Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blockprinted Prayer Flags

Friday marked the New Moon in Taurus. As we gathered, we each began creating our own interpretations of Tibetan Prayer Flags. The idea was suggested by Mama Bird, who was inspired to try some mindful crafting.

Prayer flags are visual and tactile reminders of intentions, of wishes, of prayers to be carried by the wind. I did some research, and found that there are Eight Auspicious Symbols in Buddhism. The parasol symbolizes protection, and the pair of golden fishes represent happiness, flow, and abundance. Together these symbols embody my wishes for our family in the present moment.
I found an image that spoke to me and drew a pair of similar fish, with their fins forming the lower half of a circle, and the dome of a parasol forming the upper half. In each of the four corners I drew our initials. I brought this design with me to the New Moon Circle, transferred it with carbon paper onto linoleum, and began carving the night away.After finishing the block yesterday morning, Papa and the boys accompanied me to the fabric store, where I found gauze in variations of the five traditional prayer flag colors: blue, white, red, green, and yellow, representing the elements and the Five Pure Lights. I cut the gauze into 9" squares, then applied black blockprinting ink onto my linoleum and pressed the block onto the fabric. This morning I woke up to fifteen ready and waiting dry prayer flags, which I sewed and strung up with garden twine. I had no idea where I might hang the finished flags, until I went out into the backyard this morning and remembered the two oaks from which our family hammock used to hang. The length couldn't have been more perfect, nor could the location. Each time we sit at the family table, we will look out onto our prayer flags, whispering our intentions to the wind.

9 comments:

Rose said...

PERFECT!! I am blown away! (Ha ha.)

Christine said...

Wow... those are impressive and inspiring. You artistry is amazing!

Mama Bird said...

Oh mama, these turned out fantastic! I love the way you just let inspiration guide your process here; and it led you to a truly beautiful & meaningful end product.

So glad we could share this mindful craft together!

SwedeLife said...

Awesome. How great you could put the new block printing skills into action. Just perfect!!!

Liquid Pen said...

They look so great!!! I LOVE your design and the simplicity and perfection of it all! Nicely done!

angela said...

Your good karma here brought you a nice quilt prize - I'm excited for you!

tracy b. said...

I made prayer flags in this same method for a friend of mine who was about to give birth. During her shower we decorated the pre-block printed flags with blessings. I sewed them to a leather cord and she hung them during her (amazing) home birth. They now hang over the baby's crib! So sweet. I think I need a set for my porch, though!

Alisa said...

These are wonderful! I love that you carved them!

LizzyHouse said...

what a great idea. These are so beautiful!