The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

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

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

Glimpses of Punjab

A few photos that offer a little cultural flavour of the style Punjab. It was a delight to witness the preservation of ethnic identity in-spite of the tsunami of bland … Continue reading

February 24, 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

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

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

Wearing Art – Antique Himalayan Ceremonial Silver Belt

When everything the eye sees is artistic and pleasing, where art is an intrinsic part of every object, there must be undercurrents of joy constantly hitting the people…  Maybe THAT … Continue reading

May 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Visit to Phyang Monastery

Sat still within the ancient halls with only a young monk in attendance. Time passed unmarked by minutes and seconds. What do these matter when the walls have seen centuries!  … Continue reading

May 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Traditional Hearth

Serving up food for the tummy as well aa the soul!  It is the place where the whole family congregates over aclong breakfast of “khambheer” – hot thick rotis made … Continue reading

May 3, 2018 · Leave a comment

There’s No Limit to Creativity – Jewelry from Assam

Sharing the beautiful gemstone-studded traditional jewelry of Assam

April 19, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 · 3 Comments

The Land of the Sufi

Istanbul – almost exactly a year ago, I spent almost every evening eating at a small place near Topkapi palace. It was an open air restaurant with a basic menu … Continue reading

July 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Textiles in Ancient Balinese Paintings

Life is full of choices and the worst challenges are choosing between two bad choices or between two good choices. Shall I buy a painting or a textile? Shall I … Continue reading

January 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

Art for Food!

Covering food with a piece of cloth in the pre-plastic / glass era, seems to be a natural solution to the problem of keeping food fresh / safe / clean. … Continue reading

November 24, 2015 · 1 Comment

A Journey to Assam along a ‘Vrindavani Vastra’

It is said that if you cross the Brahmaputra river once, you will return again to cross it a total of seven times. I’ve done 3 and as I try … Continue reading

October 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – A Necklace of Thorns

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn Should never crave the rose.” ― Anne Brontë Heavy Gold Necklace modelled on the Gokhru herb of Rajasthan jm October 2015

October 24, 2015 · 1 Comment

Dowry Bags & Purses

A link to the Dowry Bags & Purses of Gujarat, India. jm July 2015

July 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

DAILY ART FIX – AN ARTWORK A DAY

An addict constantly needs a fix to keep him stable. Me – in moments of extreme stress I find solace & peace in viewing works of traditional art. In normal … Continue reading

July 7, 2015 · 3 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

Postcards from Rajasthan

Postcards (or rather the e-version – Whatsapp Images) from Rajasthan. Sent by the remarkable Narayan Gadhvi, a young man who lives in the desert city of Jaisalmer and was pivotal … Continue reading

June 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Vintage Ethnic Embroidery

Vintage Embroidery from Gujarat. India ca 1950 – 1970 Large piece used for home decor. antique Indian textiles, antique Indian shawl, antique textiles, antique textiles company, handmade Indian textiles, Indian … Continue reading

June 27, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Dance of the Peacock

An amazing animal ornament in silver! See more pictures of this piece from the wovensouls collection here. jm May 2015

May 6, 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

Where the Head is Held High …| Naga Headdress

The Naga people are  proud of their heritage. With a hat and fashion sense like theirs, I would be too. It must be so easy to live Tagore’s words there: … Continue reading

April 8, 2015 · 1 Comment

A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei

Most are now woven on power looms but a few are still made on back-strap looms.A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei The Puanchei: The Puan is the … Continue reading

January 26, 2015 · 4 Comments

Ancient Art Motifs of Egypt

As I walk through the exhibits in the museum, it occurs to me that the Egyptian tombs were treasure troves not only of gold but also of art. The objects … Continue reading

June 29, 2014 · 2 Comments

Hand Looms, Foot Looms and more

Many of the textile enthusiasts that I know, enjoy understanding the technicalities that go into the creation of the art. The loom type, the weave type, the knot structure etc … Continue reading

May 3, 2014 · 6 Comments

A Story in a Nose Ring

Four times I have had my nose pierced. In spite of the fact that it is long & hook shaped and has provided all its viewers with immense mirth – … Continue reading

May 1, 2014 · 2 Comments

A LADAKHI LADY DONS HER HEIRLOOM JEWELRY

On the way back from interior Himalayas in September last year, we stopped at a tiny village in Skyurbuchan that had the only restaurant along the way, for a late … Continue reading

April 30, 2014 · 2 Comments

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights |Antique Yao Paintings

Pair of Yao Ritual Paintings. This set from the Kin Mun Yao of Northern Vietnam and is of significant age. Microscopic examination of the paper reveals an unfamiliar fabric like … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Vintage Akha Headdress

This headdress is a signature element of the costume of one of the Akha subtribes living in Northern Thailand. Available for acquisition. ‘Vanishing Cultures’ An exhibition of photography & antique … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Traditional Architecture & Art in the Houses of South India

How can a house that is so simple, serene and peaceful be the cause of the debilitating greed that arises in me when I view it? Every house that I … Continue reading

January 15, 2014 · 9 Comments

And we thought ornaments were only for people? Traditional Animal Adornments

And we thought ornaments and clothing were only for humans? A few vintage & antique examples of traditional adornments for the beloved farm animals. 1. Large Necklaces for a pair … Continue reading

December 12, 2013 · 2 Comments

Vanishing Cultural Knowledge – the Penans of Borneo

This a picture* of a man from the Penan group that now number 10,000 and is probably the last group that lives surviving solely on the produce of hunting & … Continue reading

December 8, 2013 · 1 Comment

Intriguing Balinese Calendars – Palindon & Palelintangan

In a world with so many different cultures with divergent ideologies and beliefs, naturally there are as many ways to mark the passage of time and predict fortunes. I studied … Continue reading

December 6, 2013 · 5 Comments

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

Turquoise Art – The Blue Veil of Ladakh

An unusual Museum Quality Perak headdress from the Purang / Burang region. Authentic heirloom peraks are extreme,y rare now and among Peraks Purang Peraks are the rarest to find. The … Continue reading

September 23, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Fantastic Skeypuk Jewelry of Himalayan Interiors

The mystery of how coral got to the Himalayas has many explanations yet the mind continues to meander into the past seeking confirmations. While the mind continues to thirst for … Continue reading

September 16, 2013 · 1 Comment

VINTAGE NAVRATRI COSTUMES GHAGRAS, CHANIYAS & DHOTIS

Vintage Odhnis, Skirts, Ghaagras and Chaniyas from Gujarat from the WOVENSOULS collection: Please view the complete collection at WOVENSOULS.COM Shipping will be from Singapore. JM Aug 2013 Save

August 20, 2013 · 3 Comments

Traditional Sugar Mill, Ryukyu Okinawa

A short photo essay of the traditional sugar extraction process from sugar cane using a bullock driven crushing mechanism. The low yield of this process surprised me. I wondered why … Continue reading

August 11, 2013 · 2 Comments

Grace of a Ryukyu Weaver, Okinawa

Another shore excursion, another learning experience. A lesson in grace, a lesson in technique from the legacy of the Ryukyu Kingdom,  Okinawa, Japan The Weaving Process: jm Aug 2013  

August 10, 2013 · 2 Comments

Textile Art of Gujarat

I grew up in the Gujarati community of traders. A community in which the critical success factor is ‘data mining’ within the community. Fathers, father’s brothers, mother’s brothers, neighbourhood elders, … Continue reading

July 25, 2013 · 3 Comments

Goan Fisherman’s tale – traditional wisdom, traditional fishing

While one half of the world chases efficiency and big money, Goa continues to chase the perfect life. Afternoon siestas are still not traded for earnings. I have been turned … Continue reading

July 16, 2013 · 8 Comments

The story of the Pattua Painting of Bengal in the Wovensouls Collection

A few months ago, I spotted a piece of vintage folk art and without knowing quite what it was, I acquired it. It was a scroll, about 1 foot wide … Continue reading

June 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Wall Art of Rural Rajasthan

Dedicated to those mistaken souls for whom ‘rural’ implies ‘poor’  or ‘undeveloped’ or ‘in-need-of-upliftment’. May the following pictures give them reason to modify their beliefs. Following are pictures of a … Continue reading

May 29, 2013 · 10 Comments

Wovensouls Website relaunched

The structure and layout of the wovensouls website has been changed to make the flow smoother. Recent acquisitions of  antique textiles, antique jewelry and antique folk art, some of these … Continue reading

January 12, 2013

Recent additions to the antique jewelry collection

Exquisite heirloom pieces just added! 1. Antique turquoise necklace with large Ghau (with compartment) 2. Antique heirloom Naga necklace with shell, bone and glass beads 3. Antique Tuareg (African Sahara) … Continue reading

December 27, 2012

New Acquisitions of Kutch Textile Art in the Wovensouls Collection

The eye learns with every new exposure and becomes more discerning. Now I value the unusual form more than I did earlier.  In the world of textile art everything can … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · 2 Comments

Textile Art of South East Asia at the Asian Civilsations Museum

An album from a forgotten visit in 2007 to the Asian Civilisations Museum …. taken with a camera I do not even remember. A photography experience that probably made me … Continue reading

July 7, 2012 · Leave a comment

Gangaur Festival

A festival of devotion and of celebration of love. Shiva and Parvati are the epitome of love in Hindu mythology and this is one of the stories about their love. … Continue reading

June 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

Traditional Sports of Ladakh – Polo

Where else would we find a monastery, a chorten, mountain peaks AND polo players in the same shot??!!! The cheerleading squad – traditional drummers The teams A flying horse? A … Continue reading

October 4, 2011

Traditional Naga Bamboo Climbing and Fire Making

Greased-bamboo pole climbing and Traditional fire-making….a few images. Boys preparing to compete in the greased bamboo pole climbing competition between tribes Splashing mud to create friction *** Fire making by … Continue reading

December 13, 2010 · Leave a comment

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