Reincarnating the Buddha

What do you do when an artifact or statue gets broken?

If it is a small break, it can be easily stuck using some superglue. If it is broken into pieces, it is harder but possible if you have kept all the pieces. If pieces are missing or it is smashed to smithereens, one may think that it cannot be salvaged, and it is usually thrown out like any other broken furniture. Many people are brought up to believe that broken items must not be kept anywhere in the house, so they have to be discarded.

Fixing a broken statue takes a bit of skill but more than anything, it takes patience and will. Almost everything can be repaired, but you will be able to start only if you are not the superstitious kind.

This Buddha statue is quite big size – over 1 foot, made from polyresin. Whoever threw it out had put most of the broken pieces with it, but some were really small (especially the hair part of Buddha) and some were missing.

Putting together the pieces is quite like doing a jigsaw puzzle in 3D. For hollow statues, you need to gauge the angle before fixing. A fraction of an mm makes a big difference, and subsequent pieces will not sit properly. Occasionally a bit of filing or sandpapering is needed to make the pieces sit. The sequence of fixing is also to be considered – sometimes if you stick one piece, another piece will not fit in. And at certain stages, you need to let the fixed joint dry before proceeding.

I used Fevikwik for immediate fixing, and reinforced the cracks and filled the gaps with black M-Seal. In such fixing jobs there is always room for adjustment and creativity. It took several hours, spread over a few days to finish the initial repair.

Once the repair joints are fully dry, sticking some missing sequins and a light coat of paint, gives the Resting Buddha a new life. A reincarnation of sorts.

Resting Buddha

Buddha is found in different positions, and each one has its own significance. The Resting Buddha represents restfulness and tranquility.

Knowing that the statue has been saved from the landfill or junkyard also gives peace, ’cause there is no where else that broken things of non-recyclable material such as this can go.

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