Decorative items from waste products
Stained glass artwork has gained a lot of popularity of late, especially because it can be used as everyday item too. There was a display of stained glass art at an exhibition titled Kabadiwala at Chitrakala Parishat recently.
Made of scrap bottles, the main attraction of display was the way in which glass was used to make a complex decorative piece. However, apart from glass, it also showcased other ‘upcycled’ items made from wood, paper etc.
This exhibition was held by Chennai-based glass artist Anjali Venkat and her team, consisting of Shetal Parrek and Mridula Harihar. Their art included turning scrap bottles, glass and wood into pieces of art, in both wearable and usable designs. About this initiative, Anjali said, “The biggest challenge is to transform the undesirable waste into something that is functional and aesthetically pleasing too. I have tried to find beauty in the unexpected and to conjure up alternative uses to ordinary things. This was how this idea was born.”
She explained that the Kabadiwala range of functional art was created keeping the need to reuse and recycle in mind. She added, “We collected used and discarded glass bottles of all types, form and colour and then sorted them. The shape and colour of the bottles often decide what the final product is going to be. The bottles are then put through a gruelling process of being cut, drilled, etched, melted and shaped.”
The exhibition consisted of over 45 different items made up of mixed media – wood, paper, glass and vodka bottles. These were later converted to bottle planters, bottle diyas, wood collage tables, serving trays, wooden planters and tissue box covers. The entire collection had intricate designs and complex detailed work.
Other things that were seen in most of the creations were wood, old magazine and calendar papers. Anjali explained, “In this, leftover pieces of wood are made into trays, planters, table tops etc. Collages are formed on the wood using magazine and calendar papers. Details are added with mirror and fused glass elements.”
†Each piece had been hand-crafted and was therefore unique in its design. Many people, who visited the place, did not go back home empty handed. Said Antaash, an IT professional, “I came to this place by chance. But the place is filled with so many items which† I can actually use or keep at home. It is a very humble initiative and every piece is beautiful.”