By Ivan Bestari

26 September 2023 - 16:21

Ivan Bestari and Hannah Gibson smiling and posing for the camera on either side of the Glass Beyond Borders standing banner at the exhibition and workshop venue, surrounded by four other audience and event staff members. ©

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Glass artists Ivan Bestari (ID) and Hannah Gibson (UK) conducted a series of events to socialise scrap glass as an artistic medium, facilitate collaborations, and explore the potential for a diverse glass art ecosystem in Indonesia.

Glass artists are few and far between in Indonesia, presenting a potential we wanted to explore with this collaboration. Hannah and I both work with scrap glass, but we use very different methods. This spurred plenty of fruitful discussions regarding the history and ecosystems of glass art across the world.

From the beginning, our focus has been on how to maximise the value that we bring to the table with this project. The main problem we faced as soon as we started was that scrap glass—which was very commonplace to us both—was not a material that artists, designers, or craftspeople are familiar with.

We worked out a solution by collaborating with Yogyakarta Avatar Studio, Duta Wacana Christian University, and the National Industrial Design Centre (PDIN) to conduct a series of events socialising the usage of scrap glass as an artistic medium. In the end, this project evolved beyond a simple collaboration of two artists—it became Glass Beyond Borders, a project promoting a new artistic medium for the public in Yogyakarta.

Socialising scrap glass as an artistic medium

If we were to socialise any kind of new artistic medium, we knew that the first thing we needed to do was a workshop. To this end, we collaborated with Studio Avatar Yogyakarta—experts in ceramic art and kiln manufacturing—in a workshop on the scrap glass kiln process.

We held a total of four workshops. For two of them, we invited students from the Product Design Department of Duta Wacana Christian University. The other two were open to the public, which we held at Otakatik Creative Work (

We followed up the workshops with a showcase event at the National Industrial Design Centre (PDIN).

We displayed the results of the scrap glass processing experiments that participants conducted during the workshop, Hannah’s and my artworks as glass artists, as well as collaborative artworks between participants.

We displayed all the tools and materials we used in our workshops so the public can have a better idea of scrap glass processing. We also conducted an additional mini workshop on how to upcycle glass bottles by cutting them for reuse. Stakeholders commended our innovation in processing glass waste.

Ivan Bestari and Hannah Gibson guiding a workshop participant to cut one of many glass bottles on a table with a special tool. Many people gather around the table, including a lady, an old man, and a younger man taking pictures. ©

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Ivan Bestari demonstrating flameworking techniques with a small blowtorch from his corner table during the workshop and exhibition venue. Several dozen audience members are watching him, with some taking pictures, and still others wandering in the background watching the rest of the exhibition.  ©

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A series of glass artworks in the shape of Lego minifigures. The one on the left is over twice as large and has gears and a bowler hat, and is a collaborative work by Ivan Bestari and Hannah Gibson. The other six smaller ones are Hannah Gibson’s work. ©

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A display of several glass artworks as three pendants in the foreground and a few other accessories in the background. All are creations of various workshop participants. ©

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A hopeful start of an artistic ecosystem

Finally, we held an artist talk session at Duta Wacana Christian University, where we gave the stage to workshop participants who would like to present their work process. The full show can be seen here.

Audience members consisted of university students, students, and staff members, as well as the general public coming from various backgrounds. We were happy to find the audience quite representative of both the environmental and artistic communities in Yogyakarta. Incidentally, these events were also covered by several local media publications.

Glass artists are few and far between in Indonesia, and those who use scrap glass as a medium are even more rare. Hence, we see this collaboration as a first step to develop further collaborations, and eventually build a more diverse glass art ecosystem in the country.