Sunday, August 13, 2017

Adventures in glass

Over the course of my work, I have gotten to know a lot of good artists. And I have seen something about them. They always make their work seem so easy. Three weeks ago, the girls and I attended a marbling workshop by Garip Ay. He made this lovely painting of an elephant in an african jungle. And I tried to copy it, and my elephant looked like a malformed hippo with a mutation. Ofcourrse Garip did his painting in 10 minutes or so, while I slogged over mine for 45 minutes and then consoled myself by saying that Picasso's elephants didnt look like elephants, but thats besides the point.

 Yesterday, the girls and I visited Anjali Venkat's studio to play with glass. We have known Anjali through three years worth of maker faires, but ofcourse, I never have the opportunity to attend her workshops during the faire on account off fighting random fires and being too tired to go more than a general observation and soaking the spirit after all teh fires are extinguished. When we reached her workshop, there were two women already there spending their Saturday afternoon, both of whom (it gave me a little thril to know), had found out about her studio through maker faire SG and drop in regularly to work and one of whom had been coming in regularly since the 2015 faire. Something nice to know :) It was just simply fun to cut and arrange glass. We learnt to score, cut and shape glass. The objective of the session was ofcourse to make jewellery as gifts for Sabreesh and his wife, and we had previously decides that we wanted to make earrings, a hairclip and a pendant.

Quickly, we distributed work. Sophia, who always takes on projects more challenging than herself, was inspired by the Ganeshas that Anjali had recently posted online and which Sophia wanted to take up. Anjali and I decided to use a lotus theme for the hairclip and the earring

I am surprised by Sophia's artistic ability. I know that she attends art club in school, but I dont have a high opinion of the school clubs, especially since sessions are irregular and break for holidays nd exams and stuff.

Anjali Venkat proposed a design for Ganesha and Sophia counter proposed her design. I proposed a design for the lotus and Sophia proposed another design. We used mine, but Sophia's was better :(

Here is Sophia's Ganesha

After we made our pieces, we decided to make a few more- it is addictive this cutting up glass business, especially since we wont be able to cut glass at home. And obviously, the kids wanted to make stuff for themselves.

Sophia made a beautiful pendant with powdered glass and Anjali made a lovely one with three concentric circles. I played around with layers and tried to make something three dimensional. I'll know how it turns out on Tuesday when it comes out of Anjali's kiln.

We put all out pieces in the kiln. where they will be cooked and fused for 3 hours and then anneal for 24 hours.

We learnt a lot of stuff - how to score glass with a diamond tipped cutter, how to put pressure on the score line and break it up, how to use a grinder (also diamond tipped) to grind the cut glass to smoothen the edges, how to use powdered glass to accentuate the artwork and make it look like glitter, how to soften a thin strip of glass over a hot flame and bend it carefully using a pair of tweezers. And ofcourse chatting with people as we worked.

Rather like Garip's workshop on marble painting, where the girls spent a solid five hours working and not getting bored, they were at Anjali's studio for three solid hours, and would have stayed longer except that Anjali had another appointment and had to leave.

I have to stop writing now. The girls are making pistachio cookes and the kitchen reeks of rose essence. I am supposed to chase Anjali to revise her spelling, but then they learn so much more by making cookies. So we'll get to the spelling when we get to the spelling.

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