By Hand From The Heart is a curated Makers Market event in South India. Upcoming Events: 22nd Edition: 2nd – 3rd February '18 in Coimbatore | 23rd Edition: 16th – 17th – February '18 in Chennai.
Glass artist, Mridula Harihar of Full Fuse talks about her display at the By Hand From The Heart Makers Market, her career highlights and her take on Make in India. With her recent relocation from Chennai to Bangalore; Mridula also shares her connect with both the cities.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
I was given the opportunity to conduct a mosaic workshop for the students studying architecture. Not only did they learn the skill of mosaic making, but they were also taught the importance of understanding material and how glass can influence the dynamics of a space.
What has surprised you most about starting a creative business?
One starts to appreciate the little things, celebrate the progress one makes everyday. Full Fuse has made me accept all aspects about myself. I am more aware of my strengths and weaknesses and I know how to work around them rather than beat myself up about it when things don’t go my way.
Do you have any design story you’d like to share?
Often with glass, there are many happy accidents- one can never tell how a piece might turn out, after a firing. There are times when a mistake actually becomes a nice design element or that the result turned out much better than what was expected. Almost every product has an interesting story behind it! One such piece is this trial run that I did, using frit and mica powder. I didn’t expect the piece would look so good! The shiny mica powder seems to be on the foreground while the frit powders have organically blended to create the background in turn, bringing depth to the piece.
The glass cutter. Usually used with one hand like a pen, but I use both. It’s almost as if the mind, body and soul become one, and all that energy gets channelised onto the wheel and magic happens! Love the crisp sound it makes when you make a perfect score.
Tell us about your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
This time, the idea was to churn out as many products as possible, using broken window glass. Window glass is thick, brittle, transparent and gets a glossy finish when fired in the kiln. I’ve tried to focus on those attributes while designing this collection.
Handmade/Made in India/ Make in India – What does it mean to you.
Glass art is a western art form. Courses are aplenty and there are many suppliers abroad. Even the local craft store would stock up on some glass art related material/tools, in the States!
However, it is not the case in India. I’ve had to learn a lot on my own. I had to research on what glass is available, at what temperature it softens, what is the finish obtainable, how can I combine it with other things, and so on. I now feel like I have a very deep understanding of glass and better control over the material.
Not too many people work with float glass and I’ve managed to really take that forward.
Bangalore and Chennai – your connect, influences and the learnings.
Chennai is the place where all the magic happened. I was first introduced to glass art through a school project and it stayed after that. Chennai will always hold that special place. Bangalore is my second home and I love the energy and enthusiasm of the people here. Everyone is looking to collaborate and try something new which is very motivating.
By Hand From The Heart: MAKERS MARKET – 20th Edition
Date: Friday – Saturday, 7th – 8th July, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m
Venue: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
Address: 132, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamil Nadu. India