After my Kung Fu brother Roman’s school in Niederglatt is getting more and more popular, it’s finally time to officially open it. For this occasion, I have made it my task to finally make the corresponding panels for his school altar. Many thanks to my dragging and painting helpers Alex, Alexandra, Dominik and Roman.
In brief: The school altar
The school altar serves to show respect to our ancestors in the kung fu sense. We use it to remember ancestral lineage up to Abbot Ji Sim Sin See and pay our respect to them with triple greetings before and after each class. This tradition, which has its origin in the Chinese ancestor worship, does not contain a religious, but rather a spiritual aspect.
On the altar surface you can find various items, including guardian lions, incense sticks, money and food. I will go into the detailed description of these in a future article. For now, what is important is what should be found around the altar: The tablets. To the left and right of the altar are the twelve bridges of Hung Gar, above which is a tablet that reads ‘Hung Gar – the true tradition’.
Since the school in Niederglatt is a branch of the Kung Fu School Sewer, their idea of how these boards have to look naturally apply. Fortunately for my project there is a reasonable template, which I could organize. It was necessary to define shape, color and size of the boards, to organize wood and paint and to transport everything to the right place (which was not so uncomplicated due to the lack of a car).
One of the puzzles that arose was the transfer of the characters to the wooden surface. Neither I nor one of my helpers knows Chinese characters and the risk of making mistakes was rather high. My partner had the good idea to project the characters onto the boards with the beamer – a complete success.
So with the help of a Combat Pen and its highly stable tip, I carved the characters into the wood. Although there was a concern that these lines could not be seen after applying paint, but the short time did not allow to do it the other way around.
Primer and painting
To make the primer as uniform as possible, I decided to spray it. So, with the help of paint spray, we sprayed the boards red, or black, after sawing them to size. The wood soaked up quite a bit of paint, but with several coats, the paint ended up being thick and pretty enough. Fortunately for us, the carved lines were even more visible than before and the painting could begin.
First we applied the characters with black and gold. After working a bit hesitantly at first, we quickly made progress and were able to add the white borders in a second work step. The white and gold frames on the edge of the board we have painted straight with the help of taped strips uncomplicated.
Since the altar is to be newly placed in front of the sliding curtain, we decided to attach the panels to a frame. This should be screwed directly to the altar, so that the whole construct can stand freely. To what extent this would work statically and in no case tilt, was somewhat unclear, but just in case I have thought of support legs, which should support the whole additionally.
The construction consists of simple battens, which were screwed together in a diamond shape. To the vertical struts we attached the black plate, to the horizontal ones one of the red ones. Another large plate will also provide space in the future for the pictures of the ancestors, which are currently simply mounted above the altar on the wall.
The finished altar
The finished altar can be seen, I think. The hours of work have paid off and I am satisfied with the work done, even if the saw edges have not all become perfectly straight. I hope the altar is in use for a long time and serves its purpose.