Monday, April 18, 2011

INCREDIBLE INDIA April Journal Block

You know, I own a Jeep Wrangler and never, in a million years, would I have thought you could carry so many people in one. I have come to rethink that!  There was a large group of people standing along side the road and one could assume that a large bus was coming soon. Wrong.  This Jeep Wrangler was the local mode of transport and they all managed to get in or on.
Fully loaded!  How many persons can you count in the half of the front area that you can see?
Note luggage rack on the top that many passengers are seated on.

And there is definitely room for several more to stand along the back.  Makes "economy class" air travel seem spacious and extremely generous by comparison.

I decided to base my April Journal Block on the Sun Temple of Gujarat.

The scriptures of the Hindu religion refer to the sun as the store house of inexhaustible power and radiance. Surya symbolizes the Sun God and he is considered the only visible form of God that can be seen every day.  There are many hymns describing the celestial body as the source and sustainer of all life on earth.  The origin of the worship of the Sun in India is thus several centuries old.  

There are seven sun temples in India and we were lucky to be close to the Sun Temple at Modhera in Gujarat and were able to visit. There are many legends and beliefs associated with each of the temples but all of the temples believe that a visit to the temple followed by a dip in the sacred tanks associated with them would bring relief to the believers ailing from blindness, leprosy, and other skin disorders.

 Interior arches and columns of the temple.
Wonderful detailed carvings on every column.

Elephant carvings on the steps leading to the temple.
Intricate carvings on the exterior of the temple.

 These little black bats make their home on the ceiling of the interior of the temple. They seemed totally oblivious to the comings and goings of the many visitors.
Unfortunately, we were not able to stay until twilight and watch the bats come to life and leave, when I'm sure the bats would exit to feed.

Every temple has a religious caretaker and this gentle man greeted us all as we left the temple. You will note that he is wearing an orange turban and shirt which symbolizes his religious devotion.

The wearing of bright orange as an overt sign of religious affiliation is common throughout India.

I decided to use Surya, God of the Sun, as the focus for my April Journal Block.  And of course he must be depicted in bright orange hand-dyed fabrics to show his religious significance in the Hindu religion. This is my second journal block which must include a circle.

 The background fabric is a yellow hand-dyed fabric. Stem Stitching is used for the facial features. The sun is done with fusible applique, with the inner circle stitched using a modified Herringbone Stitch.  The points of the sun are outlined with a Feather Stitch.
 Orange iron on sequins enhance the sun's radiance, his eyes, checks, and forehead.  The points of the suns on his forehead and cheeks were painted using Pebeo Setacolor fabric paint.
The block has been hand quilted in a circular design to portray the radiating sun.

1 comment:

Notjustnat said...

Your April block is beautiful Cynthia. Orange seems to be the colour you see a lot in India. The street scene there is amazing isn't it? I love the ladies wearing saris on the back of the motorbike! So colourful - Hugs Natima