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Summoning the Luck of the Eight Fortunes

What is the Luck of the Eight Fortunes?

On history and artwork drawn from sutras and ancient scriptures.

In designing the new collection to kick start 2018, LIULI studio craftsmen drew from the deep and millennia-old traditions of Buddhist scriptures and Eastern philosophy.  The collection, titled “Implement Auspiciousness, the Rest will Follow,” radiates with sheer opulence while maintaining a grounded feeling of wisdom and serenity.

The three-part collection showcases an allusion to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama’s journey to enlightenment, a Hindu-inspired set of lavishly adorned elephants, and the fiery spirit of a determined and charging bull.  Here, we outline some of the history and inspiration behind each mini-series, the overture to a new year, and the new fortunes that await.

EIGHT AUSPICIOUS OFFERINGS

Artifact

 Symbolism

Combats 

 Vase of Treasure

Accommodation

Frustration

 Dharma Wheel

Advancement

Overwhelming Obstacles 

Victory Banner

Insight

Confusion

White Conch

Peace

Turmoil

Pair of Golden Fish

Vitality

Weary in Body and Mind

 Precious Umbrella

Safety

Unrest

 Lotus Flower

Wonder

Negativity

Auspicious Diagram

Persistence 

Discouragement

In Buddhism, “auspiciousness” translates to more than mere material fortunes and riches; it is a blessing of hope for a fulfilled life—a life of meaning.  To have an auspicious life filled with wonder and meaning comes from our deepest desire for a stable world and a peaceful heart.

LIULI craftsmen understood that to a bring artwork that truly wished for the fortunes of a new year, they would have to create something that is intrinsically good for the heart and spirit.  Beyond the opulence that may satisfy one’s physical needs, art—or artifacts and offerings—serve to remind one of mindfulness, and of clarity.

SIX TUSKED ELEPHANT UNIVERSAL LIGHT

In this Hindu art-inspired mini-series in the grand 2018 New Year collection, artists take painstaking detail to the next level in the rich and baroque-like ornamentation of Buddhist-aesthetic elephants.

Titled, “Six Tusked Elephants of Universal Light,” the artwork here draws from ancient Buddhist scriptures that allude to the step-by-step attainment of universal light and dharma.  In a deep vow for the practice of dharma, the artwork here in all its extravagance symbolizes the wish to strive for kindness, the commitment toward not only tranquility and peace but to mindfulness.

The elephants, sacred in their wisdom and benevolence, are illuminated here in pure transparent crystal.  Together, they bring a blessing of compassion, practicing mindfulness for self and for all living beings on Earth.  And in that way, one’s existence in the universe can be immediately illuminated like the light of a thousand candles.

FEARLESS AND UNDOUBTED

To conclude the three-part overture here, in anticipation of a bright future full of riches and fortune, LIULI artists all the sentiments of these artworks and charge forward—quite literally.  Departing from the ornamented style of the series, craftsmen purposefully sculpt a piece that expresses a spirit of determination.

In taking that spirit of persistence, we are reminded that fortunes and mindfulness are not mere attainments, but a state of mind that must be practiced.  The wish, inspired by dharma and ancient wisdom, is more than just a blessing—it is practicing the good in our hearts; it is being eternally mindful and benevolent.

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Artist/Founder Loretta H. Yang leads a team of experienced artisans to create arts that honor the richness of cultural heritage and value.

Step No. 1: Design and sculpting

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Step 2 of the process involves coating our original clay sculpture in silicone. Layer after layer (3 to 7 layers) is fastidiously coated to produce a negative mold, a crucial step in capturing the prevision of the sculpture. Each layer must dry completely before additional layer is applied, thickness must be uniform to prevent leakage of wax. Once complete, the clay is removed to reveal a negative silicone mold.

Step No. 2: Silicone molding

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Pour molten wax into the negative silicone mold.

Step No. 3: Infusion of molten wax. Fill wax into a negative mold.

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Once wax has solidified and cooled, release the wax form by carefully peeling back the silicone mold. Like a butterfly molting, the silicon is shed to reveal a positive wax form.

Step No. 4: Shedding of silicon mold to obtain the wax form

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A careful refinement of the wax sculpture. Because every microinch and subtlety plays its own role in the grand scheme of beauty. Our artists refine the wax mold to its final perfection.

Step No. 5: Wax form refinement; removing imperfections

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The wax mold is placed on a wooden plank in a metal container and plaster is poured and solidified. Embedding wax form with fire-resistant plaster.

Step No. 6: Coating the wax sculpture with plaster to form a refractory mold

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Wax is steamed out of the plaster under high heat yielding a negative plaster mold.

Step No. 7: Removal of wax with steam—the essence of the “lost-wax” process

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Liuli ingredients are created through unique firing and processing of glass. Color and size appropriate pieces are placed within the plaster and fired.

Step No 8: Choosing color; kiln firing

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Fire and melt. Under intense heat, a new vision of transparency and clarity is born.

Step No. 9: Re-firing at 1,400 degrees Celsius

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Extreme patience and care are necessary when removing the plaster to prevent damage.

Step No. 10: Removal of plaster mold

When the art pieces emerge, our masters step in to carefully chip away the plaster mold. Like excavating fragile archaeological relics, one false move and you're left with broken shards.

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First comes die-cutting - smoothing the crystal down to the last microinch. Rough polish, removal of excess support, refinement and fine surface polish with a high-speed fabric wheel.

Step No. 11: Retouching of details; burnishing and polishing

Our artist refines and re-polishes each and every detail yet again.

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An etched number on the base of each piece indicates its limited edition and reminds us to never stop creating. After the engraving - an official LIULI artwork is born.

Step No.12: Final inspection; etching of serial number; packaging