Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Chapter........

Arrived in Chennai on 1st Jan, 2014 with mixed feelings. Although it was a relief to leave behind the gloomy cold UK winter, it wasn’t easy to get adjusted to my new surrounding. It took me sometime to overcome the restlessness felt within. After getting a bit familiar with this place, I started searching for some activity related to art or social service. Before coming to Chennai, I felt the urge to learn sculpting. Lalit Kala Academy Chennai was offering enrolment to artists for working in their studios. Towards end Jan, I got enrolled for 3 months and under the guidance of Mr. T. Vijayavelu, the supervisor, sculpture workshop and young sculptor Mr.Ravindran Velsamy, I made my first attempt at bronze sculpture. The method is known as ‘lost wax process’. Below are the steps involved in preparing the wax required for making the model. 

1.Starting the fire to melt
coarsely gound resin 
2. Resin is added
while stirring in order to romove lumps
3.Cutting wax using fine wire

4.Wax pieces being added
slowly to molten resin

5.Molten mixture of resin and
wax is stirred
frequently to remove air

7.Material ready for moulding
and sculpting

6.Molten mixture is
seived to remove
solid impurity

My first attempt at bronze sculpture-
It took me a while to get the hang of it. The medium [hot,molten mixture of wax and resin] was tough to handle but the whole experience of trying to gain control over it was thrilling.
These were made before April 15th.
The first satisfactory outcome 
In the words of sculptor Henry Moore-
"Now I really make the little idea from clay, and I hold it in my hand. I can turn it, look at it from underneath, see it from one view, hold it against the sky, imagine it any size I like, and really be in control, almost like God creating something.

On 8th march,international women’s day, I conducted a craft demonstration session at Somerset for the residents. I used materials from my kitchen and other recycled stuff to create jewellery, decorative items. Some are shown here-

We left for Boston on 19th April to spend our 40th wedding anniversary with our children and grand child. A surprise visit from my only brother who came from London and my granddaughter’s cello performance coinciding with our anniversary made the occasion a memorable event for us. We returned to Chennai on 11th May from near freezing temperature to 40C. 
While I was recovering from jet lag and getting adjusted to the temperature difference, I received an invitation from Apparao gallery to give a talk on Nandal Bose and his innovations with alpana. Next few weeks were spent in preparation for my talk. My demonstration cum talk was at Sandy’s, R A Puram on 21st June. On 20th June, I spent 2 hours at Sandy’s doing alpana at the entrance. The free hand, 4’ x 3’ alpona was done on the spot with finger in traditional method. The materials used were rice flour for white, turmeric, and coffee, all natural and locally available. The demonstration on 21st was a smaller alpona, only in white, where the guests also participated.

The event was covered by The Hindu.
[jpg version]:-

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