Namaste, my dear friends and welcome to the beginnings of a sacred place, a quiet corner devoted to
|Sign for OM|
|Present from Rosanna, Ganesha bracelet|
|Picture from "Indian Interiors" published by Taschen|
This is a picture of an old painted cupboard from Gujarat, placed under a niche housing earthern water pitchers and used as a household shrine. I knew then that here is my solution and so began too, many nights of staring at this picture wondering how to start.
I knew I did not want to build my cupboard from scratch mostly because I haven't the faintest idea how. Despite good suggestions from Rosanna, Cindy and Asuka, I knew I should really just bash something I already have. So out came this unfinished cupboard which was sitting collecting dust and spider web in the Alison Jr. I think it was a S$2.00 hutch from Daiso. The scale is not 1:12 for a kitchen cupboard but it is perfectly sized for my shrine. I forgot to put the drawer back when I took the picture on the left but it has one.
I don't know why I wanted to modify the legs when I didn't have the tools but I guess I was so irked by the fact that it would not be realistic otherwise that I just threw caution to the wind. Anyway, this is how I cut the legs without a jigsaw. Chisel, saw and then break with brute force. I didn't even have the right chisel because I broke it after I finished cutting the holes for the alcoves. In the left picture, you can see the one below was already done. That alone took me almost an hour.
As the cupboard will be displayed open, I am more concerned with the inside so I worked on that first. I fashioned the facade of the shrine from small laminate samples (top part and shelves) with spindles and metal beads for the "columns". For those of you who have access to laminate samples especially if they come in small sizes, I strongly recommend working with them for realism and ease. I cut the pieces easily with scissors. I stopped for the day after I finished the parts. Everything else was done today.
This morning, I began with changing the knobs of the door and drawers. Here are the close up shots:
These are the same copper beads as the ones for the columns. Two of the knobs have additional metal pullers which are really sequins.
As you can see, I even painted the glass panes to look like old wood as glass was too expensive then to be used in a tribal home. I added some pictures of Hindu gods on the 2 panels like how I imagine my gypsy would do to beautify her shrine.
Here is the drawer with the paraphernalia necessary for some worship rituals. There are candles, incense sticks and dipa dishes for small oil lamps.
I laid some old floral papers on the shelves as liners and then placed an old stupa that I bought in Chinatown a while back as the centerpiece on the top shelf. The Ganesha was from a broken temple bracelet. On the second shelf are 2 halves of a coconut placed as offerings to the deities. A golden bowl made by Carolina sits in the last one.
And with the final placement of my goddesses of lights and a Carolina bowl of scented flowers, I humbly present my household shrine.
For some soul searching, gratitude and worship...
And some peace and quiet too...