I wanted to do something creative that didn’t involve words, which led me to work with broken pieces of glass at a workshop on mosaic art at Atta Galatta, conducted by Bohemian Snuffbumble. The couple believe in upcycling and mosaic offers plenty of opportunities for that.

The workshop began with a talk on mosaic art – the methods, tools and materials used.

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We were given square wooden pieces (soon-to-be coasters). We started by laying out a pattern of our choice with small pieces of glass (tesserae). The design was then transferred on to another wooden piece which was coated with adhesive. After the adhesive dried off, we could smear it with grout – messy but strangely satisfying. It takes around eight hours for the grouted piece to dry. So we were given pieces that were already grouted to continue with the process. Once dried, the grout has to be scraped out.

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As I scraped away, a lovely spiral emerged; a moment of serendipity because that was the design I had in mind before I went to the workshop but then went with a butterfly instead. Glass paints were used to colour these pieces. The glass pieces revealed the textured grains of wood, so I used a clear paint over some of the pieces instead of masking the grains under colour. A layer of varnish should finish the job, while the first one needs to be scraped, painted and varnished.

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One of their interesting experiments did not follow the traditional way of working with mosaic – clear glass pieces were closely arranged over the picture of a bird. Nonetheless, the effect was beautiful.

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I’m glad I made it to the workshop as this was their fourth and last mosaic art workshop in Bangalore and they will soon be off to the Himalayas. Wound up the morning with coffee and conversation at the bookstore-café. Bliss!

© Anuradha Prasad

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