Skip to main content

CADCAM: ArtCAM Creating Tibetan Buddhist art with Peter Griffin


Related: Delcam boosts the capabilities of themed environment artists worldwide with the launch of ArtCAM 2010

Sculptor, Peter Griffin discusses the use of Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing, to create his Buddhist inspired commissioned artwork. 

Over the past 25 years, Peter and his wife Denise Griffin have become internationally recognized sculptors of Tibetan Buddhist iconography.  Their training began at the Camberwell School of Art in London and then later continued under the guidance of Tibetan master statue makers in India and Nepal.  A further 10 years was then spent living and working in Asia and the US before they decided to return to England to establish their own sculpting house, Griffin Studios. 

Since its foundation in 1991, Griffin Studios ( has carried out a number of sculptural commissions globally for temples, monasteries and corporate environments. 

Peter explains: 

“We used to create all our pieces by hand but because our work involves producing symmetrical elements this was always very time-consuming.  It was about 12 ago that Denise and I were then commissioned to make a statue to be enlarged using CADCAM (Computer-aided Design and Manufacturing) software to form a 500ft high statue in India. A big part of the job involved large relief panels and Delcam’s ArtCAM software was perfect for the job.  ArtCAM soon became an important tool for me to design and create relief sculptures. As a sculptor my specialism lies in relief work, I’m fascinated by it. It is ideal for what I do but I still prefer to combine it with traditional sculpting methods.

A good example of this is our recent commissioned project for the leading UK ferry operator, P&O Cruises.  The brief was to create 10 pieces of art for an Indian themed entertainments area on their new cruise-liner the Asura (launched this April).  This involved seven wall pieces, two statues, and a feature column to go in the centre of the room.  I also had to ensure that the design met: their exact measurements; safety regulations (e.g. fireproof); colour/texture swatches of the surrounding interior design and that the column resembled a drawing provided by the architects. 

I decided to base my design for the two statues on something I’d seen outside a temple in India – a peacock brushing against the legs of a lady carrying an offering to the temple.  To create the statues, I modelled the basic figures by hand in clay and then used a 3D scanner.  The 3D file was then imported into the software. Once in ArtCAM I created the composition and added the decorative elements, e.g. jewellery.

When I was happy with the design I used ArtCAM’s machining strategies to calculate the toolpaths to be sent to my CNC machine.  To give a smoother finish to the design I machined it using a custom made 0.3mm ball nose tool on the final toolpath and then cast that section in bronze.

For my traditional temple inspired column I created it in sections. Knowing the radius/profile of the various parts of the column I was able to design and machine its vertical sections and then piece them together by hand to form the fully 3D column.  For the 7 wall pieces I based my design on some Indian miniature paintings I’d seen in Delhi. 

As an artist, ArtCAM has opened a whole up a new door for me. I see ArtCAM as one of my sculptor’s tools and it’s has been quite inspirational. It has also increased my production substantially.  Griffin Studios can now integrate with the world of architecture and interior design much more easily, which is quite advantageous when working on large public projects. I have honestly found Delcam to be the best company I’ve ever worked with and I would advise anyone to buy ArtCAM”.

About Delcam:

Delcam is one of the world’s leading suppliers of advanced CADCAM software product development solutions. Formally founded in 1977, after initial development work at Cambridge University, UK it now has subsidiaries in North America, Europe and Asia. Delcam’s software is used by more than 30, 000 organisations in over 80 countries.

About ArtCAM:

The ArtCAM software product range provides a unique CAD modelling and CNC CAM machining solution. ArtCAM allows the creation of high quality products from 2D artwork faster than ever thought possible.

About Griffin Studios: 

Denise and Peter Griffin have been professional Sculptors ever since graduating in 1987 and have worked continually on private and public sculpture commissions in the UK, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, India & Nepal.

Their work includes: the Maitreya project (, a 500ft bronze statue in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India; a 3.5 meter high carved column in Sturminster Newton to celebrate the Sturminster 778yr old cattle market, Sturminster Newton Rotary Club web site and the 12 Deeds" Commission for Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London. 

For more information go to: or call Peter Griffin:

Photo Captions from top:
Wall Carving
Two Women
Griffin Column
Women and Earing


More from this author

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update