Baroda-born artist Kayur Patel studied mechanical engineering and traversed a gamut of careers - including tuning and repairing cars, manufacturing ballpoint pens, garments, and jewelry, supplying cables and switches for sugar factories - before he found his true vocation. Patel finally settled on cast-glass as his medium of expression in 1987, when he first experimented with etching on glass using a computerised engraving machine. He bought his first kiln shortly after, and taught himself the art of casting glass using books.
"Today, I have logged more than 80,000 hours with the kiln, but each time I open the kiln to see the results of the casting, I feel like a mother giving birth. One never knows what will emerge when one opens the kiln. After firing the glass, I have to shut down the kiln and wait for it to return to room temperature. Sometimes 10 days will pass before I can even dare to open the kiln and peek inside. Glass can crack and shatter in the kiln due to the extreme temperatures. The mould may break. The glass may get stuck to the mould or the kiln itself... seven times out of 10, something equally unpredictable would have happened."
For the last 22 years, Patel has been honing his skills, combining them with his knowledge of carpentry and metalwork, to create sculptural and architectural installations in glass, for private and public commissions. "Much of my work has existed within the public realm, because as a glass artist I do a lot of commissioned works, however this is the first time I am creating a public artwork of this scale; naturally I am excited," concludes Patel.