Images by myself - Sony Nex5N

Hello from India!

I am currently on a university trip in western India learning textile crafts in villages in and around Ahmedabad and Bhuj. We are working with local artisans and businessmen/women in learning about developing India, traditional crafts and we are learning for ourselves the techniques used in making some of the textiles.

We have so far been to textile mills, wood block carving, ply-split braiding with Errol at NID, a paper making factory, Bandhani dyeing, wood block printing, screenprinters, embroidery workshops at SEWA, Asif's master embroidery studio and even a mediocre Safari tour at Rann Riders.

The kind owners have taken up their time to walk us around their factories and workshops, put a hold to their production lines to explain processes and ideas to the COFA students.

Here are some photos of my first few days in India. So far there has been much colour and inspiration. The Hindu-Islamic architecture is fascinating. The buildings are often painted in block pastels and together look amazing. The windows are often adorned with contrasting coloured metal bars, wooden doors or religious offerings. The children are fascinated by our skin and always want to say hello and get us to take photographs. The crafts here are just on the epic proportion scale and I am currently (like the others in the group) thinking of the major project coming up this semester and how we can use the techniques learnt so far or the experience to develop a concept for our designs. Many more photos to come and photos of my workshop pieces. 

I am currently in Bhuj and yesterday we went to a wood block printers where we did black on plain cotton and then wax resist on a plain cotton which was later dyed in a natural indigo and when washed the indigo and the resist would wash into the wash basins and leave the white cotton where the resist once was (like opposite).  Today we did Bandhani (Shibori) dyeing which involved hand-wrapped tiny little cotton ties and then dyed in log wood which produces a beautiful purple colour. Tomorrow we will go to rural villages to see how communities function.

More photos to come. Getting a fast and reliable internet connection here is hard.
Hi to mum and dad!

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