Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Arts and Crafts Show

I spent past few days visiting a local craft show held by Paramparik Karigar, an organization helping artists and their families to preserve and promote traditional crafts from all over India. This experience has been like none before. Not only I have had opportunity to talk to artists and craftsman from all over India, but also was able to purchase lot of folk art, silk saris and other textiles from karigars/craftsman who put their heart and soul into their crafts and these events.

Yesterday, at the exhibition, I took a workshop to learn traditional Phulkari embroidery from the state of Punjab. Phul is Hindi word for flowers. Mothers start working on embroidered textiles as soon as the girls are born. They continue working on them to give them as gifts when the daughters get married. The colors represent the flowers in the garden and appropriately the style is also called Bagh. 

I found out, I am not good at embroidery stitches. 

A bit of practice is needed.. ''It is not about the perfection'' she said ''But being comfortable and enjoying the stitching.'' It sounded familiar to me. 

Some more eye candy.

You can find out more about the organisation here. If you are ever in India during the times of their scheduled exhibition, DO NOT miss it. Visit their website to check more of the art and stories of Indian folk artists. 

I met some award winning craftsman. 

I can not wait to show you what I purchased from this artist after I am home. 

My sister in law bought this piece from iron smith at the show. I bought the sari with kantha embroidery. Tomorrow I am also taking the workshop to learn the kantha stitching.. Stay tuned. 

Quilts and block printed sheets were hard to resist. My dear friend Smita, showing off the quilt she loved. 

Sadly, I have only one bag to bring back. I wish I could bring the whole show with me. It's hard to resist the temptations to buy it all. Although, it seems like I am hardly succeeding at it.

 I am working with very slow internet. I wish I can blog daily to update you all on my discoveries but it seems impossible at times to sit and continue with the thought process.

I am leaving in an hour to visit the exhibit of Godharies, the quilts featured in the book by Geeta Khandelwal. I will write a full report when possible. I am taking the subway to the city after a long time. Let's see how different it is today than it was last time. It's been many years since I went to the city by myself.

Wish me luck!   


  1. Lovely to see what you are experiencing back in India at the moment. The embroidery is beautiful, I love the sari with kantha stitching! Thank you for taking the time to post these wonderful colourful photos, enjoy the rest of your trip and the visit to the Godharies!

  2. I'm so glad you are taking the time to blog about your adventures. Thank you very much. I am learning new things and getting to see and appreciate new textiles. I think you did pretty well as a person trying a new technique in embroidery. I think it's always a good lesson when I reinforce that things are not as easy as they might first appear, :). I hope your visit to the city and your next class goes well! I can't wait to read about them! Oh, and I thought the iron boat your sister bought was very interesting, too! Magistra13 at yahoo dot com

  3. Thank you for sharing all the visual delights of your trip. The embroidery looks wonderful. Can't wait to see and read about today's journey!

  4. Oh Sujata, I am so enjoying seeing all of these beautiful things. Thank you for sharing your trip is much appreciated. Best of luck on all your future adventures!

  5. That is a lot of embroidery, but so worth it, then end product is fabulous.

  6. Thanks for all these good news! How gorgeous are all these embroideries and fabrics : it must be so difficult to resist!
    Kantha is being famous in France : a large exhibition about it will take place in Paris next week. Can't wait for your own experience!

  7. Looks like a life-changing, inspirational trip! Thank you for showing the photos. I would love to go to this show someday.

  8. It all looks so wonderful!! What a fabulous opportunity to take classes with experts.

  9. I tried to post a comment! This one will probably get rejected' too :(

  10. There was an exhibit of Kantha quilts in Philadelphia a few years ago. I fell in live with them and went back to visit 4 times. I'd love to learn the stitch. This is an amazing trip Sujata visiting al,l the different crafts people across India.


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