The Art Blog by Wovensouls

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

The Art in Future Foretold – Antique Horoscope

Art in a Sanskrit Hindu Horoscope Manuscript Scroll dated 1811

February 26, 2017 · Leave a comment

Home Decor Art: Embroidery on Pot Cushions

  “Pot Cushions? What on earth is a Pot Cushion?  And why would anyone put embroidery on it?!” This is the incredulous response of my friend – raised in the … Continue reading

February 19, 2017 · 1 Comment

What Story Lies Within? Tantric Phurba Carving

Fourteen little pieces strung together in a necklace. Not an ordinary necklace but one that was used in rituals by tantric priests. Each is a Phurba made of Yak bone … Continue reading

January 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Beaded Hilltribe Weaving

Beaded Loin Cloth More photos of Asset #163 on wovensouls.com [Premium Access Gallery] Even though I have never woven anything, it is easy to imagine the painstaking work involved in … Continue reading

January 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

Dragons and Serpents from Laos – Textile Art

According to Lao mythology the Naga are the protectors of the Lao state and it is quite natural that they are found in all the forms of art practiced there. … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Weight of Art

As I was measuring this skirt worn by petite young girls, I had to do a double-take. I had just written down 130 inches – that was twice as tall … Continue reading

January 18, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Seat for the Gods 

Furniture is so hard to photograph!! And this piece was not even meant to be furniture! It was the seat on a bullock cart. Not an ordinary seat for you … Continue reading

January 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Goals for Tattoo Lovers

They say be careful about tattoos because you have to live with them for the rest of your life. When I turned 40 I realised that I was way into … Continue reading

January 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

Iron (Wo)Man

Just another work of art in iron! How long did it take to make? How much effort? No idea. But a hundred years later in 2016, we are still enjoying … Continue reading

January 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Art in Mud – Village Scenes

This artwork by Dinesh Chandra Kumhar from Molela village was exhibited at the Serendipity Arts Festival 2016 Goa curated by the leading thinker in the world of Indian Art- Shri … Continue reading

January 13, 2017 · 3 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Double Sided Ajrakh Print

No words needed! {but will say some anyway!) The feature that makes this a masterpiece is the ‘double-sided print’. Both the front and the back have prints that are identical … Continue reading

January 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

Tales Textiles Tell – Toraja Sacred Cloth Batik

SO here is one more textile with many many stories depicted. Yet, I can only make conjecture about the story this piece is trying to tell, until someone from that … Continue reading

January 4, 2017 · Leave a comment

Games People Play

  This seemingly benign game is played by 2-4 people of all ages. A roll of dice and a little thinking determine the outcome. The boards I have played it … Continue reading

January 3, 2017 · Leave a comment

Smoke gets in your Eyes!

A beautiful song taken a little literally by this neat little Naga Chillum Pipe! Carved out of animal bone this pipe from a Naga tribe portrays the image of a … Continue reading

December 29, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Beaded Hair Ornaments for a Child

Handmade Beaded Hair ornaments for a child. How are these worn? These are fastened to the hair at the level of the eyes – somewhat like blinkers perhaps? Here is … Continue reading

December 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Way We Were

Stunning larger than life print from the collection of negatives of Souza & Paul, Goa’s oldest photo studio, presented by the Serendipity Arts Festival. Soooo beautiful!! Jm Dec 2016   … Continue reading

December 23, 2016 · Leave a comment

Textiles in Antique Christian Art

The  mind directs the vision. And so at the Met Museum NYC, I could not help but notice the textiles on the beautiful old artefacts of the Christian world of … Continue reading

December 21, 2016 · Leave a comment

Art for Fun – 16th Century Goose Game & Chess Board

Daily Art Fix – Art for Fun … Beautiful Game Board from 16th century Gujarat on display at the Met Museum, NYC

December 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Bridge to God – Shubha Mudgal

A note about the sublime experience of superlative performances of Indian Classical Music at the Serendipity Arts Festival 2016, Goa curated by Shubha Mudgal

December 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

Wood Art

Over the years in Singapore with its old world charm inherited from Chinese ancestors, I’ve seen wood artworks made out of a variety of woods: Huang Huali, Rosewood, Cherry Wood, … Continue reading

December 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Museum Walk – Lacquered Papier Mache Art

Just a few photos of one more form of art – lacquered papier-mache objects. Manuscript covers and pen cases are the most common items in this type of art.   … Continue reading

December 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

I met Begum Hazrat Mahal

Meeting people from that lived more than a century before one is born, is usually not possible. If one restricts the meeting to one within the physical realm it is … Continue reading

December 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Textiles in the Chaurapanchsika Love Poem of the 16th Century

Chaurapanchasika is a love-lament poem from the 16th century (some say earlier). The scenes in the sanskrit poem with 16 illustrations depict Bihana wooing Champavati. The erotic element is added … Continue reading

November 15, 2016 · 1 Comment

Perspective makes all the Difference

Looking at things from the OTHER side makes alllll the difference!!

November 12, 2016 · 2 Comments

Making Kajal

In the olden days in West & North India everyone – men women, children AND infants had their eyes anointed with Kajal or Kohl or Meysh. The closest equivalent word … Continue reading

November 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

One More to Decipher! A Phulkari Textile

A Temple Hanging from Punjab with its unique motifs makes it an intriguing subject to explore!

November 6, 2016 · 1 Comment

Art of the Universe – Yao Shaman Robes

Yao painting scrolls, Yao dragon bridges and now Yao Shaman robes! The Yao group has created several forms of art while pursuing their spiritual goals! Led by priests called Shamans, … Continue reading

October 3, 2016 · 2 Comments

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

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 · 1 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

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 16, 2016 · 1 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

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 · 3 Comments

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 · 2 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

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 · 1 Comment

Diversity in Folk Art – Bone Carvings

Exploring one more medium of folk art – Bones!

August 2, 2016 · Leave a 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

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 · 2 Comments

Memories of a Sublime Experience – Balinese Art

Memories of a sublime art experience in Bali

July 11, 2016 · 4 Comments

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 · 1 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 · 2 Comments

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 · 2 Comments

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 · 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

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 ‘month’ … Continue reading

June 24, 2016 · 1 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 · 3 Comments

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 · 2 Comments

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