Trash to treasure

It started when Malu Mohan S used a few used bottles to decorate her garden. Now, it has turned into a full-fledged venture   

author_img Aathira Haridas Published :  10th November 2021 06:19 PM   |   Published :   |  10th November 2021 06:19 PM

For Malu, a techie based in Kochi, bottle art is something she started as a quarantine hobby.

Everything turns into her canvas. The frame on her mirror, chairs, tables and even used bottles — all become witness to her creativity. “You can turn anything into a canvas. It is not only cost-effective but also a better way to utilise what you have in your surroundings. So, why should I buy one,” says Malu Mohan S, whose bottle arts are winning many hearts.

For Malu, a techie based in Kochi, bottle art is something she started as a quarantine hobby. Though she was into art since childhood, the lockdown days changed it all for her — she picked up her paint again and started unleashing her creativity. 

Malu does mandalas and abstract works on her bottles. She collects used glass bottles from friends, the flat community and others for her art. It all started when she thought of adding some colour to her garden by working on bottles. The ketchup bottles figured as her canvas. And when she started sharing her art with her friends, enquiries came pouring in. And so did bottles. Friends started dropping off bottles that they would otherwise discard. “It is a better way to use the trash. I am also thinking of creating lamps in the bottles. so these discarded bottles would be fashioned out into artsy lamps,” she says.

Bottles in myriad colours and tones peep out from every nook and cranny of her home. One of the challenges she faces is the difficulty in keeping all the bottles at home. As of now, there are more than 60 artsy glass bottles in her home. And another 100 bottles which have been collected to work on. 

It is all about upcycling and creating art out of trash, she says. “The recycling aspect inspired me to venture into this. I used a few bottles that were lying around as decor pieces and now, the hobby has turned into an entrepreneurial venture,” says Malu. She uses acrylic and chalk paint and occasionally, clay too, based on the art she is working on. 

But one aspect Malu is conscious of is the shape of the bottle. “The kind of bottle I work on is very important. As that will reflect directly on the artwork. I am very concerned about perfection,” she says.  
Her bottles are priced between Rs 400 and Rs 1,000. “For me it is not about profit, but creating something new and artistic out of the old. It’s one less trash,” she says.