This engineer turns discarded bottles into art

City-based biomedical engineer Vidya Bhat collects discarded glass bottles from beaches, junk shops and converts them into stunning pieces of art
This engineer turns discarded bottles into art
A few of the bottle artworks created by Vidya; Vidya Bhat, Artist

Chennai

A few used juice bottles were lying around Vidya Bhat’s house and she was finding it hard to discard them. During the same time, she was also scouting for quirky looking night lamps to decorate her house. Vidya decided to make use of the bottles — she sketched a basic design and inserted an LED light and voila, there is a gorgeous looking night lamp.“I have learned drawing in my childhood and was interested in arts and crafts but didn’t take it up. When I noticed that my hobby of glass art was well appreciated by my friends and family I decidedto work on it full time,” says Vidya, a biomedical engineer by qualification.

Initially, she collected the bottles from her friends and later started collecting them from junkshops. “Though my friends donated some bottles, soon I was out of materials. After seeing my work, they suggested me to start a business. I started looking out for quirky designs and also experimented with different shape bottles,” she adds.

Vidya works on two type of bottles — one is the upright bottle, in which an LED light can be inserted and the second is one in which the bottle is inverted. This comes with a wooden (waste wood) stand.

Along with her husband Sushrutha KS, the duo started a venture called Chittaara. “I started sourcing discarded bottles from a junk shop near my house. Apart from this, I also participate in beach clean-up activities just to collect the bottles that are lying around. After cleaning and drying the bottles, I sketch designs using glass colours on its surface. The designs vary from traditional to abstract and are intricate and it requires a lot of patience to create them. Usually, I take 3-4 days to finish one glass art,” she explains.

Vidya draws inspiration from everyday life, and travel experiences. “Glass art is one of the best ways to recycle discarded bottles. Instead of throwing them in the garbage, by using a little bit of aesthetic sense you can create stunning artworks,” says the artist.

When quizzed about the name of her venture, Chittaara, she says, “My husband and I are from Karnataka and Chittaara in Kannada means art and design. Also, women from the Dewaru community used to make glass art, which is now a dwindling art. We wanted to bring back this form of art to the forefront,” she sums up. 

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