The lotus leaf and Gold, pt 1 Bringing the shapes and forms of nature to art Something special happens when art works with the natural forms of nature. Such is the case with lotus leaf art. And it didn’t happen quickly. In fact is has been a long and difficult road of over 10 years for this skilled Thai artist. But the result is a beautiful balance of natural lines, a simplicity of form thats complimented by introduced tones, layout and selected highlighting. The Lotus leaf In Thailand, as with many Asian countries, the lotus holds a special place in culture. It forms an intricate part of both the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Thais use certain varieties and parts of the plant for making tea and in cooking. The belief is that Lotus holds many health benefits and spiritual meanings. Through a time consuming trial period this Thai artist has found that only certain types of Lotus leaves are suitable for this artwork. Selection and quality control then means many just don’t make it due to naturally flaws and defects and rejected. Harvesting the leaves by hand They only harvest the leaves at certain times of the year. While the lotus plant has its roots underwater, the leaves and flowers are on the surface. Harvesting is therefore, done by hand from a small boat. They take great care of the lotus leaves from the initial selection during harvesting and throughout the whole process. Right through until they finish and present the final framed pieces. Dying and drying, a two step process The artists keep the dying process secret, and guarded from view. Once dyed, they place the leaves away from direct sunlight for careful drying. Collecting and working the lotus leaves At the right time during this drying process the they collect and move the leaves to the layout tables. Here, using custom made frames, the leaves are applied in ways to show their forms in what will be their final layout. A careful eye and experience is needed to bring out the most from each leaf and in how they blend together to forming the unique design of each frame. Drying again takes place after this process, with the frames being moved to let natural rays finish this early stage. The lotus leaf and Gold, pt 2 Part 2 will highlight the use of gold and silver in lotus leaf design and will show the variations from the artist and the options available. Discover NK Bantawai wall art here.