My raku Buddhas offer a spiritual synthesis of east and west -- the ancient inheritance of Zen meets modern American creativity. They also represent an exploration of the question, what does Buddha look like? After all, the word "buddha" means "to wake up" or "the awakened one".
Does that image have to come from the Asian mass marketplace? And what does openness of mind look like? Clay is a perfect medium to explore that question, as it is so open a material to work with. It can be pulled, thrown, molded, rolled--anything! And it is composed of all the elements of life -- earth, air, fire, water, metal.
A more personal synthesis occurred when I first began this project of incorporating thirty years of Zen training with over thirty years work as a professional potter, along with my life-time involvement in poetry. I work the clay into a joyful, sincere and dance-like marriage between east and west. I set the finished sculptures in front of me and come up with titles and brief poetic images to describe them. It’s a little like introducing images of peace and calm to the public in the hopes that others might be as inspired as I have been in making them.
To see Anita's other serene, beautiful works, visit her at http://thebuddhabuilder.etsy.com.