Thursday, May 28, 2009

Of Colors, Sparkles And More

Walking inside, my eyes widened and my antennae sparked up. A few steps and my antennae was suffering from overload, my eyes darting everywhere, my mind screaming to focus and my body spinning to take all of it in. I acted like a bounding puppy gone out of control and people had to regret not having brought a leash. I was steered and veered as I distractedly bounced hither and thither, trying to touch, trying to reach into the colors as my eyes drowned into the glitter of the tinged reflections. Oh if only Escher could see these recursive illusions; of an amphitheater, of endless spirals of staircases that lead to nowhere, of shapes that emerge at different perceptions, of angles inside angles, of colors wrapped around layers and layers of more colors, of trees and flowers ethereally floating inside cushions of green and you are left pestering the helpful lady how one could paint without brushes. Maybe that's how my life looks... endless illusions, confusing shapes from a zillion perspectives.

"Why can't I make one!", I whined as I peered into the exquisite goblets of the Mesopotamian era. Surely if they could back then, I should be able to with all the sophisticated tools now! Ah the smart Germans... weren't they ingenious to create trick vine glasses that were an interplay of complex geometric mazes and artistic splendor, making sure the vine would trickle out only when the glass was titled at intelligent angles? Talk about guarding against intoxication.

And then you see how it's done. Even after countless videos seen, it seems like magic when the artisan blows, twists and melts to create those beautiful shapes. Layers after layers, he pushes it inside the kiln and you wonder how your personality was similarly shaped with so many levels of such layers. Tempered with every situation, a powerful force pushing you into the burning heat of the kiln forcing you to set your ways, your shape; but it's not all, you come out and get molded further. Yet, I can't look into myself with the clarity of such transparency and make out every layer behind layer, every little nook, shape and color of that layer and how they all add to my collective personality. They say if it's opaque then it needs more heat, more tempering, and perhaps that's why I have a long way to go before I can see straight through myself.

But that's not get to see how straight boring lines can be fused and shaped with nimble hands to create an elegant stag, a happy dolphin and a leaping shark. As I wailed "I want to learn", I was dragged down to the market place and my mind exploded. It was my entry into heaven... rows and rows of sparkling colorful treats, I frolicked in the radiance of the colors and grabbed those meager few I could afford.

It was with a heavy heart that I bid adieu and as I walked away I wondered if I'm only indulging in a materialistic streak. But enjoying such art was so elevating that my mind was drugged; serenity engulfing every pore, steeped in the colors, the geometry and the benevolent glitter.... almost psychedelic. And I know that no amount of words can describe my experience at Corning Museum of Glass.

And oh, no prizes for guessing what souvenir I brought back (among other things).


SecondSight said...

Didn't you love the demo they did? :) Read this rather nice book on glass-blowing.. something we must try sometime, isnt it? ;)

Neeraja said...

Oh yes absolutely! I'm so glad I have a partner for such projects :). I wanted to try making my own artifact there (there is a fee and some instructors help u create ur own vase etc), but I was forbidden saying I will burn the whole place down :(

Priya said...

Hey, I see you have two pictures of glass fishes :-)

The combination of glass and art is indeed mesmerizing! I should go there sometime.

Oorja said...

a fish of course... :-)

that is a fantastic writeup of the trip. actually very intreaguing. now i want to experience all that.

i have seen on tv how they make intricate glass articles but to see them in person would be like being in the wonderland. they are soo delicate and beautiful.

i am out of words..

Perception said...

Oh i envy you girls, wish I could join in the project too :). Lovely post, thanks for sharing the experience, took me to the place as if I were watching.

On another note, loved the my magic lenses on the left.

Neeraja said...

Priya - Yes, you should surely visit the place before you will love it!

Oorja - thanks! It really is a wonderful experience...intriguing and funnily enough calming!

Perception - Thank you for noticing the pictures :). And you must definitely visit such a glass factory/museum. Seattle is quite well known for it's glass shows as well, you should try to catch them! :)