KARACHI: It was a little over two years ago when Mehreen Saleem was celebrating her daughter Aamina’s third birthday at home that one of the birthday girl’s little friends broke one of the hostess’s pretty serving pot’s glass lid.
“I was a bit sad about it. Still I collected the broken pieces of glass into a bag and stored them with the thought that maybe I could do something with it later. Being an artist, I thought I could do something creative. And sure enough one day I discovered resin geode art to put it to good use,” she told Dawn.
Resin geode art looks like natural rocks formation compositions created by placing crushed tempered glass and crystals alongside tinted resin. Using pigments and mica powder, you can create resin geodes in any colour palette you like while adding decorative elements such as glitter, acrylic paints, alcohol inks, etc.
Resin is also commonly used to preserve things such as wedding flowers or anything else of sentimental value. But it makes this an expensive art as a bottle of 1.5kg of resin itself costs Rs3,500 here. Then the paints and other stuff also don’t come cheap. But that’s the last thing on creative people’s minds.
After practicing the art for one year and making herself a master of the craft, the artist decided to introduce it to her art students in Karachi. She started classes at the Rangoonwala Hall first and now she teaches resin geode art at the Indus Valley School (IVS) of Art and Architecture as well as at her studio at Habitt City here.
“It’s a two-month course with 16 classes and 32 credit hours,” Mehreen shared.
Following the completion of one of her recent courses, the teacher and a couple of her students from IVS held an exhibition of her collective works at Habitt City.
There was Afifa Maya, one of her very creative students, who may not be able to walk since birth, but who is the powerhouse of creativity. One of Afifa’s masterpieces was the ‘Blue Mirror’, which got her plenty of offers to sell the piece from very interested art collectors.
The pieces of another student, Alyna Rashid, were also attracting a lot of attention as well as offers for buying.
Both the young students also became a source of pride for their teacher. Mehreen’s own pieces also included calligraphy. But all three resin geode artists like to work in different mediums for their pieces such as wood, mirror, canvas and Medium Density Fibreboard, or MDF board, with which they have created eye-catching glittering wall art, decoration pieces and even serving trays.
“I gave my students total freedom with their creativity as long as they don’t copy the designs from anywhere and the results, as you can see, have turned out to be absolutely amazing,” said the teacher.
After finishing a resin geode art piece one needs to leave it for 24 hours in order to set. And you cannot change anything in the piece so there is no room for errors. But Mehreen laughed narrating a funny incident when a housefly came to sit on her setting piece and became part of it. “I had to then bury the insect in more tempered glass to hide it,” she laughed.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2022