The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

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

A Phulkari Fan from the Olden Days

Here’s another cultural remnant of the olden days in Punjab – A ceiling fan decorated with Phulkari work: The rope is used to swing the fan and is held by … Continue reading

February 5, 2019 · 2 Comments

A Charkha Spinning Wheel

Sighting of a decorated Charkha Spinning Wheel – used in a vanishing craft

February 3, 2019 · 1 Comment

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

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

The Goldsmith’s Craft

In another life that I lived within this life I had a little venture called IQ Club. Had a lot of fun creating a brain-games-based workshop for kids. The parents … Continue reading

December 6, 2018 · 2 Comments

Service or Sacrilege? The Dilemma of Textile Art Fragments

Have you seen these? Amazing creativity isn’t it?!! ❤️ The ones that I have are in good but not in perfect condition – usage, withering natural life of the fibre … Continue reading

October 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

Artwork of the Day

A Peacock takes a little ram for a walk! What an endearing example of folk creativity! Seen in this most-beloved AntiqueQashqai Shekarlu rug that I cannot get enough of! More … Continue reading

October 2, 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

Fierce Deities!

A character that is not pleasant or all goody-goody has an appeal that is perhaps stronger! The glimpse of something fiesty, something temperamental, something strong with overtones of bold confidence … Continue reading

July 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Along came a Ganjifa Set…

And took my sleep away! Why are these little artworks so attractive? Or elusive? A complete set consisting of 120 cards is very very rare! The odd card is seen … Continue reading

June 25, 2018 · 1 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

Let’s Spin Some Yarn

Seen in the Himalayas….an activity, a skill, a lifestyle …. People STILL live in this charming way! All through our afternoon conversation in which our minds and mouths engaged, their … Continue reading

June 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wealth of  Ladakh 

Photos of photo prints of women wearing traditional jewelry at festivals.  The magnificentv Petak headdress has been discussed earlier.  But the  others have not received enough attention!  Here are sone … Continue reading

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Breathtaking Monastery Art

First, the altitude in the Himalayas makes me breathless and then the paintings in the monasteries take my breath away! Each monastery has so much to offer the vision that … Continue reading

May 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Nomadic Weavings of Chanthang

Seen in the Himalayas in the Chanthang desert in Eastern Ladakh.  Their living spaces Let’s gp in … To see their home & their weavings ​(videa to follow later) Volunteers: … Continue reading

May 20, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 1

Huge Ancient Buddhist Sculptures in the Himalayas

May 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Weaver’s Heirloom Patan Patola Sari

Rediscovering a piece from the weaver’s heirlooms – a bridal sari with fabulous double ikat hand woven raw silk!

April 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Astitva Project – Phase II

Soon we will begin the next phase of the micro project. We will work with the same ethnic group that we did last time but this time it will be … Continue reading

April 6, 2018 · 1 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

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

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

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

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

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

What lies within? Copper Manuscript

Found in Odisha, it is said to be a Buddhist Mahayana mansucript in Pali script hand-handhammered into copper plates. Imagine the trouble that went into creating this …. Similar examples … Continue reading

October 7, 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

Saving Beauty

We all need something to love, something to serve, and something to save… A piece came my way that is needs some tender loving care. Besides the fact that it … Continue reading

September 17, 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

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

Art with Cloves! Available for Sale

Unbelievable creativity! Who would imagine that cloves can be used to create art!

May 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

Antique Tantric Phurba Carving – Available for Sale

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

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

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

Old Tribal Beaded Hair Ornaments for a Child – Available for Sale

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

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

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

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

Diversity in Folk Art – Bone Carvings

Exploring one more medium of folk art – Bones!

August 2, 2016 · Leave a 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 · 1 Comment

Royal Loin Cloths of Ceylon

Exploring some amazing rare antique loin cloths of Ceylon

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

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