The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

A Weaving from Sumba

Coming across local names of textiles makes me realise that the 5.5 languages I know are totally inadequate. I should have learnt them all. For, every word, is descriptive and … Continue reading

September 20, 2019 · Leave a comment

Animal Love

We all love our animals! The Qashqai weaver put hers in her rug while I had a few sweet moments with a sheep & a goat in my lap! See … Continue reading

August 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Girl with the Dragon

Can you spot her? . . . . . Isn’t she lovely? See more of this gorgeous not-for-sale antique dragon sumac rug here on WOVENSOULS – asset 1379. *** jm … Continue reading

May 20, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Art of Marble Jalis

Seen at the magnificent Mumbai Airport Museum. Cannot get enough of this airport! jm April 2019

April 23, 2019 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Stars in her EYES

“Stars in her eyes” – A bridal scarf from the Yao group. The textile is not old but has been made by an old experienced hand! Frame it / hang … Continue reading

April 2, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Olden Days – Punjab

Can you feel the peace in this village? It is almost as if time had stopped still here: That era always attracts me and makes me wistful …the helplessness of … Continue reading

February 25, 2019 · 3 Comments

Conversations – The Soul of Punjab

A few photos of the grand old women and men who were young at the time of the “hallaa” … the Partition.

Over deep conversations about phulkaris, over chai & pakodas followed by parathas & butter, we bonded – discussing the culture of their youth, of their childhood homes and the culture of the time.

February 21, 2019 · 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

Waiting…. The Antique Shekarlu Qashqai Rug

For years I’ve eyed Shekarlu rugs. Their identity is highly evolved and very striking! Very rustic in character the rugs are filled with an extravagant number of minor motif elements … Continue reading

September 17, 2018 · 3 Comments

A Man and His Dowry

In many parts of North Africa, at the time of the proposal the families discuss the dowry the man is willing to pay to get his bride. The dowry is … Continue reading

August 7, 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

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

Before the Blue Jeans came along…

My world seemed mighty impressed with the concept of ‘blue jeans’ when they came along in the 1970s. Everyone had to have a pair. But before that, much much before … Continue reading

June 18, 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

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 1

Huge Ancient Buddhist Sculptures in the Himalayas

May 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wealth of Motifs – Fulani Art!

What if we measured the wealth of nations by the number of indigenous motifs it has? Or the cultural history within those? Would we be fighting the same wars? Here … Continue reading

April 10, 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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtship in Silk

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

September 10, 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

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

Hybrid Art 2 – 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

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

March of the Elephants – Antique Angami Naga Textile Art – Available for Sale

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

May 9, 2016 · 2 Comments

A Precious Package for a Precious Bundle – Dayak Baby Carrier

One more precious carrier for a precious baby! Over a dozen types of trade beads, some extremely fine, some multicolored, some from one of the 3 groups of mutisalah beads, … Continue reading

January 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix

Old Food Covering appropriate for a ceremonial feast! Made of Coconut shell and decorated with sea-shells. Indonesia – probably Sumba. Part of a museum collection   jm Dec 2015   … Continue reading

December 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

INVITATION – Antique Indian Textile Art @ The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

BAZAR: SAT & SUN 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th November 4pm-8pm A mini-exhibition will showcase some textile masterpieces from the past. Some pieces from the wovensouls collection will also be available … Continue reading

November 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

The honor of meeting Padma Shri Award Winner – Shri Shreelal Joshi

A trip to Bhilwara Rajasthan. Singapore – Mumbai by air. Mumbai to Udaipur by air. Udaipur to Bhilwara by road.  Cabs to the airport, airport waits, security checks, luggage hassles … Continue reading

October 30, 2015 · Leave a comment

Mathematics Lessons or Works of Textile Art?

MATH & ART The subjects of math and art are perceived to be orthogonal and mutually exclusive. The left brain-right brain theorists have us believe that in general, an individual … Continue reading

September 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

NEWS: A Prestigious Textile Artwork Installation ….

So excited to be working on this! Projects like these will put these wonderful traditional textiles in the spotlight and perhaps make a small difference in delaying the extinction of … Continue reading

July 27, 2015 · 2 Comments

Karakalpak Motifs – Art in Geometry

              Sometimes it is enough to just enjoy the visual without knowing the meaning… View the complete piece and other images here on wovensouls,com … Continue reading

July 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

Art of the Red River – Ceramics from Avanos

Avanos lies along the Red River in Turkey that contains a unique red clay that is wonderful for ceramics. And so over the decades or centuries, the preferred medium of … Continue reading

June 24, 2015 · 2 Comments

Across the Universe – A Bridge to the Other World

Each of us has wondered at some time or another about what happens when we die. Too many questions that have no answers. And then along come the religious bosses … Continue reading

May 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Art of Spirituality

In my childhood I had heard my grandma say that there are four stages in one’s life a. The Stage of Bacherlorhood – a life of study, a life of … Continue reading

April 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

Thai Paintings – Mediums of Mythology

  Art of art’s sake is the rage of the day! Paintings of red dots on orange backgrounds fetch 6 figure prices and no one really seems to know why! … Continue reading

April 14, 2015 · 2 Comments

A Glimpse of Heaven | Antique Yao Paintings

Imagine a small community of two million people spread across a few thousand kilometers, living a life that straddles two radically different worlds – the life of their ancestors and … Continue reading

April 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

Colonial Ceramic Art – Floor Tiles in Penang

Even the floor beneath our feet can please our souls!         The Colonial influence – primarily Dutch & Portugese in these parts that is seen in Goa … Continue reading

February 17, 2015 · Leave a comment

AN ARTWORK A DAY – Antique Vietnam Beaded Weaving

Antique Vietnam Sapa Beaded Woven Textile Skirt

October 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Motif & Meaning – 4 | The Case of the Butter Churning Girls

Curious coincidences in Textile Art from two different regions explored

October 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

Embellishments in Traditional Asian Textiles

Strange & interesting bits and pieces have been used as textile embellishments. In the decade of collecting textiles, I find that non-textile embellishments are most common in South Asian Hilltribes … Continue reading

October 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

AN ARTWORK A DAY – Antique Vietnam Beaded Weaving

Antique Vietnam Sapa Beaded Woven Textile Skirt

September 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

An Offering of Art for Goddes Durga – Madhubani Painting from Mithila

A vintage Madhubani painting from Mithila depicting several forms of Goddess Durga   Drawn using a pen-type instrument with clean strokes, this painting is about 30-40 years old. A totally … Continue reading

August 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

Dealing with Addiction

How does one do it? How does one wean oneself off? How to stop obsessing? How to break free of the hypnotic spell? How to stop wallowing in the semi-conscious … Continue reading

May 8, 2014 · 1 Comment

Double Sided Embroidery 1 – The Technique

While doing some research on newly acquired textiles with double-sided embroidery from Rajasthan & Swat valley, I came across this fantastic article. The Su double-sided embroidery from China is different … Continue reading

April 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Craft of the Kalamkari of South India

Kalamkari – literally meaning ‘pen craft’ [ Kalam = pen in Urdu]  involving painting and printing on cloth with natural dyes. Styles of Kalamkari Art The art is an ancient … Continue reading

March 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

The day I almost missed a Flight – Textiles of the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

In the late 80s I had heard about the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad and the things I heard evoked a desire to visit. Life came in the way between … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 4 Comments

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Two rare Kohistan Shawls

Two rare shawls from Kohistan – a land whose culture is among the most endangered. Extravagantly embroidered with silk thread, beads and embellishments. Perfect collectible / large wall hanging. Rare. … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Antique Banarasi Saris

These two  complete bridal Banarasi saris (fragment) from the very early 20th century have been woven with Zari or golden thread that has precious metal content. More details on Wovensouls.com … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Mystical Gold Ornaments from the past

When I look at some  of the ornaments from the past, they leave me awestruck! The art & craft within them is doubtlessly stunning. But beyond that, there is an … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 2 Comments

INTRICATE WOVEN ART OF BHUTAN

ANTIQUE BHUTAN KERA TEXTILE ART ANTIQUE KERA VINTAGE KERA (OR KIRA)     jm Oct 2013

November 4, 2013 · 2 Comments

Folk Art – Food for the Soul

Folk art is mostly unsung art. It does not fetch millions of dollars. But  it is likely that as a category taken together,  it warms a greater number of hearts, … Continue reading

August 25, 2013 · 1 Comment

Puppets & Puppeteers of Nagaur Rajasthan

An old folk saying “We are only puppets, our strings are being pulled by unknown forces” This is an article about puppets – from a place that is famous for … Continue reading

June 11, 2012 · 2 Comments

Latest Additions to the Antique Gallery – June 2012

Antique and Vintage acquisitions from the Dayak tribes from Sarawak, Sumatra and Kalimantan have been added to the Wovensouls galleries linked below: Antique Textiles from Borneo Antique Articles from Borneo … Continue reading

June 5, 2012

Intricate Nyonya Glass Beadwork – antique pieces from the Peranakan Museum, Singapore

  Peranakan culture expresses itself in many unique ways and the glass bead embroidery on articles of daily use is probably the prettiest of all Peranakan cultural signatures. Glass bead … Continue reading

April 27, 2011

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