It’s the beauty, the detail, the patterns and the history we all need to see.
Day one of our Indian Textile tour. Take 12 people from 4 different countries who know little about each other. Put them on a plane to travel for 24 hours (or a little less) and they come together to create a memory in a country far from their home. The feeling is carried forever, the experiences are exceptional and many years of thoughts of the past are intensified with the images you carry in your heart and your hand. I don’t always give my memory the chore of storing the amazing things I see and do, I rely on my images. I know how to take a good picture, I’ve been practicing all my life, but if you don’t have the image experiences that I have, you can still learn to take a soul stirring picture to remind you of those wonderful moments. That’s part of this happening. Early morning and the sun glowed orange and we took advantage of the cooler part of the day to visit India gate. India Gate is a memorial …
I just have time for a short blog today, and these images were from a trip to Dilli Haat craft market in Delhi two days ago. I go there each year and its a good way to see products from all over India in one place. Sure, its a little commercial, but I enjoy the experience and I often buy a small piece of precious fabric. However, this art piece is 10 foot X 4 ft six inches, and now it’s mine. It’s hand embroidered Kantha on silk.
I opted to walk back to the hotel knowing that it was going to be a little bit of an army manoeuvre trying to cross the busy roads. With google maps on my phone, it guided me past food vendors on the pavements, groups of people with entitlement to their small patch of path. I congratulated myself at each of the 6 crossings I completed on the crazy traffic hugging roads.
The book of travels Delhi My day began with the most delicious breakfast. Sitting in a restaurant where you look quite out of place is an interesting experience. I think I was the only European person visiting today. I sat amongst young women in beautiful Saris, Business men in suits and Indian tourists. Its exciting to see what is on offer for breakfast and my choice was baked yoghurt, Mint and lemon water, Ginger Tea, some bircher muesli, prunes and walnuts and a Masala Dosa. Finished with a much needed cappuccino. It was actually lunch time in Australia, so I took my time, did a little drawing and enjoyed the ambience. The the body said rest again and I laid on my couch covered myself with my white muslin cover and fell asleep until 12.30 pm. It’s been a quiet day, I’ve had a lot of work to complete and I’ve only had a short walk in the garden to get a little fresh air. Tomorrow I take the camera out to seriously capture …
Preparing for all eventualities in travel is really important. I know I take too many things sometimes, but most of the time I’m very thankful for my forethought.
There is a careful selection process and it takes me several weeks to pack correctly. I have to live out of a case for months.
I’ve had a busy few days and I’ve finished two quilts this week. “Edna” the Elephant. The idea of the elephant was on a poster on a wall in India. I can’t find the picture, it was just in my mind somehow. I began with fabric from India, the green fabric and the orange is Cotton Rubia fabric. Of course the Taj Mahal is real and drawn with pigment ink on the rubia before it was sandwiched. This is one of my own photos. Th ink worked well on the Rubia fabric. Kaffe Fassett fabric worked well for the blanket. I colored the orange with white ink and the tusks are white fabric that I have illustrated. The ink is pigment and permanent. In beginning to quilt it, I first stitched around the pattern on the blanket in black thread. then the elephant was quilted the same way. I freehand drew a continuum of the pattern of the blanket onto the body of the elephant, it reminds me of the henna patterns we all have …
Our travel companions will be exposed to the beauty, the day to day workings and sometimes, the sheer luxury of India. For me, the excitement of my trips is waking the senses and being challenged. I enjoy exploring and capturing what some would say is the mundane with my camera. So we will source our tools to work with in the markets of Old Delhi.
Today I’m working on my classes that will be held in India on our Craft Tours trip in two weeks. Watching the families create beatiful things with Indigo is magic, pure magic.