Do you SEE the Elephant in the Room? (part 1)

The Ganesha Project had been in the works for about 6 months before we bent a piece of steel or cut a piece of glass.

 

It began as a wish, a desire on the part of a local Yogi and Priest in the Himalayan lineage. Pandit Tejomaya of Island of Peace Yoga Studio (the name has since changed, it's part of this story) came to my studio and asked if I would be interested in talking about the possibility of creating the sacred Lord Ganesha in a fused glass and steel sculpture.

And I jumped at the chance!! Even though I knew creating this amazing deity would likely involve some challenges.

 

To start, we needed to wait until a time of year when I had more time and not too many other pressing projects. I knew he would need my full attention. But of course, he is a God after all. One of the most loved of all the Hindu gods.

 

The first bends of steel on the Ganesha drawing.

 

Then I began playing with simple drawings of the sculpture to see how to make it possible for metal to be bent to the shapes, and for me to be able to cut the glass to the shapes. The outlines of my sculptures always have to take into account the technical aspects of metal bending and glass cutting.

 

My metalworker, Ode, grinding the steel frame of Ganesha.

 

Once we worked out the basic design, with input from the client and from the metalworker, the steel bending could begin! As you can see this sculpture required very specific and advanced metal bending. I am so fortunate to have an accomplished craftsperson, my partner Ode, to work with on these projects.

As you can see he is FUN too!

 

We had some fun with this too! Steel framed Ganesha.

 

Ganesha was hanging with us for awhile before I was able to start on the glasswork. He was very welcome to be in our home.

 

Ganesha hangs out near the fire.

 

Once Lord Ganesha arrived in my studio I needed to live with his basic shape for some time before I was ready to start cutting the glass and adorning him.

 

Ganesha steel frame arrives in my glass studio!!

 

I started with his feet. In Indian culture touching the feet of a God or Guru, and an elder is a sign of respect. It felt like the right place to enter for me.

 

First cuts of the glass for fusing.

 

I was asked if I could write the Sanskrit words to the Gansha mantra somewhere on the sculpture. I thought it would be cool if the words was subtly drawn into the folds of his garments. I used glass powder to do this part. Listen to the sacred mantra here.

 

Drawing into glass powder the mantra to Ganesha.

 

And on it went, as I created his hands, his feet and torso. It was a good feeling to have this many body parts all in the kiln....ahhhhhh.

The head, the most difficult part for me, was still to come.

 

Stay tuned for more!

 

Many parts of glass Ganesha ready for fusing.