Monday, December 23

Season's Greetings.

May the magic and the wonder of the holiday season stay with you throughout the coming year

Friday, December 13

A Commission

About two weeks back I was shutting shop for the night and decided to check mail and there was this mail from Madder Moon requesting the commission of a piece.
Jane had wanted to buy 'Life is too short..' which was on display at the group show Fibre to Fabric curated by Madder Moon in September but it had sold.
Overwhelmed and elated best describes my state at that point. A deadline loomed large and this was the first commission for my fibre art. It must be adrenaline that got me through the past couple of weeks. 
Buttonhole wheels, appliqued flowers,fabric weaving and running stitch. All the usual suspects which find a place in the pieces I create. 

The commissioned piece is on its way to Singapore and Jane should have it just in time for Christmas. I hope the recipient of this piece finds inspiration in the words of this quote.

Tuesday, December 3

Alphabet Sampler

 I have a weakness for alphabet samplers and this particular sampler took the longest time but its now complete.
 Worked on cotton fabric with a single strand of embroidery thread, there are 18 stitches per inch.
Sampler size: 13.75 inches x 4.75"
Must try embroidering some names. Could be cool.

Friday, November 29

Ode to Running Stitch

 My favourite embroidery stitch is the Running Stitch.
Ode to Running Stitch is a triptych and a little homage to the first embroidery stitch one learns when a person takes up embroidery.
 Running stitch is the stitch used to darn and patch fabric. It forms a a soft undulating texture if its done row after row.  I use running stitch to applique pieces of tussar silk onto a silk scarf.

 Running stitch is the base for a more decorative compound stitch like the three which have been embroidered onto each of the three pieces of the triptych. The pattern on the first piece is called 'Kukadi taang' by the Lambanis of Karnataka.
Running stitch binds layers together to make a soft Kantha quilt.

Which is you favourite embroidery stitch?

Ode to Running Stitch will be available for sale at the Festive Bazaar organised by  Madder Moon, Singapore from Dec 2nd to Dec 20th.

Monday, November 18

Dye pot experiments

Tea dyebath in a cast iron vessel. Cotton fabric folded and resisted. Contetns of cast iron vessel put into a stainless steel vessel and the resisted bundles of fabric were brought to a boil in this vessel then
left to marinate for a further two days. Teh the bundles were opened.
There were some interesting changes to the off white cotton fabric. Three of the six bundles I decided to boil again with the tea in the cast iron pot to see if the colour would intensify.
I intend to make a patchwork garment - something simple- maybe a kimono or a kaftan -all hand sewn and embroidered in places.

Friday, November 8

Capturing Diwali .

Last week was the festival of Diwali.Come Diwali and its all about feasting, lighting clay lamps, pujas to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, card parties and crackers. 
 Once it turns dark the air is redolent with the smell of crackers, and the sky and your surroundings are lit up by exploding crackers and as the night wears on bits of paper and spent crackers form a thick carpet  on the ground.
Buildings are decked with strings of fairy lights. That's a seven storey building, lit up with tiny LED lights.  
 Are crackers a part of any festival where you live?
 I love the magical photograph which results when strings of fairy lights, a little breeze, a slow shutter speed and an exploding fire cracker come together . Looks like freestyle embroidery. I should try translating one of these pictures into an embroidered piece using metallic threads and sequins.

A fun time was had with friends.

Have a great weekend, the celebrations continue with a birthday and a barbecue this weekend.
I have been working and hope to have new things in my Etsy shop next week.

Friday, November 1

Embellished textile fragment

The embroidered piece Specialisation is for Insects has undergone changes and been transformed into a patchwork embellished textile piece.
Buttonhole wheels embroidered with space dyed embroidery thread. Eco dyed cotton fabric. Dried pomegranate peel laid on the cotton fabric and rolled up and tied with cotton twine. The bundle was put into water in a cast iron vessel and the water was brought to a boil. The bundle was left to marinate in the iron rich water for about a day. The edges are bound with tussar silk. The string couched onto the fabric at the top of the piece is the twine used to tie up the bundle for dyeing.
Detail of the buttonhole wheels.

 Happy Diwali everybody. I hope to have some photographs to show you some of the festivities in the neighbourhood.

Sunday, October 27


At the Tilonia bazaar last week I bought this gorgeous applique bedspread.

Skillfully made by women artisans in the Barmer region of Rajasthan.The Algerian Eye stitch which looks like little stars are sprinkled all over the bedspread. Each bouquet of flowers with a zig zag border must have been made by different artisans because the density of the Algerian Eye Stitch varies from square to square.
Then I saw these cushion covers and I had to have them as well.
I picked a camel and a horse.There were elephants and peacocks but I couldn't find any as beautifully made as these two. Next time I'll go on the first day.   
Starting this week I'm going to be teaching Indian embroidery to an evening class and applique will be one of the topics dealt with so these cushion covers will come in  as handy examples. The bedspread will be too bulky to carry.

Have a good week.  

Friday, October 18

Specialisation is for Insects

This quote ought to be everybody's mantra in life.
If only this quote could be used as a guide in one's approach to life instead of following what is prescribed  because of a person's gender, social status, age, religious belief etc.
The prescribed life is a sad one which perpetuates discrimination, stereotypes, corruption and a warped sense of entitlement all modeled on the caste system. The caste system has been abolished then why do we create a system for ourselves which hems us in. Avenues to explore new ideas and to grow and blossom in an area of ones choosing are shunned for those which are merely sources of money and possessions.    
Follow your heart, live a little people. Sigh! I feel privileged because I've done what I want to do by choice and lightning hasn't struck me down. One is told there are dire consequences if you don't toe the line served up with generous helpings of emotional blackmail.
 All bunkum. Do your thing follow your heart get involved with living life. You'll be a better person.
Cotton fabric dyed with coffee.This is the reverse of the embroidery. 
This is a work in progress.

Have  a good weekend.  

Friday, October 11

Africa inspired throws

My trip to Tanzania in August inspired these patchwork throws. A small group of women in North Karnataka made these hand sewn throws with noil silk cut offs from Plantation House.    

 Indian Ocean. The blues of the ocean and the soft white sand. It's magical in Zanzibar. R and I sat and watched the colours of the water change as the tide came in and the sun
made its journey across the skies to finally set. Absolutely spectacular.
 Masai. The Masai wrapped in their red blankets, so dramatic in the golden brown Savannah.
 The savannah in Tanzania. Browns and golds and the blue sky. Serengeti - the endless plains with the odd acacia tree I've never experienced such wide open spaces before and seen such exotic animals.
Spice Market. The colourful market in Zanzibar,the different colours of the produce and the awnings protecting the shops from the sun inspired this throw.
Spice Market. The colourful market in Zanzibar,the different colours of the produce and the awnings protecting the shops from the sun inspired this throw I used lungis. A lungi is a woven  cotton fabric which is usually checked and worn by men in India like a sarong. Currently this Bollywood song has made the humble lungi top of the charts.
The throws are reversable and are generously sized rectangular lounge throws 74" x 48".

The show at Madder Moon was a thumping success. Some pieces of my work sold which has me so excited. I now have to find more venues and galleries which will show my work. If like me you find yourself  wondering where you can find an audience for you work there's good advise to be found here.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 26

Fibre to Fabric - An exhibition at Madder Moon, Singapore

On display at Madder Moon, Singapore are my embellished fragments. This is a group show of fiber artists from Singapore and India. 
Delighted to be exhibiting my work alongside such talented artists.
I chose to represent the cultural mix of people of different diverse ethnic backgrounds through their proverbs. The ethnic diversity of Malay, Chinese, Tamil and many more makes Singapore such a vibrant lively place.

Patchwork, applique and embroidery went into making this piece. The material used is tussar silk. 
A Murukku is a savoury crunchy treat which is usually in a spiral form. There are a number of different types made by Tamilians who hail from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. So I've embroidered names of the different types of Murukku in the Tamil script.  

There are Singaporean proverbs too I discovered. 

A Malay proverb. Tussar silk, patchwork in a boro style and embroidery.(This piece has been featured in the Straits Times Life, 27th September 2013 - An Hour@ the Museum)

Fiber to Fabric opened on  24th September and is there to view at Madder Moon until 5th October.
Do drop in if you are in Singapore and want to be culturally enriched!

Madder Moon
16 Ann Siang Road,
01 -01 Singapore,
Singapore 069696

Phone + 65 6225 2435

More pics of the show here on Facebook.

Sunday, September 22

Bead seller in Besant Nagar

The bead seller who will customise for you.
bead jewellery. 
colour, size and texture - you're spoilt for choice.

The bead seller wears fancy bead anklets made by a friend.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 11

Tussar silk boro

This tussar silk boro began way back in 2012. Take a look at the beginnings here. It languished for a quite a while before it found its way into my handbag along with an assortment of tussar silk scraps and embroidery thread to be worked on while I waited in airport lounges and got curious glances, or got up early while on holiday. It grew and got embroidered on.   

Those lines sum up rather nicely what results from being isolated with  scraps of fabric, a needle and some thread.
The whole piece. It's not complete my intuition tells me, I'm waiting for that flash of inspiration.


How is your week? Any flashes of intuition?
I'm working feverishly on some embroidered proverbs for a show at the end of the month. I might have something to show next week.

Thursday, September 5

Tea - A Fiber Book - Page from Susie

Apologies, about not posting on this blog but I'm getting back on track.  
 Here's my latest page  for my fiber book on Tea which I received from Susie.
Don't you love those little ceramic cups? Equisite details which I really appreciate.
This is the back of the page. Teaspoons of sugar. Delightful.
Susie thank you for this beautifully detailed page.