For Tibetan Buddhist monks and laity, artistic butter designs, known as torma or tsepdro, take on a spiritual role.
Traditionally made using yak butter mixed with barley flour and coloring they are modeled by hand.
Since butter melts easily, monk artists making butter sculptures need to work in cold conditions, they have to dip their hands into cold water to make their fingers cold enough then can they start to model. The symbols are either formed on flat boards or made into freestanding sculptures.
Monks take great pride to do the religious work. A few tools, such as hollow bones for making long threads and molds for making leaves and alike, are applied.