It’s taken me a while to write this story. Most of you on my blog, are quilters or love the art of Textiles. We have a textile advantage that we take for granted so today I share a story of art and experimental reinvention. Dena Crain a quilter from Kenya, taught the local ladies a technique called “Siddi” quilting. “What on earth is Siddi Quilting” you say? Basically its a style of quilt known as a Kawandi and it is made by the generations of Siddi people taken to India some 400 years ago as indentured workers… possibly slaves. Based on DNA information it would appear that about 50% of the Indian Siddi population are descendants of Bantus from East Africa, while many others are descendants of Ethiopians. Although the Siddis have adopted many Indian characteristics, there are still some cultural elements that are regarded as their own and of African origin. These include the making and use of patchwork quilts known locally as kawandi. These are made by women and used as covers, mattresses and …
I’ve been on an Invitational lecture tour traveling through 8 cities visiting the artists of the area. It was an absolute honor. I met wonderful people, I had the opportunity to share my ideas on textile arts with literally 100’s of people. I took a few thousand photos, wrote pages of dialogue and the weeks of preparation by my PA and I prior to the trip paid off and I have a sense of satisfaction that I actually achieved it.
I finished this small sample completely today by adding strips of Kantha to the border, well actually as the border… now it goes into the class demonstration file.
I finished another UFO today.
Well, I guess they are not UFO’s (un-finished objects) unless you leave hem that way.
“Once per week this souk, opposite the main souk, attracts women-only buyers and sellers from all over the region, selling a variety of handicrafts such as baskets, woven cushions and camel bags. Men are not welcome and photographs are prohibited in the only souk in the country dedicated to female shoppers.”
This was the only information I could find on the web regarding the Souk we were about to visit. As far as not taking photos, I asked permission and a few ladies said no, but most of them said yes.
Kantha, Appliqué, embroidery and quilting have been in India since the 6th century. But now there is a movement into the quilting arts of the rest of the world, I have a vision of sharing my ideas on textile art using modern technology.
Mr Aditya Gupta is presenting this opportunity in Delhi to Indian participants from the 3rd to the 6th of March I will be teaching three of my own techniques to the ladies. Laurie Tigner will be teaching Quilting on the Handi Quilter. It’s a great honor.
Day one of inspiration. I just love to examine how people think and interpret.
Mind boggling to say the least.
I wanted to do a drawing of all the things I’ve seen, touched, love and have experienced here in Antigua. Most of my quilt images originate from my photos… but then some from my imagination.
So what better to do than to attempt to combine all of those things.
This is drawn on the iPad using colored pencils. The excitement of drawing in the iPad is that I can just press a button and rub out the parts I don’t like.
It’s almost 3.00 am. At home I could get up and with coffee in hand wend my way across the brick courtyard to the studio. But here in Antigua Guatemala we have just one large room so it’s a bit difficult to do my usual thing of getting up early and working without disturbing husband Keith. You make do on the road, a digestive cookie, dates that were packed in my case from Dubai and room temperature mineral water. A number of my textile art friends on Facebook queried me about the Huipils I purchased yesterday. So I thought I would explain their use, their beauty and what I use them for. I’ve been a huge fan of Huipils since I became aware of Frida Kahlo many years ago. I have a rather large collection and they form a good proportion of decoration in my house as wall art and throws. To be honest, I only have two that I wear, but I always feel a bit of a fraud wearing them… I think I need to …