes to such structures none are more memorable than temples. Many, many books are devoted to Indian architecture and to the splendor of Indian temples. The purpose of this blog is not to analyze the different types of temple architecture, but instead, to briefly describe a cross section of the Indian temple ornamentation...

Indian Bronze Pilgrimage Statues

Friday, March 31, 2017

The history of bronze metal casting in India and Nepal goes back thousands of years and is shrouded in the mist of antiquity. Originally, miniature images of Hindu deities came into existence to fulfill the religious and spiritual needs of local villagers. It is theorized their small size – from 1 ½ to 6 inches in height – came about so they could be carried in a small bag for worship when villagers set out on a pilgrimage or journey, oftentimes to make an offering of the bronze sculpture itself....

Lost in the Depths – Tantric Lingams from the Narmada River

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tantric lingams, also called Banalinga, can only be found at the bottom of the Narmada River in India. Considered one of the seven holy rivers, the Narmada and the lingams found there have been considered sacred objects for thousands of years. Today they are highly sought after collectibles worldwide but are quickly becoming endangered by a monumental project to dam the Narmada river. Soon they will be lost forever....

Chased in Precious Metal – Indian Silver Clad Furniture

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Over 500 years ago Europeans first arrived to India to find a culture that did not widely utilize elevated furniture. When local artists were commissioned to create chairs and tables, they incorporated distinct Indian aesthetics into the decorative designs, creating a unique fusion of form and style that was recreated and revived at PRIMITIVE....

Royal Stone – Makrana Marble Carving in India

Friday, January 15, 2016

Pure white marble quarried from Makrana in Rajasthan is considered the finest in all of India and has come to characterize some of the most famous architectures, including the Taj Mahal. Marble carvers in Jaipur have refined and passed on their skills for hundreds of years in an ancient tradition known as Shilpa Shastra, carving magnificent sculptures of gods, spiritual leaders, functional objects and decorative furniture....

A Different Kind of Flame – Indian Oil Lamps

Friday, December 18, 2015

In India, oil lamps have been used for thousands of years as ceremonial objects. No prayer or ritual could begin without lighting the oil lamp. The light of flame was seen as power and knowledge, capable of dispelling the evil and ignorance of darkness. As objects of function, art and spiritual veneration, oil lamps hold a special place in India to this day, offering something the electric light bulb never can....

As Above So Below – Indian Mukhalingams

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

In Hinduism, one of the most important gods is Shiva, the destroyer, whose powers are used to cleanse the world of negativity. Lingams have been worshipped for thousands of years as a representation of Shiva and the art form eventually evolved to include cast metal lingam covers depicting Shiva's face. These became known as mukhalingams, as powerful and venerated as the objects they covered....

Journey to Agra – Pietra Dura

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pietra dura, meaning 'hard rock' in Latin, is an ancient Roman inlay technique that was revived in Italy during the 16th century. In subsequent years, pietra dura works were introduced to India where the artisans transformed the art to something uniquely Indian, ultimately immortalizing it on the walls of the Taj Mahal. ...

The Look of Love – Pichvai from Nathdwara and the Deccan Plateau

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pichvais are a high form of Indian devotional paintings in honor of Krishna, the Hindu god of love. Beginning in the 15th century, a new sect of worship called Pushti Marg spread through India, preaching total devotion, love and surrender to the gods, especially Krishna, in order to attain his grace and enlightenment. The creation of these bright, joyful paintings were considered a sacred act of devotion and were hung behind statues of deities to set the spirit of a season or festival. There is nothing austere about pichvais; it is all about love, joy and celebration....

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  1. Appreciating Buddhist Art: Part Four – Ritual Tools and Symbols Glen Joffe 18-Aug-2017
  2. Tutsi Basketry – World Class Weaving Glen Joffe 11-Aug-2017
  3. Creating Sacred Space – Building a Meditation Room Glen Joffe 04-Aug-2017
  4. Nature’s Handiwork – Introduction to Gongshi Glen Joffe 28-Jul-2017
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Discover more information about the culture and history behind many of these beautiful select objects, artifacts, antiques and furnishings–click here

“Cultural objects tell stories; and in each story a simple message is found—all cultures are the same, we just express ourselves differentlyGLEN JOFFE, OWNER