Instructables
Picture of Giant Concrete Buddha Head Garden Sculpture
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After traveling to Mexico and Thailand, I was inspired by the various ruins and stone carvings I saw and wanted to make my own concrete sculpture.  I had never done such a project before and was unsure about what route to take, but being a landscape contractor and self-taught artist/creator I was familiar with various forms of concrete/masonry and created a giant Buddha sculpture using the following steps.

There might be easier ways to undertake such a project, but I used what materials I had on hand in order to keep costs minimal - especially not knowing if my idea would work.  The original mold and box I made lasted 5 castings before it became unusable.  That was due to my lack of reinforcing the mother mold with fiberglass.  I then created Version 2.0, which is the method I have been  using since and am teaching you today.  To date I have made 15 of these 350 lb.+ Buddha castings all of which are currently nestled in various gardens belonging to my friends, family and clients.

Materials needed:
empty 5 gallon bucket
concrete
portland cement
all purpose drywall joint topping
fiberglass resin and mat
chicken wire and hardware cloth
cooking spray
2 part expanding foam
plywood 
screws
melamine
1"x2"s and 2"x2"s
Liquid latex
plaster bandages
saran wrap
aluminum foil
spray tack
Solvent based Concrete sealer

Toos needed:

stapler
needle nosed pliers 
skill saw
drill
paddle mixer
concrete mixer optional
concrete vibrator optional
concrete trowel
 
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Step 1: Choose what you want to sculpt.

Picture of Choose what you want to sculpt.
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Keep in mind when choosing your subject that there cannot be any undercuts - any indentation or protrusion in a shape that will prevent its withdrawal from a one-piece mold.  Determine how large you want the sculpture, and whether you want it free-standing or a lean-to.

I purchased this head a long time ago at a flea market and wanted to create a bigger version.  I chose to only create the front half of the head in order to avoid any undercuts and to keep it a one-piece mold.  I placed tape on the head to indicate my cut-off line and took photos.
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poofrabbit1 year ago
Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Concrete & Casting Contest! This was a fantastic instructable, I still just adore this (you were one of my votes)! Good luck!
Zdaddy1 year ago
This is a great job.

The image of Buddha is an inspiration. Personally to me it is my trigger, it is merely a reminder of loving kindness that he taught, and the middle way. This image can be anywhere, it will always serve its purpose.

I want to thank you for not taking this down. There are bigots that are telling you to take this down, bigots that act as if they own the Buddhist religion, that it is THEIRS not YOURS! This is completely against Buddhist teachings. These people also worship the idol of Buddha, they worship the clay, the copper, the iron, the concrete, the paper, the wax, the anything of Buddha and that is not Buddhism that is against Buddhas very teachings.

These people are no different than the hypocrite crusaders that went around killing in the name of their own idol. They are NOT practicing the teachings of their spiritual leaders.

A great man once said "First they ignore you, then they fight you then you win". You are on your way to winning. Thank you.
zmolina1 year ago
Great Instructable! Thank you!
Beautiful, whether Buddha, Jesus, or (your Deity here)...
Kiteman1 year ago
To all those complaing that this is somehow offensive, can I point out that the image of Buddha is not Buddha.

To those who follow the Abrahamic religions, to give the same respect to an image of their god as one would to their god is known as "idolatry", and a sin, so they will not be predisposed to understanding your opinion.
SMU791 year ago
Thank you. I am not artistic, but I can use sculptures I already have and follow the reproduction process. I did vote for you.
poofrabbit1 year ago
Holy cow this is awesome! GREAT step by step, I feel like with the materials I could go out and make something amazing. Thank you for posting!
Oh and I voted for ya good luck!!!
Oh my God. You amazed me at this skill. Great Work and thanks for Sharing!
kenbob1 year ago
OHHHHHHHMMMMMMM. Love this. Thanks!
dizzle1 (author) 1 year ago
Thanks Honus, this is my first Instructable and I kind of rushed putting it all together to enter it in the concrete casting contest. Since then I have made numerous different sculptures and more complicated two part molds. I love being inspired by this site and hope I can inspire a few of you. If you like this instructable PLEASE vote for me on the concrete casing challenge.
Honus1 year ago
Wow- that is amazing!
Thanks for the post. Here's my most recent Buddha sculpture:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Meditating-Buddha-Statue-How-I-Made-One/
sath021 year ago
Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world.
Even though he was not God nor claim to be one. Buddhists always pay respect to images of the Buddha not to worship nor to ask for favors, but to bow and pray to the statue as an expression of the gratitude and respect.
The Buddha images has their places. We place the image on the shelf higher than our head, or in the temple.

I found that this instructable, especially in step 16 (http://www.instructables.com/id/Giant-Concrete-Buddha-Head-Garden-Sculpture/step16/Finished-Or-move-on-to-staining-and-sealing/) is disrespectful to the religion and all the Buddhists.
It is really sad, humiliate and disturbing.

To place the head of Buddha right on the ground and allow animal to climb up on top of the Buddha image. I can't imagine that the animal might have been doing something else to the Buddha image.
Kiteman sath0211 months ago
I'm surprised not to see your comments all over this: LINK.
This is great! As for the offensiveness of it all, my relatives did a lot to spread Buddhism in the SF bay area and... I don't care.

I find the general icon worship a little distracting in general, but nothing to be upset about in this world which has so much more important stuff to be concerned about.
I really do not understand the 'offensive' nature of this. Please explain.
It's a response to the comments of others who were offended.
Who would that be may I ask?
It sound like you are targeting someone but you used pronoun that referred to all the "offender".
You also mentioned that you have relatives that spread Buddhism.
Have you ever ask them that this kind of act is offensive, or disrespect, or may be a discriminate against other people believe.
I can not believe that you, "Content Manager" of instructables.com will show the "I don't care" attitude on the serious matter like this.
Nope, never asked them. They've all been dead for a while. It's come up in conversation a few times and the only response I've ever seen from relatives is a slight shrug. Just kinda funny that non-Buddhists would put a Buddha in their yard. That's it.

I still don't see it as offensive or disrespectful. Can't see it as any discrimination either.
I re-read what you said in light of this now I understand. :)

Looking at this entire page, we have to thank this artist because WE ARE ALL now talking about Buddha and Buddhism and hopefully many people that are offended have the opportunity to be aware of themselves with such poisonous emotions running so high.
sath021 year ago
I like to show these two images of how Buddhists pay respect to the Buddha images.
The Buddha images are the creation that remind all the Buddhists of his teaching to be a good person. And all the Buddhists practice their pray, pay respect to the Buddha images everyday. So they will not do the bad things.
The believers who create the Buddha image devote themselves with the spirit, and whole-heartedly believe that the Buddha image will remind peoples with the same believe to do good and live the happy live.
I'm quite certain that those who creating the Buddha images would protecting their creation from any disturbance of anyone or any animal.

It is sad to see that people who have no respect to another people believe, exploit the creation, by imitating them and doing it for a living, and selling them for his own profit.
Is this act not a discrimination against other race or religion?

@fungus amungus
It even sadder to see you, "content manager" at instructables, showing "I don't care." attitude. It's really hurt.
There are so many people expressed that the material is offensive, but you don't care.
As the content manager, you could do something to stop all of these "not nice" arguments, or war of words. But you choose not to care about how one hurt other, and not care about how one got hurt.
buddhaImage.JPGbuddhaImage2.jpg
My point is that nobody should speak for all Buddhists. It's just not true. Saying that all followers of one religion feel the same way is just odd. So don't speak for others. If you're offended that's perfectly fine.

I still do not care if people use Buddha statues in their garden. Quite literally, these statues do not affect me one way or the other. If I can understand your frustration, please understand my own LACK of frustration. The world can handle multiple points of view.

I've seen statues like this in Japan as well. I've seen huge Buddha statues with lots of bird poop them. That's quite common, really. I'm fine with it since every single one still had good intentions behind it. We're not talking about the Buddhas of Bamiyan here.
dizzle1 (author)  sath021 year ago
Please reread everything that I have commented on and explain to me how anything that I said could be considered a "not nice comment" or "war of words"? Where did you read that this was for profit? These were gifts for friends, family and people who I have landscaped there yards. Did I make money selling you this instructable? How are you able to sleep knowing that all the box stores have at least a thousand Buddhas sitting on the floor waiting to sell for profit. Do a search on this site for Buddha and you will come up with this picture of box store Buddha on a kitchen table with a flashlight on his head next to some uncooked meat. Are all of you alright with that because I see no complaints on the comment section. Do I have to be a Buddhist to find peace and tranquility in his image? I admire Buddhism and the belief that everything you will ever need comes from within. You need to search you soul and figure out what is going on wrong in you life that has got you so bothered instead of jumping to conclusions and judging me. Thin skin gets easily bruised but hey what do I know right?
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ewisuru1 year ago
Hey dizzle1,
What is your actual purpose of doing something like this? If you just wanted to show your techniques in designing sculptures you could have still do it without insulting other religions. If you had any other purpose, well... this is not the correct forum. I hope you have the correct attitudes to admit it and correct yourself.
Zdaddy ewisuru1 year ago
Why is it insulting? Because it is not 'his' religion? What would Buddha have said to such a thing?
ewisuru Zdaddy1 year ago
It is not about Buddha. This sculpture shows the head of a leader of a religion. Any human on earth should respect any religious leader whether he follows him or not. I don't need to describe why it is so. And keeping the head of such a person's 'head' on the garden floor...!!! Well, I see it as insulting. So it is not about 'his' religion but about 'his attitude' towards another religion. And to your last question, Buddha would not say anything about this. But that does not necessarily make this action ethical.
Zdaddy ewisuru1 year ago
He clearly said he was inspired by ancient Buddhist ruins.

There are beautiful gigantic statues depicting Buddha that are buried up to the chin, where only the head is showing. Or ruins where the statue is broken and only the head survived.

A garden is beautiful. The ground is just as beautiful. Its you and others that insist on ugliness and attach it to an idol. You are offended for the fact that this is an idol to you, what you say about him being the 'leader' is somewhat contradicting I think you know that.

I've attached an image for you, here is a very large head in a very large 'garden' so to speak. Having this on my desktop is offensive perhaps, too bad.
Another potentially offensive fact, Buddha would sleep on the ground many many times!! Yes he would! Even when enlightened, he was known to choose the 'dirty' 'ugly' 'offensive' ground. Stop insisting on treating Buddha as a king, he deliberately gave that up for a reason.
head-of-buddha_10794_600x450.jpg
@Zdaddy - Up to now Buddhist have done many things to protect Buddhism. If not you may not learn about Buddhism. You should be thanking for those who protect the Buddhism for this long. Just think Buddhism started to spread from India and back then majority of people were Buddhist. But tell me is it same as now. No now there are not much Buddhist in that country. What just happen.It was destroyed by other believers. Check the link. History will answer and history will teach us.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_Buddhism_in_India
As a Buddhist I practice teachings of Buddha and I have not done any thing wrong here. What I done was show this poor person that what he done is wrong and this will spread a bad message.
Other thing is you dont know about the history of Buddhism that why you say "after 2000 years". Actually its over 2500 years now.
This man spreads no message besides the image of Buddha, which should not be worshipped or idolized, the message is whatever one wishes. The message that you are spreading is 'offensive'. That is exactly what you are doing. Its not being idolized the way you like so you pounce on this person and you insist the message is offensive despite the reality.

And wikipedia is NOT a credible source of information. I am well aware of the history of Buddha and India.

For your information, Buddhism is part of a much longer and older traditions and Buddhism NEVER replaced the religions of India. Buddhism existed more prominently outside of India because India had hundreds of religions to begin with. There were empires and religions that lasted thousands of years. Buddhism became influential briefly when a few kings adopted it, when they died the influence went with them, and it spread more than staying. It spread everywhere around the world. India has a very rich history with hundreds of religions. Hinduism is the oldest longest running which Buddha was born into. Hinduism is 5,000 years old! And it incorporates Buddha as one of their deities till today! Buddha himself was MANY things before he became enlightened. When he learned of suffering he became Ascetic which is merely one of MANY ancient Indian traditions, and lived in misery for a period of his life. He realized it WAS NOT the way. He went from riches to dirt poor, from pure pleasure and bliss to pure suffering. Then he discovered the middle path and left the Ascetics. Actually some went with him.

You are VERY MUCH out of touch with Buddha's teachings. What you are 'protecting' is not Buddhism from what you are revealing. What you are protecting is Idols and Fundamentalism, it is exactly what Buddha preached against. What you are showing is suffering, you come from Victimhood and Victimhood is suffering. From Victims are born the opposite extremes which are Victimizers. And I can feel it from you from OVER HERE! First you insist on victimhood (you are offended, this man offended you despite the truth), then you become the victimizer, coming here like a police making demands. I can feel your rage and your anger, if you could you would deface this man's Buddha Head Statue yourself would you not? HOW UGLY that is.

You REALLY NEED to go back and FOCUS on Buddha's teachings. He first teaches of Suffering. Do you know what I speak? If you are Buddhist you must.

Reminder of the 4 noble truths:
1. Acknowledge Suffering (anxiety, stress, anger, sadness etc etc) which is when things never measure up to satisfaction. You are exhibiting this RIGHT NOW. Buddha calls these negative emotions POISONS. We wish to END suffering do we not? You are suffering right now.

2. Yearning for pleasure and in your case The desire to dominate over others, to control this person to tell him what to do, to tell others what to do with your idols, CONSERVATISM, to prevent change. Attachments, Fear of not getting what you want,

3. Suffering CAN end, its your choice. The end of suffering is Nirvana.

4. The way to end suffering is the 8 fold path.

If you have a Buddhist priest you can talk to I would suggest it right now and learn about the 8 fold path. You obviously are not practicing.

I'll be checking up on here for any messages for me. I really hope you get well my friend, you are Dukka (Suffering).
dizzle1 (author) 1 year ago
Again I apologize to anyone that was offended by my Instructable as that was my opposite intention. I am not going to remove this post because I am proud of the work I've done, I think it's beautiful and I created with no ill will in my heart.

I am also shocked at the amount of posts assuming I'm a follower of Jesus. I do not feel this is the proper forum that I should have to express my spiritual beliefs, but I would be totally un-offended if anyone were to create a giant Jesus head, etc. because I believe in freedom of expression as an artist and per my First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.

If anyone is insulted, you need not read my Instructable. You can move on to more important things I hope you have going in your life because creating this was certainly not intended to create controversy.

To those who appreciate my work, thank you.
Zdaddy dizzle11 year ago
Hang in there. The bigots will come out of the woodwork, let them, they will reveal their ugliness literally in the face of the very man they think they are protecting.
Zdaddy yes I agree with all the things that you said about Buddhism and thank you for reminding them.
I will not hate him for what he done. I will never do that. But Im always try to protect Buddhism. Reason is that if the Buddhism will not protect then how come people like you and me in future will learn about Buddhism and learn the true meaning of life. I’m doing this without any hatred on this poor man.
Just think people who used Buddha to decorate their homes will never respect him and when some one tells them about Buddhism they will reply as" Buddha what you mean, that statue at my place. ha ha ha". Poor people like them will never learn the Buddhism and he will be a prisoner of Karma forever.
Anyway I will not ask again to remove this since I have done what I can.
Other thing is you should knw that Buddhist did nothing to insult other religions. Other who hate Buddhism and who try to insult Buddhism. One may say that you hate us because we see this as insult for followers of Buddhism.
bkdhanushka, you brought a smile to me this morning. Thank you!

I went to bed last night wondering "am I to be afraid of the wrath of Buddhists?"
The answer overwhelmed me with a very clear and definate "NO".

I do not fear buddhists, I fear bigots, I fear people that use religion in the name of their crimes, they use deities in the the name of their bigotry and hatred, their subjugation of other humans. I fear Fundamentalists. This is not what Buddhism is, even if they use Buddha in the name.

I learned about Buddha through more than just oral teachings. I am thankful for depictions of him. Every depiction of Buddha that I have seen has always been with no mal-intent. Buddhism does not need you to 'protect' it because there is no attack on Buddhism.

What I sense is Jealousy, you see this statue and it makes you think of your country and your people, you feel as though this man has no right to it.

Your negative emotion is exactly what Buddha teaches to cope with! This is an opportunity for you to look deep within yourself and question your feelings. It is not this man's fault that you feel this way, you are responsible for your feelings. I'm not telling you to not feel it, you should feel it, acknowledge it, then MOST IMPORTANTLY LET GO!!!! Buddha teaches this, he has been teaching this for over 2000 years!

You think that after 2000 years his image suddenly needs 'protecting'?
amj19841 year ago
I'm buddhist but not kind of an extream buddhist and for me, a buddha's statue/image was not so important to me. (it just a "thing", not an essence of our religion) But I'm also curious, why always buddha's head? Why not a Jesus's head? WHY?
Zdaddy amj19841 year ago
Personally I find it beautiful. What is wrong with Beauty?
Partly because there is no real consensus on what Jesus looked like, and no major tradition of representing him as a statue.
@dizzle1 try to understand this. Some people do such things to insult Buddha. You may not think like that but people who need to insult Buddhism will used your creation. Further people who dont know Buddhism will think Buddha as something that they can used as what your created above and lost respect for this great person.
You still can remove this and build some thing that will not hurt others and show your real talent.
mstar1 year ago
I was going to post my instructable for building a life sized animatronic Jesus doing the funky chicken dance across my roof as a Christmas decoration but after all the flack you got for your giant Buddha head I think I'll pass.
sakmara1 year ago
Can you make the Jesus Head Garden Sculpture ?
You may not a religious person but people who believe in Buddhism will not accept this. Why didnt you build the head of Jesus like this.You didnt because you believe him. You respect him. Why dont you build a head of your own father? Same reason ha...
This is a insult for Buddhism. If can remove this.
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