At 3 p.m. in the afternoon last Saturday, around 15 women were crowded around the central table in the large hall. They were watching Pratap Ruthnaswamy from Bottle Tree expertly cut a glass bottle into half. He first lay it against a wooden contraption that held it in place for him to mark evenly around. Then he applied a coat of kerosene over the mark and cut along the marked surface using a glass cutter.

Finally he brought out a bent metal stick (made out of a bucket holder) and tapped firmly along the surface until cracks appeared and smoothly detached the second half that was ready to be redesigned as a pen stand. Another method of cutting glass, he said, is to use a blowtorch at a low flame or even a candle.

This is part of the “Art on Glass” workshop organized by Banna Creations in association with Bottle Tree. “There are lot of applications for recycled bottles, using bottle cutting and etching methods,” says Pratap. “When we teach people, their minds also start working once when they go home and they start seeing the potential of recycling now that they have the experience,” says Pratap.

“A recycled bottle will cost you just one rupee. Until now people have seen limited uses for bottles. Now they are becoming popular with recycling being a trend.”

The scope of the workshop, Pratap explains also includes etching on glass and mirrors, apart from glass painting and a demonstration of the actual copper foil stained glass method (the method will be taught in a forthcoming advanced class).These methods can be applied to make glass paintings, lamp shades, pen and napkin holders and similar products that can incorporate glass paintings. “These are things that can be used on an everyday basis. There is a lot of scope not just for people doing up their homes but also in the gifting sector, in housewarming ceremonies, birthday parties, weddings and especially when there is not much of this in the market.”

Pratap then went on to demonstrate how to create designs on the cut glasses which will then appear in frosted glass after sandblasting. “It’s not just a glass painting workshop. We are learning the actual techniques that we see on the products in the stores. We are learning to make things we can use at home. I’m looking forward to the next week. We have a good instructor who recommends the brands we can use and not just the expensive ones,” says Shilpa Swamy, software professional.

This is all part of Banna’s charter to provide a platform for artists to showcase their skills and teach people what they do.

“We retail handmade products, but we are not just about selling them. We want to give people an idea about how these products are made, so that everybody can see the importance of handmade products,” says Aishwarya, founder, Banna Creations.

For details on the advanced stained glass workshop and other workshops, contact Aishwarya at 9945611081 or e-mail bannacreations@gmail.com.