India

Finally returned from our trip to India! What am amazing adventure! India was definitely full of new experiences, and it was just mind blowing to have the opportunity to visit there and witness all the different customs. My absolute favorite part of the trip was visiting the different shops and seeing them make all their goods by hand, and also having the opportunity to visit an art college!

It was so cool being able to visit and art college in a different country. This school was in Udaipur and specialized in the art of miniature painting. The younger students were apprentices and the older students considered master painters. Of course, the titles depend on the quality of the art also. The paintings were so mind bogglingly detailed; they create the paintings using incredibly tiny brushes made from squirrel hair, or camel eye lashes. The students make the colors they paint with using natural pigments such as lapis lazulis for blue, and they make the paintings on either silk or camel bone that has been crushed and resculpted into beautiful pattern pieces; it almost looks like ivory!

In Jaipur we had the chance to visit a textile shop and watch as they handmade all their goods. This man here is showing how they use stamps to make their patterned tablecloths, and cloth napkins. Each part of the pattern requires three stamps; first the outline, then the first inside color, then the final color.

The finished elephant.

The three stamps used to create the single elephant.

Leaving the elephant to dry.

Along with their hand stamped pieces this shop also made rugs by hand. The rugs were made from multiple materials such as camel hair, and wool, but the most beautiful pieces were definitely the silk rugs. The small rugs took about three months to make, and the larger ones could take up to six months!

Here is a man cutting imperfections off a finished rug while a second man weaves a new rug behind him.

In addition to trimming the imperfections off they burned any additional imperfections away. The rugs don't catch fire due to the materials being used.

A woman ties the ends of the rug to complete it.

And the finished products. So beautiful!

In addition to all the cool shops we were able to visit, we of course visited tons of temples and forts, and I've got a ton of inspiration for new pieces! I plan to make patches based on the intricate screened windows we saw at the various forts. They were so cool and the patterns were beautiful!

Can't wait to get some pieces done inspired by these patterns!

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