The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

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

Bless the Kohistani Creator!

“Gulposh kabhi itraaye kahin Mehke to nazar aa jaaye kahin” Only the brilliant A. R. Rahman’s lyrics are appropriate for this outstanding masterpiece from Kohistan. “A flower may try to … Continue reading

January 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

Opium Culture – History in Art

There is too much that I do not know anything about and the role that opium played in the history of China is one of them. Were it not for … Continue reading

December 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

Boundless Creativity in Motifs

Superb embroidered motifs from the North West Frontier Province region photographed from faded fragments of dress-fronts! Enjoy the feast: What thought-paths created these very aesthetically pleasing unique motifs that have … Continue reading

December 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Rare Swat Wedding Shawl with ‘Self’ Embroidery

Just when I’d thought I’d seen the complete range of the niche textile art from Swat Valley, along comes a piece that challenges that belief and nudges me out of my smug stupor.  – Exploring a Rare Swat Valley Artwork

December 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Fine Embroidery on Indigo from the Yao Hilltribes

Collected from the source a decade ago, these lovely vintage embroidered indigo costumes of the Yao people are currently on offer as a single lot at a discounted launch price … Continue reading

October 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

External Article: Italy’s last Sea Silk Master (on BBC)

Byssus, or sea silk, is one of the rarest and most coveted materials in the world – and this is the last person on Earth who still knows how to … Continue reading

July 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Rare Art of Double Sided Shia Embroidery

It is said that this art is no longer practiced. I am told they come from the Swat valley neighborhood and since there are not enough such textiles these are … Continue reading

June 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day 

Amazing Ethnic Art worn by a very small minority group in Guizhou China.  Asset 228 on WOVENSOULS.COM Enjoy the Visual Feast!  

June 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day: Mirrors of Identity

A pair of Chaakla Decorative Textiles from Gujarat with rare golden mirrors Asset 152 on WOVENSOULS.COM  

April 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Manila Manton Shawls – Early Global Textiles

Presenting a small online exhibition of palimpsest textiles – with layers of art, craft and culture contained within: The Canton Shawl aka Manila Manton aka Fringed Flapper Shawl

April 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Ramayan in the Chamba Valley

Amazing 18th century Chamba Rumaal with scenes from the Ramayan https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/72821 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

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

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

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

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

The Art of War – Motifs in an Embroidery

Surely Sun Zhu meant THIS arr?  More photos coming soon on WOVENSOULS.com

November 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Negative Spaces

“Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, not the subject … Continue reading

September 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Women in Art – Literally

A series of textiles with women depicted in the art! 🙂   And more   The ones above are from old textiles. Here’s one from a recently made banarasi brocade … Continue reading

September 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

Hidden Gems – new sightings in old acquisitions! 

In an embroidery rich in texture and motifs and age, it was easy to miss the 5th color used sparingly – it hid within the flowers – almost shy of … Continue reading

September 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix -Sindh Dowry Embroidery

Bless the woman who made this!! A great way to start my day …. with a dose of beauty – gives the heart a small positive kickstart!  Sept 2017

September 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Who doesn’t enjoy Music in the Park! 

MUSIC IN THE PARK – Notes in Silk!!! Just received this beauty made in Canton a century ago! Am yet to count the number of instruments being played  in this … Continue reading

September 12, 2017 · 2 Comments

“Heirlooms” – Exhibition Report

A fabulous exhibition – great reviews from the guests, stimulating conversations, free flow of adulation for the artworks and brisk movement of unforgettable pieces to new homes! If you were … Continue reading

September 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Courtship in Silk

Daily Art Fix – motif on an amazing wearable antique cantonese shawl!  ❤️

September 10, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Gift for the Emperor!

A gift for the Emperor ….depicted in silk in the late 1800s. So delicious …. Feasting on the art is so soul satisfying! sigh!    

August 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

Beaded Textiles from Rajasthan?!! 

Just noticed the fabulous beadwork on a shawl from Rajasthan that I’ve had for awhile.  Endless delights in old acquisitions…   All from the WOVENSOULS collection!  ❤️

August 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Rickshaw or Car? 

The wonders never cease in the world of textile art! Am off on a new armchair exploration! And will happily drag along anyone who will listen (or read) through the … Continue reading

July 4, 2017 · Leave a comment

An Antique Selfie

Embroidered picture of a woman doing embroidery!!  And the millenials thought they were the ones to invent selfies!!  From an early 1900s shawl. More about that later… 😊

June 23, 2017 · 2 Comments

The Bonona Festival of the Himalayan Aryans

October 2016 A trip to the interiors of the Himalayan ranges. A journey that would have taken 6 days by animal carriers 40 years ago but today takes 7 hours. … Continue reading

May 24, 2017 · 2 Comments

The Astitva Project – A Report on the Micro Project in Ladakh – Chapter 2

The Story They say that ‘when the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly’ – stressing the importance of the planning that must … Continue reading

May 12, 2017 · 6 Comments

External Article: Chamba Rumal Embroidered Textiles 

A primer on Chamba Rumal: Link Apr 2017

April 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

A look at Miao Embroidery

“Miao embroidery is a unique and incredible skill—weaving actual metal thread into intricate patterns to create beautiful garments. A tradition over 500 years old, Miao tin embroidery is sadly a … Continue reading

April 3, 2017 · Leave a comment

Choosing A Wedding Dress – Swat Valley Textiles

Choosing is wedding dress can be tough – especially when each is a stunning work of textile art. Presenting a few vintage and antique bridal dresses from the Swat Valley region

March 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Where the Men are Liberated

In most places around the globe, the world has imprisoned men in clothing of plain colors – colors that ensure that the wearers melt into the background. The most they are allowed is a strip of color in the form of a tie. [But don’t be fooled – it is mostly lip-service – out of the 5 feet of fabric, only about 1 foot is allowed to peep through from under the coat!! ]

February 20, 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

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

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

Daily At Fix – Peranakan Bead Art

A million beads strung together to create a large artwork! From the Peranakan Museum, Singapore  

December 15, 2016 · 1 Comment

Art for Our Pets

Do we love our pets enough to make such lovely things for them? Banjara Bullock Horn Covers See more on wovensouls.com Am sure handsome young Simba wouldn’t mind one more … Continue reading

December 12, 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

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

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

Birds of a feather…

      Daily art fix jm June 2016

June 1, 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 this … Continue reading

May 8, 2016 · 1 Comment

Talk Announcement: Textile Museum, Washington D.C.

  TITLE: Wedding Embroideries of Kutch, India Speaker: Jaina Mishra | Collector … The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum Washington D.C. Saturday June 4th, 2016 … …. … Continue reading

May 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Little Purses for Big Money

Coin purses from the olden days …. When the coins were small & made of gold & silver and their value was huge! When there was no fiat money or … Continue reading

April 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

Adornments to Entice

In many cultures in the Eastern hemisphere, lifestyle devices are structured with the intention of security and protection. Clothes and costumes are designed to deflect the viewer’s eyes rather than … Continue reading

February 11, 2016 · 1 Comment

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