The Wovensouls Journal

NOTES ON ART & CULTURE || BY JAINA MISHRA – WOVENSOULS.COM

Welcome to my Journal!

“True wealth lies in living a nomadic life. Those who settle down lose their identity”   – Proverb of the Turkish Nomadic Yoruks Welcome to the Wovensouls Journal Blog. [In case … Continue reading

Featured · 1 Comment

Mother of Pearl Inlay – Art in Wood

Exploring the art of carving out pictures in wood and then filling them with the beautiful contrasting mother-of-pearl bits cut to size. Precision is absolutely essential in the craft! The art allows us glimpses into the cultural ethos of the time it was made. Natural beautyf, music and the arts seem to be of great importance!

September 23, 2016 · 3 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Of Dragons & Men

A hilltribe sash, acquired long ago from Northern Thailand was recently retrieved from the bottom of a trunk full of textiles treasures…   And a perfectly done hand-sown hem! The … Continue reading

September 22, 2016 · 1 Comment

Book Recommendation – Yao Culture & Art

   “How to make the Universe Right” The book goes into the spiritual practices of the Yao people. The deep  reliance on the supporting art used makes the book very … Continue reading

September 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

Wood Art from Ancient China 

An attempted burglary resulted in a forced movement of our furniture. These pieces had been tucked away in a place that I visited with high frequency but low attention-depth. Every … Continue reading

September 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Talk: “Wedding Embroideries of Kutch”

A presentation of the Talk held at the Textile Museum Washington D.C. in June 2016.

September 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Journey for the Bucket List

An addition to the Bucket List….
It appears that I might need a second or third life to accomplish it all!

September 11, 2016 · 1 Comment

One more Hybrid – A Paithani weave from Benaras

A lot of people frown upon hybrids ….. I have no view on the subject. If evolutionary forces caused this to occur then so be it …. I am no … Continue reading

September 10, 2016 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – Pathan Embroidery

 A Pathan tablecloth with motifs that are seen even in the forehead-tattoos of Pathani women. More images here. ❤️ jm Sept 2016

September 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Palace on the Ganga – Art in Architecture

  Just pictures of a lovely place that has the atmosphere of serenity and quietude. The opulence is in the atmosphere created – rather than in its fixtures.     … Continue reading

September 5, 2016 · 2 Comments

Kashi nu Maran – The Flood of Ganga – 2016

According to a famous saying in Gujarati – my mother tongue –  one can attain Nirvana (bliss) through two simple ways: “Surat nu Jaman ke Kashi nu Maran” i.e. (By … Continue reading

September 3, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Hybrid is Born

In the olden days textile-art hybrids came about when a woman married into another group and brought with her art-memes from her parental culture. Today the world has shrunk and … Continue reading

August 31, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Holy River Ganga

A few sunrise photos captured on the phone camera of the important Ganga whose significance to Hindus is as deep as its waters.   This may seem obvious – but … Continue reading

August 30, 2016 · 1 Comment

Ganga Diaries

An unplanned visit to the Ganga came my way. For spiritual reasons. For filial piety reasons. For ceremonies that complete the cycle of life & death. Measured in the number … Continue reading

August 29, 2016 · 4 Comments

The Art of Garlanding Flowers

Garlands are used at a range of events in India – to honor politicians, to mark birthdays, in the wedding ceremony and in funeral ceremonies. Flowers that are beautiful on … Continue reading

August 28, 2016 · 1 Comment

Pattua Singing from Bengal

In Bengal, in the olden days, in order to disseminate the holy stories, folk legends adn perhaps even news of major events, Pattua scrolls were used. Women first painted out … Continue reading

August 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Story in A Sar Pallu Phulkari Textile

Before we had cartoon TV serials, we had cartoon comics. Like Tarzan and Phantom and Dennis and Amar Chitra Katha. But before that, we had textiles! And stories were written … Continue reading

August 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

Handlooms of India

The title of this note is misleading as it is too broad – it is like saying ‘the universe’… I am sure that even if I were to toil 10 … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · Leave a comment

Diversity in Folk Art – Bone Carvings

Exploring one more medium of folk art – Bones!

August 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Homage to Subarnalata

Subarnalata lived a long time ago. Mainly in the imagination of the author – but nevertheless, she did live. Her life was probably borrowed from the author Ashapurna Debi’s own … Continue reading

July 31, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Tragedy of Uprooted Art

There are all forms of art in the world. Some portable and transferable and others that were meant to remain where they were created. At a recent visit to a … Continue reading

July 29, 2016 · 1 Comment

Parsis and the Opium Trade

Yesterday at a condolence visit, the conversation with my top mentors, inadvertently veered into the subject of collectibles and we spoke of many random subjects such as his encounter with … Continue reading

July 24, 2016 · 2 Comments

The Mashru Loom

My knowledge of weaving techniques is minimal – so I might be wrong in thinking that the Masru or Mashru loom is a complicated one. But the few looms that … Continue reading

July 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

Memories of a Sublime Experience – Balinese Art

Memories of a sublime art experience in Bali

July 11, 2016 · 2 Comments

Rise of the Phoenix – Daily Art Fix

Or is it an enormous bee? This style of hand drawn batik (on silk) was created in Java for the Balinese market. This piece is in such a lovely condition … Continue reading

July 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

External Link: Bali’s Island of the Dead

A note about the unique ritual in Bali.   Extrenal Link

July 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

Learning History through Art – Conquest of Kanchi & a Glass of Milk

In this painting from Odisha, Jagannath & Balabhadra are on a journey and are offered a drink of milk by milkmaid Manika. The History and Her Story: One of the … Continue reading

July 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

Woven Leaves of Bali

In the touristy journeys from one part of Bali to another, the one art that jumps at the traveler, whether or not one is looking, is the art of basketry. … Continue reading

July 5, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Land of the Sufi

Istanbul – almost exactly a year ago, I spent almost every evening eating at a small place near Topkapi palace. It was an open air restaurant with a basic menu … Continue reading

July 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Warding Off Evil – Enigmatic Dayak Baby Carrier

One more stunning work of art created for the purpose of warding off evil and deflecting the evil eye! A Dayak Baby carrier with sveeral spirit motifs, a variety of … Continue reading

July 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

Art in service of Culture – A Sindoor Box

As I say in my lectures – traditional art in Asia is rarely ever “art for art’s sake” and almost always has a second layer hidden beneath. It is either … Continue reading

July 2, 2016 · 1 Comment

Exotic Art from an Exotic Era

We all read the newspapers even today. But in the past 4-5 years, newspapers have been replaced by the internet as my main source of news. By the time I … Continue reading

July 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

Banjara Textile Exhibition @ Joss Graham London

Banjara works are among the world’s most attractive textiles – the colors, the stitches the patterns and their dazzling embellishments are put together in an eye-catching manner. Almost every collector … Continue reading

June 28, 2016 · 1 Comment

Salute the Batak Textile Weaver’s Genius!

Sometimes the beauty contained within a subject is so deep and limitless that the soul is never satisfied no matter how long one beholds it. There is always one more … Continue reading

June 27, 2016 · 1 Comment

An Exhibition in Silk @Thomas Murray Arts

For those who can visit …. Click here to read more   jm June2016    

June 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

Antique Thai Calendar Paintings

  The logic of the twelve Thai Zodiac signs follows the logic of Chinese zodiac signs and defines a person’s fortune based on the  ‘year’ or birth rather than the … Continue reading

June 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

Art of Africa – Kente Cloths

A piece in a museum store priced at US$4000 (only) caught my eye. Such a high valuation piqued my interest and I began reading. The palimpsest of Kente cloths is … Continue reading

June 11, 2016 · 2 Comments

Technology or Art? 

      16th / 17th century (perhaps Nuremberg) Strongbox with amazing locking mechanism!  At the Met Museum, New York Jm June 2016

June 10, 2016 · 1 Comment

March of the Elephants – Naga Cloth Art

Surely this must mean something! One day I will learn what that is! In the meanwhile let’s enjoy the art: This Angami Naga cloth is a part of the wovensouls … Continue reading

June 9, 2016 · 1 Comment

Birds of a feather…

      Daily art fix jm June 2016

June 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Motifs from Africa

The bad news is that we’ll NEVER feel the satisfaction that we have seen it ALL.     And the good news is that we shall never run out of … Continue reading

May 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Tantric Shaman’s Ceremonial Costume

  Beautifully hand carved apron, crown, arm bands  and breastbands made of yak bone. This type of costume is worn in some tantric ceremonies by high priests in certain forms … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Ayuthaya Paintings

    One more style of painting – one more delectable recipe that makes the senses dance int his ongoing visual feast – Ayutthaya paintings from Thailand. The subject matter … Continue reading

May 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

Rich & Poor

The Barber comes home…. Do we in the big city have this luxury? A little village with its own little wheels of economic output, buying and selling services that are … Continue reading

May 13, 2016 · 1 Comment

External Article: Caste System

Worth reading “Why is the world so obsessed with India’s caste system” by Sahana Singh    

May 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Warli Paintings on Dung

The original idea was to use the cow dung walls of homes as the medium to paint on using white pigment made of rice & gum. Then at some point … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Beauty begets Beauty

Old Rabari Great-grandmother working on her embroidery. Photo taken in 2012 in Gujarat.   jm May 2016

May 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Lontar Baskets

  “There is no limit to creativity” – these cliched words come alive with these palm leaf baskets that have been decorated with beads … When the first artist created … Continue reading

May 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

I played with the Big Cats

Not art. Not Culture. Just a travel experience. One that has me craving for more. One that will feature on my list of answers when asked Q: “What did I … Continue reading

May 8, 2016 · 2 Comments

Daily Art Fix – The Heavy Crown of Responsibility

A large yet simple copper crown or Mukut worn by learned Buddhist priests known as Vajracharyas or “Master of the Thunderbolt” during religious ceremonies. The weight of this crown is … Continue reading

May 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

External Link: A Wedding in Central Asia

I do not understand the words – but the beauty can be seen and understood easily! LINK  

May 5, 2016 · 1 Comment

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