“My work is my hobby”, Sri Anand Balkrishna Gadre said to me on a rainy Sunday morning, as we settled in at 69, Budhwar Peth to talk about his life and work.
We’ve all come across thousands of glass showpieces and figurines created through Lamp Working/Flame Working, a technique that consists of moulding molten glass with the help of fire and a glass tube. The art requires some very serious skill, to say the least. But not a lot of us know people who work with glass to create such pieces. I, for one, most definitely didn’t, until I was acquainted with Sri Gadre in the heart of Pune city.
At his father’s nudging, Gadre began learning this art and working with glass in 1977 and gets the most orders to create Lord Ganesha figurines today. His second favourite figures to create are a variety of animals. “Here, I’ll show you; tell me which animal you want me to make!”, he insisted.
As he started working on a tiny Tortoise for me, he described his work further. It takes him about 30 magical minutes to create a small figurine of Lord Ganesha, and during this season, he makes up to 10 pieces of the deity every day! The largest one he’s made was sized at about 10 inches.
In our series titled ‘The Hidden Pune‘, we’ve included a video of him making a Ganpati figure from scratch and it’s a real treat to watch. The video will be released right before Ganpati 2019, so keep an eye out for it on our Facebook and Instagram feeds!
Although the prices of these figures vary depending upon their size and the time it takes to make them, a small-sized Ganesha figures costs about Rs. 300/-
He also makes the most beautiful Lord Krishna and Arjun chariots and tiny Ganesha temples. The Raths can take up to 15-20 days to make, so keep that in mind for when you’d like to get one made!
Not only does he get orders from individuals, even merchants collect pieces from him to keep in stores.
As he explained all this to me, I was shocked to see that my Tortoise was almost ready! He was just adding some final details to its shell and it was good to go! It now sits on my study table where I spend most of my time and quite cherish the little piece of art.
If you’d like to get a lovely Lord Ganesha figurine for this Ganpati season, or gift some to your loved ones, we highly recommend that you head to 69, Budhwar Peth, near Tulsi Baug. In case you’re not sure about finding the place easily, send us a DM and we’ll gladly give you detailed directions!