CW Interiors |
Focus Story | June 2015

Glistering Glass

Zuby Johal of Studio Avtar creates wonders out of molten glass.

Bengaluru-based Studio Avtar, headed by Zuby Johal, specializes in creating installations with molten glass. Zuby has altered the look of various spaces from hotels and residences to corporate offices.

Tell us about your work?
Simplicity and completion are the most important elements of my work. Taking the complex and translating it into the simplest form inspires me. My installations may be made using similar forms but each piece is different.

Installations are designed to fulfill an emotional connect, while physical design is about functionality. All my work is handcrafted using various techniques in glass.

How did you decide to venture into this?
I did my schooling from All Saints College, Nainital. I completed my Bachelors in Fine Art specializing in applied art from Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru. I then came across a course in ceramic and glass in NID, and was instantly drawn to it. It was a very impulsive decision, made without any reasoning and thus, I got a formal start in glass design only when I enrolled myself as a student of Industrial Design at NID, Ahmedabad.

I first picked up a glass blowing pipe in 2007 in class. Little did I know that I would explore this medium for the rest of my life. My mission is to transform glass into breathtaking light and design experiences. I named my studio after my mother - ´Avtar´, who actually guided me to join NID.

What have been your most memorable projects so far?
It would be the BMW i8 launch where I made a 30 ft installation of a human figure using glass crystal and light. The scale was what enticed me to take up the project.

What is the biggest challenge that you face?
Clients should have more faith in Indian designers and not expect them to replicate work done by other designers overseas. The potential of Indian designers can only be explored if the right space and platform is provided.

What is the kind of clientele and projects you are looking at?
Our vision is to share intense beauty of glass art with the world. I would like to do more installations in diverse spaces but with more interaction. Hence exploring technology is going to be our prime focus. I want to work with clients who can give designers space to go forward with their thought process.

What inspires your designs?
We draw inspiration from life's expressions and use nature as the principal for all our creations. Glass, as in nature, is organic and unpredictable; hence each piece has its own identity.

What´s in store for the future?
In the coming years, I would like to build a studio where artists and people can come and learn this art form and explore this material. The space would be open to all. We use technology, poetry and visual language to create magic.

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