Monday, February 23, 2009


Rise delicate one
from the liquid  womb
murky and quite.
Rise to the kindling
of  the heavens above
Rise to the skies. 
for you will float above it all
and eventually
keep the company of Gods.

On a good day like this a package arrives.

Brimming with pink and white lotus buds

You hear them slowly unfold  into blooms ..

and quietly remember a day not long ago that went something  like today goes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I have been tagged... Its been a month since blogger buddies, Dithi and  Jagriti  urged me to put down six things about me  before I could pass on the pickle to another six people.
Although it sounds easy, I have taken my time with this one. If  there are only six things to say, like only six things mattered, what would one say and what would one leave out? 
Instead of spending too much time procrastinating about what it will be and why, I'll post pictures of six things I made at pottery class a few years ago.

What is important about these six things is  that they are really bad, quite the opposite of the magnificent artistic game plan with which I approached them. Please understand that these misadventures in amateurish shapes and awful glazes are more about the love than success.

Despite my perseverance and complete dedication, I never graduated beyond hand-building. The few sessions I spent in the studio were usually a complete waste of time, but how I enjoyed myself!
Beating mounds of hardened clay down to smooth malleability, the squish and slurp of slurry.. the hours of contemplating singular shapes, the intense meditation it is possible to achieve and the labour of it all.. Sometimes after the class, the only thing that would bring me back from the pure state of zen I'd achieve in the preceding two hours was the sight of the monstrosity staring back at me from the work table.

So it is with a lot of courage and apprehension that I will unveil if only for the sake of the tag, six terrifying signs of a failed potter... again and again,  you are urged to look on only at the love. 

Now for the six people who I am going to pass the tag on to,


1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

There guys, happy tagging and happier blogging.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Warp and weft : Indonesian Ikat

Posting first on a series on traditional weaves  from Asia.
Traditional textiles are among the most exciting and sought after categories of traditional art from around the region.
There is  much to offer- a profusion of techniques, fabrics,  raw materials, motifs, patterns and applications.
Most traditional weaves are durable, and lend themselves to excellent use around the modern home. Decorating with kaleidoscopic colours of  indigenous textiles rich in texture and imagery is rewarding not only for the visual appeal it generates, but for the fact that it helps sustain age old craft traditions and low-income rural economies.
Featured today are a few weaves from Indonesia. The archipelago's various people have age old weaving traditions. Most weaving is carried out by men and women at home using back-strap looms of varying complexity    

Among the noted weaves from different Indonesian islands are the Balinese Songket and Rangrang, West Timorese and Sumbanese Pahikung, West Timorese Buna and the exceptional Ikat. Ikat derives its name from the Malay word Meningkat which means to tie or bind. Originally introduced to the archipelago from India, by the British East India Company, the tradition dates back to 700 A.D.
It is a complex weave in which the warp and weft threads are dyed separately before each cloth is woven . The typical, blurry outlined patterns that distinguish the end product only begins to emerge when the individually dyed warp and weft threads are woven together. The skill behind the process lies in the ability to work out before hand where the dyed sections will intersect and what patterns they will create. In Tengenan, Bali, weavers  tie and dye the same pattern on both the warp and weft, a technique called double Ikat.

For the fact that they used very basic raw materials, like bark and fronds, Ikats from Indonesia         display ingenious creativity. 

Used traditionally to weave lengths of fabrics for a variety of uses-  royal and ceremonial regalia, sarongs and hinnggyi's and other items of clothing- Ikat has always been considered a powerful medium to tell stories, preserve memories, provide people with their indigenous identities and to work magic. In various parts of Indonesia, exceptionally woven pieces with intricate patterns were said to process magical powers and were used as talismans for luck and protection.

The weave is s replete with motifs like conch shells, birds, fishes, flowers, animal and human figures.  Expressive and very dramatic figures representing deamons and other mythological characters also abound.


Indonesian Ikat also comes in a veritable feast of colours, Sumbanese rusty reds and deep blues in bold patterns. In rainbow stripes from Timor and deep browns, oranges and navy blue from the islands of Alor, Flores and Savu.


Images top to bottom.
  • Cotton sarongs from Jepara, Java, Sumba motif.
  • Here, two sarongs have been opened up and joined in the middle to make a bedspread.
  • Cotton throw from Bali.
  • Silk sarong 
  • Silk Sarong, detail.
  • Cotton, sheet from Java, used as table cloth.
  •  Tapestry and runner in cotton and hemp, Bali.
For more images and information on ikat and other Indonesian textiles refer to the site below.


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