Sai Baba Custom Glass Tile Mosaic Project
“Don’t know how I kept going. You just do. You have to, so you do.”
― Elizabeth Wein
Who likes to be in the throes of constant change and challenges … I certainly don’t!!
Have always loved a complacent, happy go lucky life… but then life has a knack of getting back at you with a little rap and a solid smack, that gets you into action… and while at it you start enjoying what you do… 🙂
Well! ever since mosaics happened to me, I have been enjoying the play of colours, textures, movement, and the flow of the design… It is truly a colour therapy that I was indulging in. However, at some point of time things got mundane and just when I was wondering what to do next… there was a knock … another opportunity….
It was a request to create a painting in mosaic, that of Sai Baba with his divine expression….
The request comes from a friend, for whom I had made a mosaic commission number plate. Her bed ridden mother-in-law wanted another piece made for their home entrance, for Sai’s blessings always be showered upon all those who grace their home with their presence.
I had no clue about how to achieve this resemblance.
I discussed the project with my friend, Rita and her husband Amit. We got the mental picture of the image we wanted to create and I began my work with a printout from the Internet. A niggling doubt lingered in my head about cutting the fine expressions of the Sai Baba and include the lettering with pieces of glass, all on a 20 in x 20 inches plywood base.
Having achieved the depth of divinity in the eyes, I proceeded.
Getting to the big picture, I tried to cut the lettering with glass tiles but soon gave it up and assembled it with pearly beads.
Setting the beard and the fullness of the lips had its own challenge. … many a pieces cut, reworked and wasted over days of toil.
The next hurdle was the grout, once grouted in dark brown the divinity vanished. All I could infer was an unexpected image with very dark eyes and a horrible beard staring at me.
I took pictures of the piece, kept looking at what could be done to make it even better, still uneasy with my solutions I decided to sleep over it. Next morning, back at the studio all the grout was scraped off carefully from between the crevices and re-grouted in a lighter tone of terracotta. The new grout colour merged the tonality of the image and phew! It certainly looked better. Mission accomplished!!
Having got some semblance of what I wanted to create, the piece was framed and presented to the owner. A nagging feeling persisted as ‘Sai Kripa’ lettering looked messy and did not show as bright after going through multiple layers of grouting….I was happy NOT with my result. 🙁
They say that thoughts become your reality, and so this had to happen. When the dear old lady was presented with my toil of over a month full of relentless contemplations and reworking to make this expression my best so far, her comment was – “ I just wanted ‘Sai Kripa’ to be written as a mosaic plaque.” The alphabets were hardly legible and the words were lost in translation.
Saving grace! She appreciated the imagery. So I took the art work back, cut more glass tiles, did a glass on glass pasting, the effect of which was 3 dimensional. The response this time was joyfully grateful.
I appreciated every moment of his divine intervention in accepting my folly of not having spoken to the elder lady myself to understand precisely what she wanted. Lesson learnt- ‘To accept my mistakes and to rework and deliver more than what is expected.’ 🙂