The Sound of Mosaic

Learning to create motifs by piling layers of coloured glass

Written by Rushil Dutta | Pune | Published: June 22, 2013 2:41:06 am

Two women said they make art out of glass. There was also a vague rumour about a “mosaic rendition” of Van Gogh’s Starry Night made from stained glass,replete with a luminous backdrop. Turned out,this interesting piece was resting in Studio 7,Karve Nagar,run by artists Durga Tilak and Mitalee Joshi,creators of the glassy “Starry Night”.

So,we set out to validate the rumours. A few turns ahead of Pratigya Karyalaya in Karve Nagar brought us to Tilak’s abode — Studio 7. A shed provides the studio with a roof,which hosts the workspace with an attached seating arrangement,consisting couches and a three-seat garden swing,embellished with Ojo mandalas created by students. The sitting room doubles as a gallery for exhibiting the works of students,along with those by Tilak and Joshi — an acrylic-on-canvas,several painted-on wine bottles,kettles,lamp shades and tiles of mosaic.

A glass mosaic workshop was underway at the studio. Studio 7 had taken in four students for the past one week. Four women of different age-groups sat with sheets of coloured glass and glass-cutting tools. In front of each student was a picture on the screen of a “tablet”,which they had to replicate in the mosaic.

A lady was making a vibrant butterfly with green and orange sheets of glass. As she cut out small pieces of green stain glass to finish a flower-like motif to embellish the butterfly’s wings,Joshi advised her to use both the top and bottom surfaces of the glass to create a more dynamic colour pattern and avoid “flatness”. She showed us a side-view of the glass piece. The colour is achieved by piling layers of coloured glass of the same shade. Hence,the bottom is lighter than the surface. Thus,shades can be created by using the pieces alternately. Other works being created were a mosaic landscape in beige and ochre,a multi-coloured fish and a portrait of Lord Ganesha.

Tilak then proceeded to showcase “a more elaborate work”. We followed her to the living room and encountered this artwork created by Tilak and Joshi. So there we were,facing Starry Night in glass — a neat rendition in mosaic. The backdrop fitted strategically with tiny bulbs to emphasise the stars. Once illuminated,the mosaic became fluid and we were convinced that a lot can be done with coloured glass.

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