A glass apart

A glass apart

A glass apart
For Kirti Sarvesh Ranade, the words ‘stained glass’ excite her like nothing else can. Usually surrounded by stained, coloured and textured glasses, Kirti has been creating magical items out of the medium for more than two years now. Having worked in the IT sector for about 10 years, this young mother later wanted to concentrate on her family, when her love affair with glass started. “I have been an artist for quite sometime. There are artists in my family and I think I’ve got this trait from my mother,” she says. 

When Kirti decided to take a break from her career, creativity came naturally to her. “From sketching to scrap art to decoupage, I have tried many things. However, it was a city-based artist’s works in glass that inspired me to venture into glass art. Stained art is a vintage art and it is commonly seen in churches,” she says.

Many misunderstand coloured glass to be glass that was painted on and Kirti is quick to point out that they are different things. 

“The science behind glass, the way it is moulded and prepared and how the textures and colours come into each glass sheet enticed me to the artform. There are a lot of technical details involved in glass that are really fascinating,” she explains.

Unlike window panels and door panels which are 6 mm or more in thickness, the glass Kirti works with is just 3.5 mm in thickness. “Finding the raw material isn’t easy. When I learnt how to work on glass at a workshop, all the required tools were available there. Finding tools like running pliers and glass nipper to cut glass and grind around the curved edges is a challenge,” she says. 

Kirti loves working with pearl and shell-coloured glass. “I love iridescent hues. Apart from VIBGYOR, the glass that I work with has shades that are very close to nature and reality. From the water colour to the brittle effect, there is much available in the stained glass world,” she says. 

She likes working with themes from nature and has played around with floral motifs and bird patterns. “From suncatchers to mirrors and trays, display pieces to mosaic panels, I have tried it all. Each has its own challenges. What I like is that they all manage to push my creativity beyond limits,” she expresses.

Accidents are common while working with glass, says Kirti. “In fact, there is a joke within the community of glass artists, which goes, ‘If you don’t have a drawer full of Band-Aid, you aren’t a glass artist yet’. There was a time when I would have a new cut everyday,” she recollects. She feels that apart from having a steady hand and utmost concentration, a glass artist needs to be deeply passionate about the medium in order to continue the art.

From the usual ‘wow’ to more inquisitive questions about how she created something, Kirti has been lauded by many. “Once, I made some colourful glass pendants as return gifts for my child’s friends. Their mothers called back and asked me where I had bought them from. It was very encouraging to hear that they were perfect. I am blessed to have really supportive people around me,” she says. “I’ve always tried to keep all my designs different as this adds to the excitement,” states Kirti.

(Kirti can be reached at kirti.sarvesh@gmail.com)