Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

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“The purpose of art is washing off the dust of daily life off our souls” – Pablo Picasso

Presenting my notes on the diverse folk arts of Asia and the stimulating cultural stories contained within them – Jaina Mishra

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Featured · 3 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Painting of a Weaver – 1800s

Some art to refresh the soul!

March 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Beshir Rug with Ikat Motif

A simple little work of textile art getting its time in the morning sun! This little piece was most probably woven by Beshir nomads in Turkmenistan. With a good exchange … Continue reading

March 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

How did Elibelinde travel to the Swat Valley?

One more example of migration of cultural memes that might hold a clue to historical events

March 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

My Ceremonial Textiles

In India we have so many life ceremonies! Every Hindu goes through or is supposed to go through 16 important ones and dozens of lesser ones. So one attends one’s … Continue reading

March 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Material Pleasures

When I was young I desired a million things but had no money to buy them with. Now when I am old, I have more money but very few things … Continue reading

March 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Applique Art from Bharaich

View a Khanduri cloth from Bharaich from the Met

March 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix: Men with an extra Arm?

Or is it a stick?  Maybe they are the sons of the weaver!  Interesting motif on an antique Kazak rug. 

March 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sentinels & Thresholds 

The threshold is a very important line in a traditional Indian home.  It is washed and decorated beautifully every day with auspicious symbols  drawn in powder by the woman of … Continue reading

February 28, 2018 · 4 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Antique Kalamkari Art

A fabulous 17th C Kalamkari Artwork!

February 23, 2018 · Leave a comment

Patan Patola Ikat Weaving – HOW?

For those who wondered how! A video interview with a masterweaver Kanaiyalalbhai who explains the process step by step. To understand the technique of weaving Patan Patola double ikats and … Continue reading

February 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ivory Art for Royal Courts

All carvings are from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London   Feb 2018 jaina mishra | wovensouls  

February 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

An Indian Painted Narrative Scroll

Supposedly this is an old Bengal painted narrative scroll called Patta. Does this have the same rustic character as that of other Bengal Pattuas? Doesn’t the finesse of each element … Continue reading

February 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Travel Plans

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving (Lao Tzu) I long to evolve to this level of life! Maybe I will plan my next … Continue reading

February 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Goa Carnaval 2018

Something to do over the weekend in case you are in Goa!  Delighted to find local culture in the themes of the floats!  Delighted to find people of all ages … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Ramayan in the Chamba Valley

Amazing 18th century Chamba Rumaal with scenes from the Ramayan Sita’s Fire Test   Killing Ravan – A rare depiction with the severed heads and arms Am completed WOWed  … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Jehangir Spinel

Owned and bequeathed by Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb this amazing Spinel is now in the  Victoria & Albert museum in London. Surprisingly it has been described by the V&A … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Tipu Sultan’s Tiger

What an interesting artwork commissioned by Tipu Sultan!  Seen at the V&A museum, London

February 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Saris as Textile Art!

Seen at the Victoria & Albert museum jaina mishra Feb 2018

February 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – from Gujarat again!

Late 14th–early 15th century printed textile – Gujarat! Met Museum Celebrate Gujarat!! Feb 2018 jaina mishra| wovensouls View more exquisite antique textiles and more on

February 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Painted Map of Benaras – Indian Art

A pilgrim’s map of Benaras with the Kashi Vishwanath temple at the centre. Seen in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London Feb 2018 jaina mishra| wovensouls View more Exquisite Antique … Continue reading

February 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

An English Test – A Traveller’s Tales

A decade or more ago, we were traveling on a train in India – from Mumbai to Bhopal. My children were less than 12 years old and we all enjoyed … Continue reading

February 6, 2018 · 1 Comment

Silken flowers from Gujarat India 

One more fabulous piece from Gujarat! At first I thought it was a print … until I read the explanatory note! ❤️ This textile is from the V & A … Continue reading

February 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Soldiers in Silk – Guns & Roses

This mesmerising silk Amli embroidery on a square pashmina shawl is from the 1800s and depicts soldiers circling around a thriving establishment. Note the deliberately highlighted flowers (roses?) amidst the … Continue reading

February 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – An Antique Robe with Amli Embroidery

Works such as these remind us of the value added simply by the skill of an artist! The wool and the silk and the scissors could have made a robe … Continue reading

February 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

Art in Gold for a Goan Wedding

I cannot imagine how it is that the Goan found the time between cultivating their unbelievable rice, cooking and eating their amazing curries and enjoying the subsequent coma-like siestas that … Continue reading

February 3, 2018 · Leave a comment

Goan Portugese Houses – Art in Architecture

Classic Goan Portugese Houses are found all over Goan villages. Some are in great condition, others dilapidated. Viewed collectively, they represent an art style that belongs to the late 1800s … Continue reading

February 1, 2018 · 2 Comments

Fabulous Beetle Wing Embroidery! ❤️

Absolutely mesmerising embroidery using iridescent beetle wings! No words needed! From the V & A museum, London   *** jaina mishra | wovensouls View more Exquisite Antique Textiles and more … Continue reading

February 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Textile Art of Gujarat – AGAIN! 

I might be accused of bias as Gujarat is my home state – but since I am not the only one to be smitten by Gujarat I might be absolved … Continue reading

February 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Weight of Commitment 

The weight of this token of commitment is about 100grams. Of Gold. !!! In case you are underwhelmed … here is a similar piece displayed in the V & A … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Tent Hanging from India

The series on the V & A textiles continues with the printed tent hanging! Makes me think that I should pay some more attention to prints …   From the … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Wine Cup of Emperor Shah Jahan

Emperor Shah Jahan’s wine cup: Am still confused about the way it is to be used as a cup for drinking …  It is probably cups like these that inspired … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sunbathing in Goa

The beauties get their annual sunbath!  ❤️

January 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Irony of my tiny Astrological Thangka Collection

It is ironical and even absurd that my journey in collecting Tibetan material began from being impressed by their ideology of renunciation of material wealth! The life seen in Tibet … Continue reading

January 27, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Kalamkari Coverlet – Antique Indian Textiles

A visit to any museum can be exhausting and the maximum I can handle is about 1 – 2 hours of exposure. In any given hall there are always too … Continue reading

January 23, 2018 · 2 Comments

Crowning Glory of a Turban with Double Sided Embroidery

The absolutely mind-boggling craft of double sided embroidery on a turban! Maybe this will be one step forward in eradicating the gender bias… in a century or so maybe all … Continue reading

January 12, 2018 · 2 Comments

Creating Art Every Day

Isn’t it terrific that in our way of life, the act of creating art is one of the basic household activities that every single woman indulges in? Art is too … Continue reading

January 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Bridal Sari of the erstwhile Queen of Sawantwadi 1922

I’ve seen a dozen or so amazing  antique zari  saris but none has been as unusual as this one seen in the museum of Sawantwadi, This shalu – a zari … Continue reading

December 27, 2017 · 6 Comments

Bullock Carts & Oil Mills in Applique! 

An endearing naive  2-dimensional rendering of bullock cart & a bullock-run oil press or oil mill! And the featute that makes me wonder about the Banjara connection is the white … Continue reading

December 25, 2017 · 1 Comment

On My Coffee Table 

The advantage of my nomadic life is that I forget tbe pieces strewn around the other spaces that I dwell in (and that dwell inside me….).  and so I see … Continue reading

December 21, 2017 · 1 Comment

Connecting the Dots of Gold

In the past, gold jewelry with motifs created by arranging tiny granules of  gold was popular in some parts of India. Ancient Greeks used the granulation process too but the … Continue reading

December 18, 2017 · 2 Comments

Museum of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings

In Trivandrum in the old city area one of the buildings in the museum complex houses several paintings by Raja Ravi Varma. Photography is not allowed inside so for my … Continue reading

December 14, 2017 · Leave a comment

My kind of Palace

After a long time I have been able to afford the time to take a little solo trip.  And here I am in a charming palace sipping green tea!  in … Continue reading

December 13, 2017 · 2 Comments

Blessing Containers in Silver

How many people have others praying for them? Am certain that I have fewer today than I had 50 years ago. And so as these blessings become rarer, I value … Continue reading

December 8, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Thousand Flowers 

The memory of a great experience becomes a seed in our mind Lying dormant until we water it with attention. If we just close our eyes and shut out the … Continue reading

December 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

Art Revived

Some vanishing arts have been strengthened and resurrected by external change agents. Soof Embroidery of Gujarat is one such art that had the blessing of nurturing by people who devote … Continue reading

December 4, 2017 · Leave a comment

Mother & Child – A Crime Scene in Silk

Clearly this is a part of a larger legend that I am not familiar with yet. And so the cultural crime story intrigues me as much as the art and … Continue reading

December 2, 2017 · 3 Comments

Daily Art Fix: 3-D Painting

  Am not a formal student of art so I do not know the word for this type of work … but surely there must be a name for an … Continue reading

November 26, 2017 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls at The Arts House, Singapore

For those who couldn’t make it an event report in pictures: Spending the day amidst these gifts from the past make me forget the concept of time How is it … Continue reading

November 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

Article in “Passage” Magazine

For a tiny red dot, the large number of museums in Singapore comes as a surprise! Link To support museum enthusiasts there is a body the “Friends of the Museums” … Continue reading

November 25, 2017 · 1 Comment

Walking the Dog

And the bird in the cage. Scene in a double sided embroidery from the early 1900s.  But could well have been a snapshot from modern day Singapore!  More photos of … Continue reading

November 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

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