Some weeks before Gurupurnima we were thinking about how to decorate our Guru's chair and the stage around him for Gurupurnima.
The idea came up to make an Adishesha behind him, the big five headed snake - actually we had the strong feeling that He put the the idea in our collective minds... ;-)
The first plan was to just cut the form out of wood and paint it, but after talking to Dakshini, we felt a 3D Adishesha made out of papier-mâché would be even nicer.
We slept over the idea and the next day it was crystal clear - we'll do it! Some of us already had some experience with other similar work but to do something for the Guru is always a different challenge.
We asked Swami Keshava and Yajneshwar to help with the wooden construction and they where super happy to help.
The boys started with the wooden framework taking measurements around Swamiji´s chair. The construction served as a skeleton and helped to keep the Adishesh stable.
The next steps were to build a wire frame around the wood which we filled up with bubble-wrap to give the structure volume.
We glued thick layers of papier-mâché on top of the wire structure.
And as a final finishing touch, we added a special sculptural material which gets very hard after a 2-day drying period and can be even sanded afterwards!
Our electrical master, Sabarish, installed cables and electric connections beforehand to create some special effects in the eyes.
And last but not least, we painted the snake. For such big projects, an airbrush technique turned out to be the perfect approach as you can paint very quickly and smoothly. Gitanjali from Portugual has a lot of experience and luckily we could inspire her with our enthusiasm and she was able to come and help us a few days before Gurupurnima.
What perfect timing! - the Adishesh was finished the evening before Gurupurnima!
We brought it up and we put it on the stage to see if everything fits, how the light-effects will be, and if the eyes were shining bright enough.
It looked truly amazing and we were very excited to see if Swamiji would be happy … and we think He really was!