Who We Are
Sacred Source is a leading producer and distributor of ancient deity images in North America. We are a retail mail-order and internet catalog business and wholesale distributor whose goals are to bring affordable museum reproduction and folk-handcraft deity images back into Western culture.
Through our artisan community and handcraft workshop in India, we produce over 500 separate statues in Ganges clay, polymer resin, gypsum, cold cast bronze, and pewter, as well as decorative jewelry of several kinds. Our sister company in Kolkata, JBL, supports a number of traditional artisan families, and is managed by Debtosh and Rita Bose and their daughter, Jaya Kar. They also manage Legend, a retail store in Kolkata offering traditional devotional images.
The offices of Sacred Source, located near Charlottesville, Virginia, are comprised of a lovely sunroom office containing customer service stations, a packer's work station, as well as some inventory; and a detatched warehouse for inventory with a second packer's work station.
Our Mission Statement:
To nurture each individual's inner growth with the spiritual wisdom of ancient symbols and images.
We are committed to the use of Fair Trade Organizations and small business sources for products and services.
We are committed to environmental awareness in our business practices.
We strive to satisfy our customers' needs by offering a quality product at a fair price with superior service.
The Sacred Source Story
The business was founded by Richard Freeman Allan during a four-month volunteer stint with Mother Teresa's Missionary Brothers of Charity in Bengal, India. The sole initial goal was to provide a wider economic and creative outlet to a particular, and personally-known, community of handcraft artisans. At its inception in 1978, the project was blessed by the hand of a Hindu saint.
After more than 20 years, Freeman was ready to pass the baton. Pete and Liana Kowalzik purchased Sacred Source in 2001 to continue the original mission of the company.
More recently, Debtosh and Rita Bose have entrusted day to day management of JBL to their very capable daughter, Jaya Kar. Jaya, like her father before her, has also developed statue designs for Sacred Source/JBL/Legend.
We strive to give the artisans a year-round guarantee of creative work and income, a circumstance previously unimaginable to these residents of a notoriously impoverished part of the Third World. Child-labor has never been used by Sacred Source. Our catalog pictures and website photos show the happy faces of children surrounding their parents in a safe and family-friendly work environment. We also earmark funds for two semi-annual financial bonuses to our artisans, in addition to their regular wages -- a practice previously unheard of in that part of Calcutta.
Your Spiritual Statue's Story
We develop the design for your devotional image to reflect the intentions of the artist, whether it was created 300,000 years ago or today. Our master artisans sculpt the image prototype, the mold small batches of statues by had in durable, environmentally friendly materials. your statue is lovingly hand finished for lasting beauty, then carefully packed for it's long ocean voyage to America. When you call the Gaia Center, we strive for excellent customer service and ship your order promptly. We know you are waiting with anticipation for the arrival of your new spiritual art piece.
Materials and Finishes
Our statues are made in India from a variety of organic materials, including Ganges clay, Gypsumstone, cast pewter and brass, and polymer resins. Cold cast bronze is a mixture of bronze powder, Ganges clay and resin. Cold cast pewter is a mixture of metal powders, Ganges Clay and resin. They are intended for indoor or outdoor use.
Ganges river clay is rich in minerals and history. The Ganges is considered a Goddess in her own right, entering the earth after trickling through Shiva's matted hair and flowing out from under a glacier high in the Himalayas. She travels across northern India to reach the Indian Ocean near Calcutta and Bangladesh. Many holy bathing ghats line Her shores. Hereditary artists work in clay making Murtis (statues) for festivals. Our clay is harvested not far from the sacred Kali Ghats from which Calcutta gets its name.
Gypsumstone is an artist's castable material used for making models and statues. Gypsum has the amazing property of forming curved crystals in the earth called Selenite. Crescent shaped Selenite is named after the Roman Moon Goddess, Selene. So when you buy a Gypsumstone statue, it is made from crystals of the Goddess of the Moon.
Brass is mostly made of copper, a metal sacred to the Goddess Venus since ancient times. As Aphrodite, she originally came from the island of Cyprus, a land rich in copper deposits. Our brass statues harken back to the smithwork sacred to the Goddess of Cyprus.
Resin is a modern matrix of hydrocarbons. While resin is a man-made material we can still find the Goddess at work. The word matrix implies the Great Mother in her birthing form, hydro means water and carbon comes from the earth. While not the most earth-friendly of the list, it's a durable and versatile medium that allows us to make statues with projecting arms and ones suitable for outdoor use.
Our finishes are hand applied using water based pigments and paints. Hand painted statues are detailed and polished by artisans. Other finishes are meant to replicate the look of a specific material such as Terracotta or Red Bronze. And others are made to duplicate the original finish of an actual artifact, such as red/black or silver/brown. The handmade nature of our statues means that the finishes will occasionally vary. Please view this as part of the artist's license with their work that makes each piece unique. We are continually striving to improve our products, and this may cause changes as well. As many finishes are water based, it is best to protect the statue with a sealant such as satin spray polyurethane (from any hardware store) if it is going to be used near water for rituals or pujas to keep the paint from running.