There are infinite ways in which human beings can express their creativity, some do through music, some through colors and some through words, the list here is endless, it truly is endless. Today, however, I would like to introduce you to expression through glass artwork. This artform requires sharp eyes, gentle touch, and a keen heart because this is one exquisite affair.
So what exactly is this artform? This is the art of melting glass to create objects of intrigue. An expert craftsman can forge glass into shapes like god figurines, animal, flowers, utensils and much more by melting it. Glass craft makes up for a perfect handmade gift for your loved ones or you can use them in your house as home decor. For the devotional there are god figures, candle holders and lamp stands to choose from.
History of glass artwork in India dates back to Indus Valley civilization. In the Vedic text, Sanskrit term Kaca, is used for glass. According to Subbarayappa, the unwavering historian of Indian science, Indus Valley people preferred faience a type of proto-glass. Indian civilizations imported glass from Egypt and Mesopotamia. Archeological evidence of glass in ancient India has been found in the form of glass beads and bangles at Maski, in southern Deccan. At the beginning of Mughal era, invaders brought glass Items to India from the west. Rejected items were melted in local furnaces called Bhainsa Bhatti. You can still find these traditional furnaces in Sasani, near Aligarh.
Majority of the bangles (Churias) in India are still made with ancient glass artwork technique of moulding, folding and twisting. Firozabad near Agra is the biggest hub of traditional glassware manufacturing in India. Over four hundred glass industries are registered in Ferozabad alone. Although traditional methods are still alive Firozabad, blowing is done through pot furnaces in factories.
For intricate shapes, craftsman uses special glass rods to create glass artwork by melting them with a blowtorch. Blowtorch functions as a hot pointy needle that melts glass at precise locations as intended by the craftsman. Glass rods of varying diameters are used to create artifacts of different sizes and dimensions. Special glass types are added in the combination to bring variation in color and design. Vivid colors and patterns are embedded into the glass to enhance the beauty of the glassware.
An expert glass craftsman can create duplicate of an object to the tee. One such craftsman that I had the opportunity to meet was Mr. Ravi Tamankar. Based in Pune he has been crafting glass artwork for over two decades, the quality and precision that reflects in his work is unmatched. From delicate human figurines to heavy chariots. Tamankar delivers on quality and style that is sure to please onlookers. His work is a must have for all the handicraft enthusiast or art seekers alike. The technique of using blow torch used by Tamankar is modern, which allows him to create designs which are very detailed on a very minute scale. In comparison to glass work done in factories or on large scale, Tamankar’s involvement with the artwork is personal.
Today, Indian glass artwork is exported throughout the world. The unique blend of Western, Mughal and Indian styles make Indian glasswork really special. With dedicated craftsmen like Tamankar, Indian glass work will positively benefit.
At Kraftsun we feel that it is our obligation to promote not only Indian craft but also the craftsmen. We stock a wide variety of glass artwork from talented artists across India, feel free to browse our shiny collection. If you have any comments or Items that you wish to see please do leave us your message or leave a comment below.