BENGALURU: They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and Gajendra Siddalingappa has made this his philosophy of life. Give any empty alcohol bottle to him, and he will turn it into a piece of art.
What used to be grey goose vodka bottles, Kingfishers beer bottles, has now turned into an abstract looking planter, clock or an ashtray. Gajendra says,”By far, my bestseller has been the ones that are made out of Morpheus brandy bottle. In my last exhibition, a lady picked 10 of them.”
But how does he do it? “The empty bottles are placed in moulds of different shapes and are placed in a furnace for 24 hours at the temperature of 750 degree Celsius. The bigger bottles are kept in 750 degree Celsius and for smaller bottles it’s 550 degree Celsius. It’s a 24-hour process because if the furnace is opened before time it will start getting cracks,” says Siddalingappa. All the moulds that are used are made by Gajendra, but sometimes he himself can’t predict the shape of the final product. The reason could be quality of the glass or sometimes the placement or reasons that he also can’t explain.
Gajendra has been doing this for more than 13 years. After his matriculation, he lost his father and was forced to take up odd jobs to support his family. One of the jobs that he did was, working in a glass cutting factory. One day he came across a clock made out of a melted alcohol bottle, which his owner had brought from Singapore. He was so fascinated by the piece that there was no turning back for him. “Every morning I wake up and think about what new to make out of these empty bottles,” says 43-year-old Siddalingappa, who sources the empty bottles from a factory in Peenya.
This born artist also made a special mention about his employer who has given out his garage to him to use it as a workshop. “I work out of a space that is supposed to be my employer’s garage. He has given me full liberty to experiment with what I do,” says Gajendra, who makes around 12 -15 pieces month. Depending on the pieces the price ranges from ` 250- ` 2,500. He has exhibited his work all across the country, and is gearing up for an exhibition in Hyderabad next month.