Bottle craft at its best

Unique Hobbies

Bottle craft at  its best

Who would have thought that old wine bottles could make for tabletop ornaments? Thinking along these lines, Tulasi Bellapu, who lives in Whitefield, likes to use her extra time to create pretty items from bottles. Tulasi does artwork on regular and specially-shaped wine bottles as well as the cardboard covers of the bottles. The more unique the bottle shape is, the more creative she’s able to get. Ask her what inspired her to start a hobby like this and she says, “TV shows and items in shops inspired me to try various designs on these scrap bottles. I’ve always been interested in art and once I tried it out and received feedback, I got deeply involved in this craft.”

Tulasi’s fascination for the hobby started more than a year back though she’s been inclined to making different things for the last 15 years. It was on one of her regular trips to the scrap vendor with her husband to dispose of stuff they had at home that she saw old wine bottles and brought some home to experiment on. “I started going back for more — to make these artifacts for myself and for friends,” she adds. After this, Tulasi started looking for varied shapes of these bottles, including smaller or longer ones with curves and handles. “Sometimes, friends would bring me some and I would try things with those,” she says.

Talking about the process of designing these bottles, she elaborates, “I clean the bottles thoroughly and dry them well. After this, I stick knitting thread on the bottle in specific designs. I repeat this with different colours and add golden powder for detailing.” So, how much time would all this take? She says, “I don’t work on them in one go. It might vary from a stretch of four to five hours, and could be spread across a few days according to my schedule at home.”

Although the base design is done with knitting thread, her artwork includes different items like kundan, pearl and plastic beads and different paints. Her designs are more in traditional colours like red, blue and green. She often leaves the designs that exist on the glass of the bottle uncovered or inculcates them into her designs, which add to the details. “I use red, blue and green as they are the most vibrant colours, appealing and make for great combinations,” she states. Tulasi clarifies that she has also done bottle craft with black, white and silver; and gold, brown and white combinations. “I try combinations which look good. Also if a friend wants a specific thing made for them, then I mix colours and textures according to their needs,” she adds.

Tulasi’s bottle craft can be seen spread across her house and she has placed the items according to their colour combinations to match the surroundings, like the furniture or the ambience of the room. “These items can be mere showpieces or money plant holders. I’ve even used one in the kitchen for storing cutlery,” says Tulasi with a smile.

No art can be sustained without support and feedback, she feels.

“I remember how the feedback from friends and family helped me to develop this hobby. Most people found these pieces very attractive and they have been generous in commenting about the same,” she recollects.

 She clearly remembers a friend in the neighbourhood, who told her that she should not just stock up these creations at home, but gift them to others and share her talent.
“Since then, kids have come to study the art from me and a lady in my neighbourhood tried to do something similar. I helped her out with the finishing touches. I’ve also started getting requests from people to make these items for them so that they can gift them to others,” she details.

Her husband, Apparao Bellapu, is her biggest support. He says, “I often suggest colour combinations and ask her to include more details. We go to the store together and I help her explore the newest selections so that she can find those extra items, which will make her designs distinct and unique.”

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