Uncorking bottled art

Lincy Mathew Thengummoottil’s with her collection of decorated bottles   | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha

Lincy Mathew Thengummootil gives an artistic finish to old bottles and gives them a new lease of life

Lincy Mathew Thengummootil’s tryst with colours is not merely a brush with art. She revels in the colourful works she creates in different media and the proof of her revelry is on the walls and tables and shelves of her beautifully done up apartment in the city.

Her latest creations prove that there is no glass ceiling for imagination or creativity. Glass bottles, so difficult to dispose off now, have been turned into works of art. Tall, short, stout and slender glass bottles, all destined for the scrap heap, have been given a new touch of life by Lincy. Jute thread, wool, small mirrors, bead and artificial flowers and even bits and pieces of lace and ribbons have been aesthetically used to create beautiful stand-alone pieces.

Glittering like dew drops on a lawn, the tiny mirrors catch the light and break it into a thousand rainbows; coils of brown jute thread imitate branches of a tree hiding a white flower in its bosom; a saucy read sash can transform any dress and, for that matter, a bottle too!

Pointing to a familiar looking bottle, all decked up in black with silver beads, she says that was the first one she crafted and so she has kept it aside for sentimental reasons. “That was a bottle of tomato sauce that I recycled. Then I tried on another one and then there was no stopping me,” she says with a dimpled smile. “I paint and I shop for accessories to design my saris. I tried using some of the paints and threads on the bottles and I really liked the look of the recycled bottles,” she adds.

Pretty, coloured bottles of different drinks were sourced from friends and family members and given a stylish makeover by Lincy. Moreover, even cracked and chipped glasses are given a second lease of life with the help of some clever designs. Showing a wine glass in jute and wool, she explains, “This was a little chipped but I just did not have the heart to throw it away. So I gave it a makeover and now it is one of my favourite pieces. I think the height of creativity is when you can unmask that beauty hidden in almost everything around us. I dislike the use-and-throw culture and that is why I try to reuse and recycle most of the things that we buy.”

When her friends saw some of her creations, all of them wanted some of her works of art and so she gave them away. “That is when I realised that there might be a market for these creations of mine. Initially, I did not think people would pay for these bottles. But now I know that there is a market,” she says.

For the last three to four months Lincy has been working hard to build up her collection. She plans to hold a sale sometime in December and also register on Amazon to sell her products online. An article on her decorated bottles has won her many orders. “There were some who wanted a few customised for their resorts,” she says. And now she is dreaming big.

Sitting prettily in her home, she recalls how she felt her passion for art was all bottled up when her parents persuaded her to opt for science for her graduation. Marriage and motherhood followed soon after she completed her post-graduation in social work and she had no time to nurture her talent. However, her husband encouraged her to hone her innate skills and so she learnt painting, composition and colour combinations from an art tutor Apukuttan Nair for more than 10-12 years. “He taught me the basis of art, paints, technique and compositions. Thanks to my husband, I was able to immerse myself in colours and shapes,” she says.

Her passion for colours splashed on to canvases and her paintings filled her apartment. That is when she started using her eye for colours and designs to make her own saris and Lincy made quite a name for herself for her designer saris. “But then, I got bored when every other person started cutting and tailoring saris. I moved on to other things and that is when bottles caught my eye. I am sure, I will move on to something once I am done with bottles,” she asserts. Till then the glass bottles will continue to reflect her sense of colours and designs.