Monday, April 02, 2012

INCREDIBLE INDIA December Journal Block

Still concentrating on my year of India, what a wonderful movie to see!
Be sure to catch this gem.  It is about a group of elderly who decide to retire to what they envision is this beautiful luxury hotel in India. What greets them is not exactly what they envisioned and it is interesting to see how each of them reacts and copes to the situation.  It is delightful and definitely worth seeing!

I have finished all my India blocks but it is time to catch you up to date.

Within the city of Ahmedabad, is a residential area in which Kalamkari textiles are produced.  This is an age old traditional textile which is very time consuming to produce. As we entered the village this young woman was working on a large piece, coloring in the larger areas with a crude type of brush.
The black lines are drawn with a thick black paste which is made from old, rusty metal and jaggery ( a form of raw sugar) which is boiled together for a long period.  Here they are soaking the metal so that it becomes rusty.
To draw the lines they use a type of narrow wooden stick...kind of like a pointed bamboo BBQ skewer is probably the best way to describe it.
Once the line work is done some of the areas are painted with various colors, such as the piece below.
Of course we all had a chance to try making our own small piece of Kalamkari. It is much more difficult than it looks, to draw the lines.
This is one of the women who was working on the Kalamkari and her baby.  It was very much a family business with everyone being involved in the process, from the adults to the children.  The older children were very precise in their painting skills.
This wonderful piece of Kalamkari was about the size of a lap quilt or maybe larger.  It took four months to produce and was selling for Rps. 8,000 which is approximately US$ 136.00.  We found it rather shocking that such wonderful hand made textiles were selling for so little. This is slowly changing in India.  The prices are slowly rising but handmade textiles still have a long way to go to be valued for their true worth.
For my second button block, I decided to try my hand at making my own Kalamkari piece. 
I started with a plain piece of muslin fabric, drawing my lines with not with the metal/jaggery mixture and a wooden stick, but with a Micron permanent black ink pen.
Various portions of the block were painted with Pebeo Setacolor Fabric Paints. 
Small black buttons were used for the spots on the horse. The block was densely hand quilted and bound in a metallic red fabric to pick up the color of the flying geese in the framing of the block.


ann vanherle said...

What a wonderful piece you have made!!!!

Notjustnat said...

Oh Cynthia, fantastic piece of Kalamkari you made! I'm very impressed and hope you will bring it for show and tell. We saw the Best exotic marigold hotel the first week it came out. It was truly entertaining. It was lovely to see India again for me too - hugs N

blandina (aracne) said...

I am planning to see this movie tomorrow night, so I am glad to hear that it is worthwhile.
I didn't know the Kalamkari technique, I think what you made is very beautiful.