Monday, 2 April 2018

Rishikesh

We are now in Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas.
It is known as a pilgrimage town.and is regarded as one 
of the holiest towns in India.

At sunset each night Ganga Aarti - a devotional ritual - is celebrated 
on the banks of the Ganges River. Aarti is only celebrated in three 
holy places in India - Haridwar, Rishikesk and Varanasi




Hundreds of Indian people cross this enormous, high, swing bridge 
each day to get across the Ganges River.

    

Once over they visit the 13 storey Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple.
It is traditional to walk up the thirteen levels to the top.


The aarti ceremony involves song, prayer, the ringing of bells and the 
lighting of oil lamps as an offering to God.
It is done facing the deity - in this case the Ganges River.
After facing the deity the burning ghee is turned towards the worshippers
so they may find the path to humbleness and piety.
The flames send forth light and chase away darkness.



The other parts of this tradition in Rishikesh is to drive to the top of the mountain area we are in to visit the temple at the very top and to bathe in the Ganges river as shown in the sunset photo above.

It is such a magical and spiritual town.



Sunday, 1 April 2018

India - Colour and Quilts

We are absolutely loving India - the colours, the fabrics, the quilts, the people. 
the old architecture and the street stalls.

Firstly chairs made with a Kantha Quilts.

           

Elephant Kantha tablecloth in wayside restaurant.



These are typical street stalls



Quilts and Tablecloths



Scarves



Sari fabrics


Even road side stalls out in the countryside.



Now for some famous spots - the Taj Mahal



Amber Fort - the whole front of this is packed with applique design ideas.



Safdarjung's Tomb built in 1754 also had lots of applique inspiration.





Sunday, 25 March 2018

Colours of India - More Women at Work

India is such a riot of bright colours - women's sari and men's shirts.

But I have been focusing on women at work, so here are a few more from Jaipur.


Sweepers at Amber Fort


Village Spice Shopper


Village Henna Artist


Construction Site Worker


Blue and White Pottery Decorator


Matriarch of a Block Printing Family


Village Women - Restoration Workers at Amber Fort




Village Jewelery Maker



A Day Off for these women in the queue to get into Amber Fort

Friday, 23 March 2018

Metallic Block Printing in Jaipur

Today was off to another village for metallic block printing.


The huge block printing factory


Blocks for us to choose from


Mobile paint trays  - silver or gold?


I took my own fabric this time as I bought some indigo the day before 
and I love it with silver.


Then onto silver on white fabric under the watchful eye of the master.


I was really surprised how good the silver looked on the white fabric
and my printing was pretty perfect having had lots of practice over the week 
and with the master watching and making subtle corrections. He was such a gem.



The masters work - the best I have seen anywhere. 
Three block printing - three parts to the design with three colours.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Mud Block Printing in Jaipur


From the Jaipur Office


Yesterday we were off out to a small village that specializes in mud block
 printing called Dabu. This was so much fun.


Printing with mud - first design


Second one metre piece being printed


 Sprinkle the block with sawdust


This keeps the dye off even more than the mud resist


One design finished


Into the indigo dye vat


A sample straight out of the dye vat and below watching the colour change 
from greeny blue to blue


It goes even darker as the air oxidizes it.

Fabric drying in the sun


After printing we wandered around the village and felt totally immersed in Indian Village life

Women at Work in India

Once I started looking i wasn't as hard as I expected to find women at work.
I thought they would be mostly behind he scenes and I am sure that is still right.
But here are some that were happy to be photographed.


Jaipur Street Seller


Paper Maker


She is shining her pot in the sandy soil.


She is cooking our lunch at a Block Printing Factory.


Village Kantha Quilt Maker


Village Block Printer


Village artist restoring the old building's art work


Teacher at the village sewing school


Bollywood Actor