by Jane Lake
My daughter was given a bread tray made of smooth, polished wood. She didn’t use it much for bread but the natural wood grain and elegant shape inspired this zen creation for a quiet nook in her home.
You can easily adapt this idea to re-purpose other slim, oval trays or baskets, in wood, porcelain, or even stone, that you don’t otherwise use.
As a design element, this is a simple concept, evocative of peace and tranquility in the area in which you place it. Not an altar, exactly, but more like the Japanese cultural tradition of tokonoma, or a decorative alcove within a home that might contain an understated, yet elegant display of a hanging scroll, flowers, a candle or an incense burner.
You Will Need:
- bread tray or something similar in size and shape
- glass marbles, polished stones, seashells, smooth pebbles or sea glass
- a centerpiece (see below for suggestions)
- optional: candle(s)
Choose a centerpiece for your tranquility tray. This could be a statue of Buddha, a piece of driftwood or petrified wood, a fossilized piece of rock, a pillar candle or, really, any object of suitable size which evokes a sense of peace in you. Place this in the center of the tray.
Surround your centerpiece with your choice of other elements. Marbles, sea glass, polished stones or seashells are all easily obtained and very effective. Marbles should include at least one larger, clear glass specimen reminiscent of a crystal ball or gazing balls.
Place polished stones in a copper bowl with a few straw flowers, or simply layer smooth and polished stones in a shallow dish of water. Water displays are particularly soothing and tranquil in a bathroom.