ENCOMPASSART STUDIO

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ARCHITECTURAL ARTISTS

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New Studio - New Website

Following on from our work on the recently completed Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kericho, we have decided to open a new glass studio in Nairobi. We have relocated to Karen Village, along Ngong Road. It is a special place and is developing into the main focus for the arts scene in Nairobi.
Although the main focus of our work is in glass for architectural settings, we have undertaken projects with various other Kenyan artists and craftsmen from several disciplines.
The glass work that we have undertaken for the cathedral project required the importation of a large glass fusing kiln. We will soon be offering works of glass art not previously possible in Kenya. It will be our aim to make this facility available to colleagues to help them expand and develop the possibilities of working with glass in Kenya.


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Project Completion

WE are delighted to show these two new mosaics, photographed here as the scaffolding was taken down at the beginning of March 2018. The mosaics are of stone and were designed by our international artist and created by our associated mosaic studio headed by Githaka Karuri.
They were commissioned by the S.C.L.P. Samaj School in Langata to mark the completion of the new school/college.
The designs were a result of a series of meetings and the passing on of the concept and various important symbols relevant to the theme.
Githaka was responsible for the creation of the "GARDEN OF EDEN" mosaic at the new Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kericho. A link to that project can be seen below.

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The People


The concept of the Encompassart Studio is to realize the legacy of the massively complex project for Kericho, Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The art works for the Cathedral were to utilize and develop the potential of Kenyan Artists and craftsmen. Our principal artist here in Kenya is Florence Wangui who has designed and made the glass panels and the bronze panels for the main doors. These were sculpted by Florence Wangui and transformed into bronze by Rajinder Kumar Anand at Alcamist Workshop in Nairobi. For the Kericho project we also accessed the work and abilities of mosaicists and sculptors. The mosaic was made in Maragua by Githaka Karuri and his team. We had amazing technical support throughout by the Propolis Studio of Nairobi who were involved in many aspects of the Cathedral project and specifically with us in the construction of the steel doors into which the bronze panels are set.
The crucifix was made in Karen by Toumer Yeshim who developed this wonderful method of brass casting.
These works for the cathedral are obviously for a specific religious setting, however, we are also able to undertake other projects to commission.
AS mentioned above, the studio is now up and running in Karen Village. We are now able to take on new projects for glass but also for other architectural situations. WE will also be looking at what else we can make in this great kiln.
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THE ROOF PATTERNS

The roof for the cathedral has this outer layer of terra-cotta tiles from Kenya Clay. It was felt that the tiles should not be left simply in this natural state, so we created a design based on cutting the tiles.

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GLASS

This leads to an index showing some work made in Kenya, but also illustrating the kind of work that can be made here in the new studio.

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STATIONS OF THE CROSS

The Stations of the Cross panels are made using Bullseye Glass.
The mould is the most important part of this process. This is made from silica sand and plaster of paris. The glass is melted on that mould to create the relief sculpted glass.
The steel doors and the installation of the panels was carried out by Propolis Studio.

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THE BRONZE DOORS

The cathedral has two sets of steel doors, there are relief sculpted bronze panels inserted into these doors. The method of creating the art work for these panels is similar to what is required to make the glass relief sculptures.

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MOSAIC

This is the mosaic that was made for the Kericho Cathedral. It is on the theme of the Garden of Eden. It is made of natural stone. it is 20Mt long and 2Mt high.
This extraordinary work was designed by the studio and undertaken by with Githaka Karuri and his team.

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CRUCIFIX

There are two crucifixes within the Kericho Project. The main, full sized figure in the cathedral, and a small crucifix in the chapel.
The amazing metal work was undertaken by Toumer Yeshim with preparation by Jamie Vaulkhard and the studio..

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DESIGN

This image shows the designs for the new mosaics. Scale design is the most important stage of a commission. This is where the art solution appears. It enables artist and clients to discuss the concept being proposed.

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PAINTED GLASS

We have the possibility to make traditional painted glass panels up to a size of 2mts x 1.1mt.
This uses traditional glass painting and silverstaining, fired in the kiln.

two stone mosaics


Two mosaics were commissioned by the new Samaj School, Langata in 2017. The new ENCOMPASSART studio in Karen Nairobi was asked to undertake this project. This picture shows the mosaics immediately after the installation in March 2018. The designs were created by the studio’s international associate John Clark and accepted by the committee involved. The mosaics were made in Kerugoya by the mosaicist Githaka Karuri and his team.
The two planes of the new school building were foreseen as being a location for art works, specifically mosaics. Mosaics made from stone.
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The large rectangular mosaic is 9 mts x 4 mts. The Left hand mosaic is in the shape of Kenya and is approx. 4.5 mts x 4 mts. The artist was given a series of symbols and the wish that they and the elephant fountain located in the original school be incorporated into a design concept for a single mosaic. Details of the symbolism are included below. Stone mosaic is a very time consuming and physical medium and one of the earliest art forms. These mosaics were made using offcuts, basically waste products of the marble and granite industry in Kenya. We are very grateful to Maruti Mining and Hi-Tec Granite for providing us with this raw material.
The request to create a second design including the words “EDUCATION FOR ENLIGHTENMENT”, came after the first design was completed. This design is a visualisation of the school motto.
The company Esteel Construction were instrumental in building the modernist Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kericho. A large stone mosaic was created for that building on the theme of the “Garden of Eden”. It was this mosaic that inspired Manu Bhudia to consider that this method would also be appropriate for the new school building.

Technique
The method is ancient and simple. The mosaics are made in the studio and assembled on site. Offcuts of stone, marble and granite, are sliced using a chisel hammer. These are then positioned and fixed on a mesh placed over the full scale drawing. the mesh with the applied mosaic is cut into manageable segments that are put together again during the installation on the prepared wall.

The Left hand mosaic
The Fountain
I like the idea of the fountain as it is suggestive of the water, symbolic knowledge in this case, being drawn up and passed down through generations.
The Om or Aum symbol
one of the most recognisable symbols of Hinduism, is representative of the totality of the universe. The sound is meant to be extended and vibrated, as pronouncing it properly involves moving through all possible vowel sounds. The three primary sounds involved also represent three of the primary deities in Hinduism - Brahma is A, Vishnu is U, and Shiva is M. As the three gods are actually aspects of a single god, the separated-yet-connected nature of the letters in Aum is symbolic of their interweaving. Therefore, Aum is a symbol of the universe in totality, with all its permutations and underlying facets. The visual symbol, known as omkara, is a very recognisable symbol of Hinduism as a whole. Technically, Om and Aum are separate in pronunciation, but the simpler Om is symbolically linked to the more complex Aum.
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Eagle
Garuda, in Hindu mythology, the bird (a kite or an eagle) and the vahana (mount) of the god Vishnu. In the Rigveda the sun is compared to a bird in its flight across the sky, and an eagle carries the ambrosial soma plant from heaven to earth.
Intelligence, 'Intelligence is the swiftest of birds (Rig veda), He who understands has wings' (Pancavimca Brahmanan). Garuda is the bird of life, the sky, the sun, victory; it is Creator and destroyer of all, a vehicle of Vishnu and sometimes equated with the phoenix.
The Swan,
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Symbol of Saraswati (Sanskrit: सरस्वती, Sarasvatī) is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. Goddess of Wisdom, Saraswati is associated with the white Lotus.
The Lotus
The universe in the passive aspect of manifestation; the highest form or aspect of earth; the procreative power of the eternal substance; the mover on the face of the waters; the self-generative; the self-born, immortal and spiritual nature of man; the unfolding of all possibilities; eternal regeneration; superhuman origin; purity; beauty; longevity; health; fame; fortune, especially for children.
It is also the solar matrix, the throne of Brahma, born from the lotus.
Light
The Self; Atman; cosmic creation; 'the progenitive power'; spirituality; wisdom; sanctity; the manifestation of Krishna, Lord of Light.
Water
Agni is born of the waters and the earth and is the pillar supporting all existence. Varuna is controller of the waters.
Elephant
the vehicle of the God Ganesha. The strength of sacred wisdom, prudence, kingly rank, invincible might, longevity, intelligence, Indira, guardian of the east rides on the elephant Airavata. The world is supported by elephants.

The Right Hand Mosaic.
The concept here is the range of study within the Samaj School and College.
The image is two children sitting on the lower stairs, each, reading a book.
Two older children ascending the stairs and two graduates at the top.
The whole composition is bound within the shape of Kenya, the three books in the foreground using the colours of the kenya flag.
The motto of the school is written in the center of the image. “EDUCATION FOR ENLIGHTENMENT”