copper life-size sculpture with carved wooden walking stick
Traditionally, tsa-tsas are Tibetan votive objects, mostly made from clay, and given as offerings to various Tibetan Buddhist deities. Multiple tsa-tsas are often organized into walls found along pilgrimage routes, inside caves, and in monasteries. They are sometimes plain, sometimes lavish, but always beautiful. This was my take on a tsa-tsa wall, and while I have subverted the traditional religious intent of one, I hope that I have captured a little of their power and beauty. There were multiple design challenges with this piece, but where I had the most difficulty was with the walking stick. I tried bamboo and cedar, unfinished and carved, and nothing felt quite right. Then one day my wife and I were hiking outside of Cloudcroft NM…and there it was! The moment I saw it I knew that it was what I had been looking for. Incredibly, the landscape we were hiking thru was the same as what I had envisioned when making this piece. When life and art merge like that it feels like there is magic at work – not magician-type magic, but ordinary and plain magic, easily overlooked and often thrown away, though not on that day.