LURE Glass and fire blend to form graceful craft pieces at the exhibition, now on in the city.

The fiery orange glass horses, with legs poised gracefully in delicate silhouettes, represent glass sculpture at its imaginative best. Y.P. Singh's repertoire of creativity spans shapes and forms which include fruit, birds, flowers, and animals, trees, bells, tiny decorative items and above all tiny perfectly sculpted gods in jewel like colours. The size of the glass icons can be anything from four mm to one foot and come in colours ranging from bright, turmeric yellow to deepest ultramarine blue, red and green. Touches of silver and gold add allure to both gods and floral bouquets.

Coming from Ferozabad in U.P., the glass capital of India, melting and glass blowing come instinctively to Y.P. Singh. But it was in turning away from mundane activities such as fashioning tumblers, vases, flasks and scientific equipment to sculpting lovely pieces of art that he has blazed a trail in creativity. To watch him create myriad shapes out of irregular lumps of molten glass, and hand-craft a brilliantly purple kangaroo or a yellow Ganesha in 20 minutes flat is an amazing experience!

Minute detailing

Y.P. Singh begins by lighting up the modified flow of a mix of gas and oxygen. He holds up a tube of bright red glass to the flame. The tube melts slowly and turns into a lump of molten glass. As it cools, the artisan begins to shape it into the concept he has in his mind with his 'chimtas' and his dexterous fingers. Slowly a dancing Ganesha or a bird in lyrical flight or a Nataraja in a cosmic dance emerges. All the while Singh presses, prods, shapes, adds minute detailing or touches of other colours derived from molten glass. The glass rod itself has been shaped by the artisan from either soda or corning glass to which 11 minerals are added and heated to a temperature of 1050 degrees centigrade till it liquefies in the furnace.

Y.P. Singh's glass sculptures captivate with their concepts and colours. Prettiest of tiny yellow bananas and green apples share space with a bunch of green chillies and lemons designed to ward off evil! Bouquets of flowers, tiny parrots and mynahs sit beside giraffes, elephants, dolphins, penguins mistletoe bells and candle stands. Lovely horse drawn carriages, trees alive with tiny birds, jars and vases are other exquisite pieces of glass sculpture on view. But it is in his creation of the gods that this glass blower exhibits his mastery over the medium. A well sculpted dancing Nataraja shows remarkable attention to detail, while a turmeric yellow Ganesha and an ultramarine Vinayaka stun with their sheer poetry.

"I have done a series of 108 dancing Natarajas," says Singh, "and my Buddhas and lucky Ganeshas are sought by clients both in India and Far Eastern countries." By sheer dint of craftsmanship and meticulous research into religious texts and sastras this glass blower from Ferozabad has taken glass sculpting to new thresholds of artistry and creativity.

Y.P. Singh's Glass Sculpture Exhibition is on view from October 12 to 24, at Vennirul Art Gallery, C.P. Arts Centre, 1 Eldams Road, Alwarpet.

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