A Kolam for Washington DC - Shanthi Chandrasekar tracks the memories of Kolam adornment rituals that now inspire a homage to the US Vice-President.
Project Dor ✿ Care to wear - Aparna Negi promotes a textile project involving migrant women from Bihar and Jharkhand.
Anuradha Chauhan: A secret of the Himalayas - Join us in the foothills of the Himalayas to learn its stories and support its crafts.
Exile from the Forest: Craft collaboration in the time of COVID - Reflecting on his experience commissioning kāvads, Ishan Khosla writes about what a global pandemic can teach us about new ways of working with craftspeople.
Pesh boro: Epic weaving from Afghanistan - Australian-based artist Khadim Ali introduces us to his weavers in Kabul, who demonstrate a fortitude characteristic of Hazara culture.
The forest on my flesh - Priyanka Jain draws on ancient Sanskrit poetry and Indian miniatures to reflect a contemporary appreciation of our microbial desires.
Kumbharwada: Make in Dharavi - Nidhi Agrawal documents the dynamic potter's community in Mumbai's enterprising Dharavi neighbourhood.
Colour thrives: The lokta paper makers of Kathmandu - Gary Wornell is captivated by the spirit of craft in Nepal and the success of Chhongnorbu Sherpa’s paper factory.
In search of the keys: The chola regional over-garment, from the mountains of Himachal Pradesh - LOkesh Ghai shares his journey into the Himalayas, in search of a remarkable pleated fabric.
Confluence: Visualising Mumbai’s waters - Ipshita Karmakar and Sara Ahmed introduce a museum that honours the lifeblood of India's most maximum city
The Firebird Rises: Story-making - A unique series of story-making events opens our imagination to the beautiful world of block printing and making.
Sindhu – The river line: A dialogue - Pallavi Arora and Shirley Bhatnagar reanimate ancient pottery from the Indus valley civilisation
Ryndia silk of the Khasi Hills, Meghalaya - Nisa Lyndem speaks for her Khasi culture in north-east Indian and the beautiful silk dyed shawls that bear its tradition.
Kanta Kadse ✿ Khajur ki pattiyo - Our May Laurel goes to a broom maker from Madhya Pradesh, whose elegant implements bring beauty to the home.
It began with the daughter-in-law ✿ The story of Bhujodi weavers on 29 May - This story-making event offers a unique encounter with the legendary weavers of Kutch.
Jay Thakkar ✿ The fourth wave in craft education - Our first podcast of 2021 features one of the most innovative forces in Indian craft, reflecting Ahmedabad's status as a unique cultural centre.
Rajan Vankar ✿ A lifelong love for the loom - Using his hard-won English skills, Rajan Vankar shares his pride and knowledge of Kutchi weaving designs and techniques, inspired by nature and traditions intertwined.
Sitaben ✿ A narrative of courage - LOkesh Ghai profiles a bead artisan whose beautiful work reflects an epic commitment to her craft.
Erroll Pires ✿ The master of ply-split braiding - Helen Ting and Khushbu Mathur ask Erroll Pires from Ahmedabad how a timeless textile technique became his life's work.
The Heart of the Necklace: A reverse Sleeping Beauty story – 20 December - Listen to stories by Gauri Raje about the bead jewellery by Sitaben Chavda, a unique maker from Ahmedabad.
Kumarisari ✿ Buy forward fashion - We learn the thinking behind an innovative approach to India's vibrant market in saris, applying circular economy principles.
Greening Delhi: An interview with Ranjit Sabikhi - Chitra Balasubramaniam interviews architect Ranjit Sabikhi about his new book, A Sense of Space – The Crisis of Urban Design in India.
Marasim: Two films that connect craft with cinema and literature - Our friends from the Craft Village project share two beautiful video essays that celebrate craft from the perspective of cinema and writing.
Kashmiriyat: Craft out of conflict - Harpreet Padam ventures to Kashmir for craft development, but finds the conflict difficult to ignore. He works with local artisans to develop papier maché objects that reflect their daily life.
Asif Shaikh and Aziz Murtazaev ✿ A dialogue of print and stitch - Our October laurel goes to Our October laurel goes to an eloquent collaboration between Indian embroider Asif Shaik and Uzbek ikat maker Aziz Murtazaev.an eloquent collaboration between Indian embroider Asif Shaik and Uzbek ikat maker Aziz Murtazaev.
The Princess & the Bael Fruit ✿ A unique encounter with Warli art on 24 October - Garland presents a new kind of encounter with craft and object-telling.
Chikankari: The gift of health - Jaspal Kalra's scholarship leads him back to Lucknow where he celebrates those who add delight to our new masked identities.
A village delivered to your home: Report from the Selvedge World Fair - Helen Ting finds new ways to showcase cloth-making traditions in a pioneering festival.
Pashmina: A perennial luxury - Khushbu Mathur reflects on the enduring appeal of the Kashmiri shawls made from the wool of the Himalayan Ibex.
Inspired by the peoli ✿ Textiles that emerge between the river and the forest - Vasanthi shares her experience of nurturing a grounded textile enterprise in Uttarakhand.
Fashion from silent Indian cinema: The blossom of the cobbler’s flower - LOkesh Ghai introduces a new course on the role of textiles in Indian cinema. He offers a sample from the controversial silent film "A Throw of the Dice".
Sreenivasulu ✿ A pen-ultimate world - Sreenivasulu is an Indian software engineer who combines classical dance with recreations of the world's architecture made from used felt pens.
Terracotta at hand: The cool water bottle - Khushbu Mathur celebrates the latest evolution in Indian terracotta craft: the clay bottle to keep your water cool.
COVID: An opportunity for the handicraft sector in the long run? - LOkesh Ghai interviews artisans and finds there is more to consider than the immediate problem. This includes challenges but also a Garland of Hope and Wisdom.
Rites to Writing ✿ Ishan Khosla links craft and graphic design - Indian graphic designer Ishan Khosla is presenting a model for creating typefaces from craft on 14 June 2020 at 1:30pm IST.
Rahul Kumar ✿ Ceramic art and science - Utkarsh interviews Indian ceramic artist Rahul Kumar about his art and science of technique.
India Craft Week live 1-3 May - Garland supports Craft Village in its India Craft Week online forum 1-3 May 2020, covering the breadth of the nation's impressive crafts.
When there’s nowhere left to turn: The need to support Indian village crafts - Ashoke Chatterjee issues a call for support to help India's artisans cope with the unprecedented crisis of a national lockdown.
Chandan Bose ✿ The rich social world of patam art in Telangana - Our latest podcast interview with leading craft scholars includes Chandan Bose, whose study of naqqash artisans in Telangana reveals a sophisticated narrative art form.
Jodhaa Akbar: A love story tailor-made for today - Lachlan Blain looks behind the sixteenth-century Bollywood blockbuster Jodhaa Akbar and discovers its master storyteller, the veteran costume designer Neeta Lulla.
Shahpura School of Phad Painting ✿ Coronavirus advice - Our April laurel goes to the Shahpura School of Phad Painting, including Vijay and Vivek Joshi, who produced a canvas that beautifully details the dos and don'ts in response to the coronavirus.
Bakhiya: The beauty of the imperfect - Bakhiya is not just a form of sewing with long stitches. It also offers a sufi meditation on the beauty of the imperfect and fragility of life, as reflected in these poignant works at Threshold Art Gallery, Delhi.
The power of wedding adornments - Khushbu Mathur itemises the rituals and adornments of a Hindu wedding, showing how love is exchanged through conduits of auspiciousness.
Adil Writer ✿ Clay dreams of love - Adil Writer presents a series of figures that evoke the fraught condition of love for the Parsi community specifically and India generally.
A kirpan for bride power - Eina Ahluwalia reflects on the impact of her Wedding Vows collection that presented a powerful response to violence against women.
Quarterly essay: Objects of wealth, power and love: An inquiry into Chettiar material culture - Mitraja Bais remembers her discovery of the lost work of Chettinads and the poignant tale of loved objects left in their wake.
उपहार – Uphaar - “Uphaar” is a Hindi word for offering or gift or any service done by heart for someone. How can objects bring us closer together? Indian culture is replete with rituals for binding beings, including the extravagant wedding celebrations and the ties made to connect brother and sister. We will explore the increasing diversity of this love, including feelings for nature. Read tales of wedding games, sari memories, jewels of vengeance and the love of making. Along the way, we will visit Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bangalore, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Australia. Like Cupid, the Indian god of love Kamadeva shoots arrows of love: each arrow is decorated with ashoka, mango, jasmine, white and blue lotus flowers. In this issue, we share […]
Pistachio dog: Indian clothes tailored for the world - Lela Kulkarni invents a craft to maintain the glittering clothes that connect her back to family in India.
From Brunswick to Ahmedabad: The Hand/Eye Project - After lentils in Brunswick with LOkesh Ghai, Alasdair Mackinnon and Eddy Carroll are inspired travel to Ahmedabad and make a new range of hand-printed products that match hand and eye.
Prachanda Shakya: A champion for Nepalese craft traditions - Kriti Bhuju writes about the craft master Prachanda Shakya and reflects on the condition of crafts in Nepal today.
Safed: The beauty of simplicity - Sayali Goyal responds to questions about her project featuring handwoven textiles from across Indian in their raw beauty.
Saga Dawa: The blessing of the scriptures - Shruti Agrawal fulfils her father-in-law’s dream to visit the fabled Himalayan town of Gangtok, where she witnesses a remarkable Buddhist rite that brings life to sacred wisdom.
Primal Casting: From the outdoor studio - Sarra Tzijan recounts the journey to India that led to her work based on traditional Indian casting techniques, made during a residency in Devrai Art Village, Panchgani.
Objects of wealth, power and love: An inquiry into Chettiar material culture - Mitraja Bais remembers her discovery of the lost work of Chettinads and the poignant tale of loved objects left in their wake.
Responsible crafts tourism in Kutch - Ruth Clifford shares her advice about key issues in visiting craftspersons and offers a variety of alternative models for experiencing their remarkable skills.
The rules of the game: Weaving Durries in Rajasthan - New to Rajasthan, Kaamya Sharma takes a road trip to find Ramesh Mundal, a renowned durry weaver, and looks behind the scenes at his presentations for tourists.
The angels of Dhadhampatti - Julia Raath visits the Tamil Nadu village of Sittilingi and is inspired to help them bring vibrant colours to far away lands.
A gift of song: The melody of making Kediyun - LOkesh Ghai finds himself in a song by his Kutchi hosts and now argues consumers should learn to sing the words that made their purchases.
Never on Tuesdays: How the Padma Saliyar weave auspiciousness into wedding saris - Aarti Kawlra explains the painstaking efforts of the Tamil weaving caste, Padma Saliyars, to heighten auspiciousness in their wedding saris.
Love in a time of colonisation - Ceramic artist Shirley Bhatnagar gives form to tales of romantic love in Indian history.
How Jewish embroidery is sustained by an Indian Muslim - The ancient Jewish culture of India is honoured today by Taha Ibrahim, the adopted son of Sarah Cohen.
Sundar Sari: A reverie of past loves - As part of Border&Fall’s exploration of the sari as a form of embodied culture, Pooja Kaul has produced a poetic film, Sundar Sari, that reflects the way this garment holds memories.
The craft wisdom of Kutch weaving - Fourth-generation Kutch weaver Rajan Vankar shares the craft wisdom of this unique textile tradition.
Makar Sakranti: Festivals of gratitude across India - Khushbu Mathur shares her knowledge of the joyous harvest festivals happening across India in mid-January.
Ayudha Puja: Time to thank the things on which we depend - Kshitija Mruthyunjaya writes about a nine-day festival, during which Indians express their gratitude to everyday tools.
Cracking the colour code: The Maiwa-Khatri partnership - Charllotte Kwon and Abdul Jabbar Khatri share their sides of the story about their enduring Indian-Canadian partnership.
Deepawali: A row of lights around the world - Deepawali, Deepavali, or Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It is the festival of lights: deep means "light" and avali "a row" to become "a row of lights."
Phad painting: On the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birthday - On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birth, we share this project to tell the story of his life in the traditional craft of phad.
Shaping the divine in the lanes of Kumartuli - Ananya Hazarika ventures into the lanes of Kumartuli in West Bengal to witness the creation of gods from clay.
Sheraz Faisal ✿ Art becomes jewellery in Lahore - Asad Hayee documents a project with Sheraz Faisal to create jewellery interpretations of artworks.
When nomads come to town: Sustaining weaving traditions on the Ladakhi Changthang Plateau - Catherine Allie traces the journeys of nomad weavers in remote north-western India, famous for their tsug dul blanket
In search of the elusive Baluchari in Bengal - Swadha Sonu turns to Kamalan to help her find the heritage crafts of Sholapith, Masland mat-making and, the Baluchars.
Finding the spirit of clay in Rajasthan - Serena Rosevear, an exponent of minimal porcelain, encounters the maximal culture of India, thanks to the Crosshatched tour of Sandra Bowkett.
Dekh Magar Pyaar Say: Meanderings into the sublime - Sahr Bashir reflects on the dazzling ride through Lahore by auto-rickshaw
Good news from Afghanistan: Hadya starts her own business - Roshan Safi writes about the improvements of livelihood and well-being with craft development in Afghanistan.
Culture, craft and cuisine in West Bengal - Liz Wauchope shares her experience travelling through West Bengal, absorbed by beauty and skill.
A journey shared, India dared and why I take tours… - Julia Raath travelled India to find out who make these exquisite textiles, and now makes a path for others to follow.
Khushbu Mathur ✿ Sowing seeds of friendship between sister and brother - A new member of the Garland team writes about the seed rakhi, which helps shares the love between brother and sister with mother nature.
Maggie Baxter ✿ Peeling walls and tattered ledgers - Maggie Baxter shares new works that use embroidery to evoke the textures of time she has found in India.
From earth grew rice, from rice grew the Warli art - LOkesh Ghai's enchantment with Warli art is reflected in the films of Johnnie Magee.
Shilp Shakti: A legacy midst crisis & opportunity - Ashoke Chatterjee champions craft as a vital part of Indian society and economy at an event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Visva Bharati, the university founded by Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan.
Re-Threading the tapestry of an arid topography: A return to Kutch with Maggie Baxter - Gopika Nath returns to Kutch to reflect on the enduring embroidery culture and distinctive collaborations of Maggie Baxter.
The worldly currency of Abdullah Syed - Zoe Ghani visits the Pakistani-born Sydney artist Abdullah Syed whose work uses currencies to weave together distant homes.
Fresco comes to the mountain - Sarah Tomasetti has transplanted the Italian technique of fresco to create works that honour the mountains that help us find a place in the world.
Male: The act of flowers - Krishan Rajapakshe pays homage to the garland-makers of Indian with his camera.
Do you know what this textile from Nagaland is? - Please note this query about a sash from the Indian north-east state of Nagaland.
Sahaj ✿ The Vernacular Furniture of Gujarat book - An important new book from our friends in CEPT Ahmedabad about vernacular furniture
Pakistani craft takes off at Islamabad airport - Noorjehan Bilgrami reflects on the vibrant truck art that is a key element in the new Islamabad International Airport
Glimpses of the first Indian Ceramics Triennale - We're excited to herald an important new event in our orbit of craft and design in the Indo-Pacific. The first Indian Ceramics Triennale: Breaking Ground is open in Jaipur from 31 August to 18 November 2018.
Skin and stone: Craft-design collaborations in Manzil - Noorjehan Bilgrami reflects on an ambitious project in Pakistan to pair designers and artisans
Votive Horses of Poshina, Gujarat - Mitraja Bais writes about votive offerings of terracotta horses
KUTCH: a visual identity for a radiant people - Ishan Khosla reflects on a graphic design project using the vibrant crafts that belie the parched and bleak salty land they live on
Alistair Rowe’s Chandni Chowk: One Altered Move - Andrew Varano maps the influence of Old Delhi on the grided glass sculptures of Alistair Rowe
Washed ashore: Art works from the Indian Ocean - Gopika Nath mends a life as shells along the Indian Ocean
They remember those who do not speak: Madhvi Subrahmanian’s recent ceramic works - Nancy Adajania delves into the map shields of Madhvi Subrahmanian and discovers a sense of place in an interconnected world.
Looking in looking out: Yogic practice and public art in Western Australia - Maggie Baxter writes about two public artworks: 'Spanda' by Christian de Vietre on the new Elizabeth Quay Big Healer made of recycled Peppermint Trees by Lorenna Grant Busselton.
Accessing the heart of hand-stitch: Merging tradition and innovation on the Indian sub-continent - Trish Bygott and Nathan Crotty reflect on Disappearing Dialogues at the Art Ichol, in central Madhya Pradesh
Vahana: An Indian-Australian cross-cultural ceramic experience - Bernard Kerr describes the epic production of a 3.5 m high terra cotta horse at the Midland Junction Art Centre by potter Mr Kasirajan from Tamil Nadu
Katna’s Kantha: Stitching a future - This December, Katna’s Kantha by Street Survivors India will make their debut at ARTISANS’ with a collection of quilts, saris, dupattas and stoles in silk and cotton.The Street Survivors India project was founded by Shabnam Ramaswamy in Murshidabad in 2004 and employs 1500 women in 50 villages. At 19, Shabnam escaped domestic violence, living in impoverished conditions while trying to support two children. She overcame these challenges to eventually become a social entrepreneur. Shabnam started Katna’s Kantha, to provide women with education and financial independence, reviving a local skill unique to the women of Katna. Today their kantha embellishes bags, stoles, saris and dupattas all made by upcycling vintage saris, and turning rags into textile riches. ✿ Like the article? […]
And They Lived Happily Ever After: Object narratives from a land far away - Sahr Bashir reflects on the uncanny material adventures of Pakistani artists Masooma Syed and Affan Baghpati.
Mala: The floral garlands of India - Mitraja Bais explores the meaning of the garland that pervades life in India.
Turkey Red on India Street - A fascinating collaboration between India and Scotland around the mythical dye, Turkey Red.
Galeecha: Cultural Textiles Design - This exhibition is a marvellous sequel to Liz Williamson's article Sky’s the limit: The Cultural Textiles Rug Project
New space for objects in Sydney: HAKK by Gunjan Aylawadi - The inaugural Object Space exhibition will feature the work of talented paper artist Gunjan Aylawadi. Sydney-based paper artist Gunjan Aylawadi presents HAKK, a large-scale, intricate paper installation.
The time-honored Ashavali brocades of Gujarat - Vishu Arora finds a workshop in Gujarat India that is successfully continuing a textile tradition more than 500 years old, thanks to the magical waters of Lake Kankariya.
A textile selfie, with love from Rajasthan - Fiona Wright weaves a story that combines stencil art, Indian block printing and selfies. And it's all in the family.
Godh: in the lap of nature - Mandy Ridley shares her experience collaborating with Indian designers and folk artists for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
Narrative design – Learnings from India - Following issue #5 of Garland magazine, a series of events in India brought experts together to reflect on the role of storytelling in craft practice today. There was special interest in the role of new media, such as video, websites and e-commerce in offering space for narrative development. We learnt that the “story” was often about the process of “getting to know” the object. It was a sign of care that the user took to ask the question, click the link or travel to the place of production. The information gained then provided the user with privileged knowledge that they could share with others, such as when visitors to their home inquire about a curious object on the shelf. The […]
A labour of love: The Humnawa Project - Sahr Bashir travels 12 hours by bus to the Pakistani village deep in the Punjab region to "burst the urban bubble" and understand how design is not just about glamour but is also a matter of "real world" problem solving.
New Homes for Old Stories – Symposium/workshop in Mumbai, 5 February - A symposium/workshop, 5 February 2017, 3-6pm Artisans Gallery, Mumbai To coincide with issue #5 of Garland magazine, a discussion and workshop will be conducted on the nature of storytelling through objects. This will involve a review of the traditional stories attached to objects and the new platforms emerging in e-commerce. The challenge is to find a way in which the online market can sustain some of the rich narratives previously transmitted through oral traditions. What are the components of a good story? How can we add narrative value to handmade objects today? If you are interested to be part of this event, please send an expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by 16 January. ✿ Like the article? Make it a […]
Issue #5 – @India - Thanks to your support, the first Garland was launched exactly a year ago today. We hope you’ve enjoyed the journey thus far. Now we venture to India with a feast of articles to engage your eye and mind.The centrepiece is a quarterly essay about Sandra Bowkett by our new laureate Andrew Stephens, which explores how a foreign ceramicist can connect so deeply with a village of Indian potters. We focus particularly on the West of India, featuring what’s old and new in Mumbai and Gujarat. Articles consider whether the spirit of Gandhi is still alive and innovative takes on classic textiles.Next door we feature two surprising views of creative life in Pakistan. There are stories told through glass to coincide with next […]
E-commerce: what is gained and lost when artisans sell online - By contrast with the retail story, e-commerce promises to convey more of the stories of the handmade objects on sale. Aerospace engineer David Moorhead looks critically at its benefits for the craftsperson. This articles includees an outline of recent platforms for evaluation.
New homes for old stories - “Durvásas was wandering over the earth, when he beheld, in the hands of a nymph of air, a garland of flowers culled from the trees of heaven, the fragrant odour of which spread throughout the forest, and enraptured all who dwelt beneath its shade.” Vishnu Purana Book 9 As the story goes, Durvásas gave this garland to Indra, who placed it on the head of his elephant, Aiávata, which took it by the trunk and cast it on the earth. Incensed at this disrespect, Durvásas cursed the deities and the earth they inhabited, leading to the withering of life. The ancient story of Samudra manthan can be found in most of the Hindu scriptures, like a tale of original sin. It […]
The kaavad: from devotion to decoration - For Ishan Khosla, ventures forth to revive the traditional storytelling device known as the kaavad. Does it still serve its original purpose as a form of religious worship? The kaavad that results from this quest tells the story of its own evolution from sacred to social.
Quarterly essay – The world in a chai cup: Sandra Bowkett and a village of Indian potters - In an old cardboard box on the concrete floor of Sandra Bowkett’s studio there is a huddle of raw-looking chai cups. They are Indian by design and were made by an Indian potter. What are they doing here in rural Victoria? Are they out of place? There are certainly no chai-wallahs (Indian tea-sellers) to be seen nearby. So begins Andrew Stephens essay on the remarkable life of Sandra Bowkett. To learn why she is driven to connect with a colony of Indian potters, subscribers can read the essay here. ✿ Like the article? Make it a conversation by leaving a comment below. If you believe in supporting a platform for culture-makers, consider becoming a subscriber.
The world in a chai cup: Sandra Bowkett and a village of Indian potters - Andrew Stephens visits Sandra Bowkett's studio in the central Victorian town of Tallarook and learns about her life-long connection to an Indian potter's village within Delhi. Despite the economic and cultural gulf between the two places, he finds a compelling dialogue about the elemental forces of our world.
Made in Mumbai - Fiona Caulfield's iconic Love Travel Guides cover the authentic experiences and innovative outfits in today's India. Here she shares her pick of what Mumbai has to offer.
Form follows dysfunction - Arshad Faruqui and Sadia Salim created work for an exhibition of Koel Gallery, Pakistan, October 2016. Their objects transformed traditional forms into dysfunctional things in order to tell a political story.
Unapologetic: A perspective on contemporary jewellery in Pakistan - Sahir Bashir heralds the remarkable rise of contemporary jewellery in Pakistan, featuring atavistic Zohra Rahman, charming Amber Sami and committed Aiza Mahmood. Bashir places this emergence in the broader perspective of a vibrant cultural scene.
Barbara Mullan: A life with Gujarati textiles - Ansie van der Welt writes about Barbara Mullan's life long affair with Gujarati textiles
Sky’s the limit: The Cultural Textiles Rug Project - Liz Williamson describes an ongoing exchange with rug block printers in Gujarat who are commissioned to produce designs from Australia. The results show a wide-eyed view of India, such as kites in the skies over Ahmedabad.
Spinning a Yarn Unparalleled - Gopika Nath reviews Saiful Islam's history of muslin. She finds it a compelling and epic account of the extraordinary skill involved in this lightest of textiles, as well as a tragic tale of the damage that came with British colonisation.
The kediyun: A slow turn for fast fashion - Intrigued by the kediyun, a Rabari traditional upper garment, LOkesh Ghai apprentices himself to a traditional tailor. Along the way, he learns an important lesson for contemporary fashion.
Indian dirt - In Issue #3, we featured Clare Kennedy as a case study for the Apprenticeship exhibition at Artisan Gallery. She wrote about going to India to study the changing brick industry—"It is a story worth telling". She shares with us now the remarkable discoveries of that trip.
Letting go design in Dharavi - Trent Jansen ventured into the Mumbai "slum" named Dharavi to collaborate with makers in the spirit of jugaad—the Indian ethic of "make do". To finish the job, everyone finds that they have to "let go".
Is Gandhi still alive? A journey to Surkhama - A young craft writer wonders where the spirit of Gandhi might be found in India today. Tanya Dutt hears of a remote village named Surkhama renowned for its handwoven rugs. Will Gandhi be there?
The rare art of Mumbai’s Parsis - Priyanka Kochar uncovers the rare embroidery of Mumbai's Parsis. She finds a combination of Persian and Chinese influence in the textiles of this declining yet powerful ethnic group.
Craft classic: New moves for the old sari - Border&Fall is a fresh force in Indian craft and design. This Bangalore agency has initiated a number of programs to promote the handmade to a new generation of consumers and users. We hear from its founder Malika Verma Kashyap aboout the recently crowd-funded How to Drape Film Series, which will promote this traditional dress by documenting 84 ways in which it can be worn.
Next generation patua: The Handmade Tales project - Medhavi Gandhi shares recent initiatives to revive Indian storytelling traditions. Handmade Tales gathers stories of the craft objects that are treasured in Indian homes. And Folk Fables developed workshops for children to teach them these traditional techniques. As she says, "We believe that to know your future, you must know your past."
Patua storytelling today - Sunaina Suneja writes about her homage to Gandhi in her curated exhibition, Bapu: The Craftperson’s Vision. A highlight is the patua scrolls of Rani, representing a key Indian storytelling tradition.
Launch of Garland #5 – Trading Tales in India - India has some wonderful traditions for telling stories through objects. The December issue of Garland magazine features these along with their contemporary versions in e-commerce and a profile of the vibrant scene around Mumbai and Western India.
Trading tales – call for works - The upcoming December issue of Garland features an online exhibition of objects that tell stories. Artists are invited to submit images of works that fit this theme. This is an opportunity to not only promote work across the broader Asia Pacific but also to compare the creative ways in which we can enable objects to tell tales.
Embracing unpredicability: The collaboration of Laxma Goud and Adil Writer - Aarti Vir writes about the vivacious collaboration between ceramicists K. Laxma Goud and Adil Writer.
The next Taj Mahal? - The Taj Mahal remains today as a testament to the extraordinary beauty of Persian design and craftsmanship. The skills that produced this in the seventeenth century are very much alive in Iran today.
The fragrant myth of Parijat - Our special garland for #3 With Nature was devised by Tanya Dutt, who swapped an Indian summer for a bone-chilling Melbourne winter to help produce this issue.
Remembering Kamaladevi - Jasleen Dhamija presents a eulogy for Kamaladevi Chattopadhay, who was instrumental in tying a craft revival to India's independence struggle. She went on to help established the World Crafts Council and provide inspiration for craftspersons globally.
Nature craft - In what way can craft be in partnership with nature? The traditional story of craft as an art of civilisation involves controlling nature. Fibre is spun, wood is carved, metal is cast, glass is blown and clay is thrown. Making seems to involve an improvement in the otherwise formless quality of materials found in the environment. Natural substances are mastered in order to manipulate them into forms of useful beauty. So what might be a craft of the anthropocene era, where nature and human are seen to be intertwined? How does craft practice reflect an ecological relation to nature, where the process […]
Crafts in Interior Architecture: India, 1990 Onwards, by Rishav Jain - For many years. Rishav Jain has been researching the contribution of craft practice to interior architecture in India. While most attention is given to the object as the product of craft processes, in India there is a living tradition of craft skills in the fashioning of interior spaces. The repertoire of skills that can be applied to the built environment includes a variety of techniques involving materials like wood, stone, clay, bamboo, textiles and paintings. Finally, this research is now available in a handsome publication, Crafts in Interior Architecture: India, 1990 onwards. As well as documenting outstanding examples of crafts in Indian buildings, Jain offers a conceptual framework for understanding the value of the handmade in architecture. This includes a fascinating exposition […]
Muslin. Our Story – Saiful Islam - An extract from a new book by Saif Islam about the most diaphanous of fabrics, muslin.
Hangout with Gopika Nath - Through art collecting, tourism and gift giving, precious handmade objects move around our world. To help tell the stories behind these objects, Garland brings together leading voices from our region.
A map for the embroidered garden - Gopika Nath's essay draws on a lifetime of learning in the enduring power of craft. Here's a quick guide to some major influences in her essay.
Rethinking scale: Craft traditions in the contemporary market – by Judy Frater - The talk at Santa Fe International Folk Market was of "scaling up" craft production. Judy Frater considers whether the unique value of craft can be sustained with increased production. As an alternative, she proposes ways of adding value, such as improved design, a network of venues that support fine craft and advocates in media, museums and galleries.
Learning from Nagaland - Louise Haselton
Crafting Gujarati Tradition into the Future by Hannah Robertson - The National Craft Fair 2016, held in Ahmedabad – the cultural hub of Gujarat from 17th to 23rd January 2016, provides a platform to engage both the public through live demonstrations and stalls and the craftspeople themselves in a seminar and craft database registration. Upon entering the fairgrounds you are cast into an epic bazaar style arrangement complete with vibrantly decorated tents, traditional horns and drum music and people dressed in colourful folk costume.
Quarterly essay – Reclaiming the Lost Embroidered Garden - Unlike block printing, weaving and other textile arts, embroidery work such as Phulkari is heavily invested with the passion and presence of the person handling the needle and thread.
The Bolga basket: Ahmedabad comes to Accra - The purpose of the initiative is to adapt sensitively basket-making traditions, practices and challenges facing Africa’s women basket weavers, through drawing on the experience and knowledge of India’s traditional craft and highly developed design sectors.
Reclaiming the Lost Embroidered Garden: The Bagh and Phulkari Embroideries of Punjab - Gopika Nath goes in search of the lost splendour of the phulkari embroidery, whose thread was broken with Partition.
Craft ethics: Finding a moral compass in a harsh terrain, by Ashoke Chatterjee - News has gone around the world of this spectacular V&A display of textiles from the subcontinent. Among the exhibits are examples of contemporary design that demonstrate the vitality of crafts that reflect today’s aspirations. Controversy has emerged on a particular exhibit. It draws on an Ajrakh past, reflecting a leading designer’s effort at innovation using contemporary design and non-traditional production.
Happy Vasant Panchami - Garland magazine is very pleased to share this harvest celebration with some tips about how to enjoy the Vasant Panchami festival. ✿ Like the article? Make it a conversation by leaving a comment below. If you believe in supporting a platform for culture-makers, consider becoming a subscriber.
Indian fashion for the Aussie sadhu - Here’s a fashion trend to embrace – an Indian designer using Australian wool (the Australian beard is an optional extra). India’s Suketdhir weaves design magic to win Woolmark Prize ✿ Like the article? Make it a conversation by leaving a comment below. If you believe in supporting a platform for culture-makers, consider becoming a subscriber.
FRACTURE – show on textiles at the Devi Art Foundation - Between January and May 2015, The Devi Art Foundation in Gurgaon hosted an important exhibition of textiles FRACTURE, which featured some monumental works demonstrating the creative power of Indian craft and art. Co-curator Mayank Mansingh Kaul describes five of the works.
Pohon Budi – the Tree of Life exhibition in Malaysia - Edric Ong talks about the inspiration behind the exhibition on tree of life motive, Pohon Budi, that he curated with Manjari Nirula.
Heritage Chic: The duality of tradition and innovation in the Kanjivaram silk sari of Tamilnadu, India - Kala Shreen is struck by the impact of bling on traditional Kanjivaram silk saris in Chennai.