Thursday, 16 February 2017

Colouricious Block Printing Holiday. 11 day in Jaipur, January 20th - 31st. Part the third.

Wonderful colours and shapes.

As you can imagine, India is full of the most stunning images. The colours, forms, shapes and patterns just make your head spin. Here are a few of the shots I took on the 11 day trip around Jaipur.

Whilst the trip was a block printing extravaganza, we also got out and about, in an air conditioned coach, to enjoy the local area. One of the many great things of going on a trip with Jamie is that she is so enthusiastic about showing you 'behind the scenes' of life in India. There is nothing Jamie enjoys more than exploring the back streets of Jaipur, finding new factories and workshops and other delights to share. Discovering new experiences for her guests. Each trip is different.
Just look at the trips that are on offer -

Our holiday included the Amer Fort, just out side Jaipur. A stunning building.  
One of the highlights of a visit to the fort is to travel up the hill to it on an elephant. The elephants are under the protection of the government and there are strict rules as to how many journeys up the hill the elephants make per day. 

 Their are wonderful views from the fort - so high up.

 The elephants arriving up at the fort and some of our group disembarking.

 The elephants on their way back down the hill.

The fort is highly decorated, just stunning.  . .

 . . and there are areas of calm . . 

After wandering around the fort for an hour or so - we were driven down the hill in a convoy of jeeps. At the bottom of the hill is the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing.
A wonderful building full of block printing history with a fabulous book shop.

After the museum we all piled back in to the coach and we were off to the farm where the elephants live.

Jamie had arranged for us to paint a few of the elephants. In small groups. Everything had been carefully arranged and we were all told how to behave around the elephants - what to do, and what not to do. The head mahout gave us a fascinating talk about how the elephants were kept and cared for. did you know that an elephant can live to over 90 years old?
 All the elephants are used to being painted, it almost becomes a game with their mahouts. A mahout is an elephant trainer. The farm we were taken to is where the elephants live with their mahouts. The elephants become part of the mahout's family.

 Everyone was quiet, but still managed to enjoy themselves. It was almost a spiritual event . .

 I think this part of the holiday was one of the highlights for a lot of the group.
It was a very peaceful, and colourful hour or so.

I have lot more to show you - so watch this space . . . 

x x x

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Colouricious Block Printing Holiday. 11 days in Jaipur. - January 20 - 31. Part the second . .

Just one of many wonderful images seen on the holiday.

OK, the second of what will probably be several posts. As this was my second trip to Jaipur and in cooler temperatures I was much happier moving around and slightly less overwhelmed by the magnificence of Jaipur. I was able to concentrate more on what was happening around me. 
One of the reasons Jamie asked me co host the holiday was to encourage any of the group who were interested to keep a journal of their time in Jaipur.
The Hotel Meghniwas was perfect for this activity as you can see from the images below.

The terrace at the hotel was a fabulous place to play with paints and crayons, pencils, printing blocks . . 
Everyone go stuck in.

Our next printing session was at another factory workshop. you could tell the group were starting to get to grips with the printing and were feeling a little more confident. It was great to be able to work with the full time block printers.
Their skill is remarkable. It takes several years of training to become a master block printer. They were very happy to work with our group and I think the workers were quite surprised at the skill in printing some of the group showed.

Wonderful buckets of colour ready to print with.
A combination of henna, gum and pigment.

Just a few of the gorgeous blocks.

The group had a fabulous time and were becoming more confident with the registering of double and triple layered designs.

While one half of the group were printing - the other half went upstairs to look at the fabrics that were for sale. We also had a Kantha stitch lesson. Once the first group finished their printing, the groups swapped around.

Those of the group that could sit on the floor, did, the rest sat on soft chairs around the room.

It made a good change to see some of the ladies at work. A lot of ladies work from home, but a few go out to work. It was a joy to work with these ladies, so gentle. We spoke on the common language of smiles and the moving of hands.
It was very peaceful after all the banging of the block printing.

After all the activity of the day some of us went onto my favourite tailors, 
Sat Guru's on Mount Road, Jaipur.
Having been to several of the other tailors in September and had clothes made at all of them, I found Sat Guru's to be the most consistent. Clothes that fitted well, were well made and not violently expensive. The assistants don't hassle you so much either. They have an enormous range of beautiful fabrics, home textiles and all manner of sparkle and shine. Heaven.

Just a few of the cotton fabrics to choose from. Sat Guru's have the best range of dabu fabrics. (the indigo dyed mud resist).

This is the lovely Bunti who became my personal shopper. 
He is great fun, very entertaining and really knows his fabrics.

Traveling to Jaipur, with all the different tailors, gives you a fabulous opportunity to have clothes copied or you can choose from patterns. The tailors are so experienced they can almost make clothes for you without measuring you. You are really spoilt for choice. Most of the group came home with several new outfits.

No visit to Jaipur is complete with out a visit to walkway along by the Jal Mahal, or Water Palace, it is so very beautiful, very romantic.

Jal Mahal Jaipur.

I have more images of around and about Jaipur to show you, but for the moment I will leave you with a great paint job on a tuk tuk, just fabulous.

What great inspiration, all on one tuk tuk.
love it.

Watch this space for more . . . .


I am sitting in the IDC studio in Redditch writing this post, this is the penultimate weekend for my ExTex 5 group. Their end of year show will be at the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch Show at the NEC next month. with one more weekend left the pace is hotting up. They are creating some amazing work, I am very excited about what they are up to. I won't be posting any more images of their work. I will leave it as surprise for those of you who get to the show. The big reveal . .
After the show I will post the images of their work for you all to see.


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Colouricious Block Printing Holiday. 11 days in Jaipur - January 20 - 31. Part the first . . .

This was the beautiful sight that greeted us when we arrived at Hotel Meghniwas in Jaipur. Just wonderful.

Jamie Malden of Colouricious runs, develops and organises the most wonderful textile holidays. Not only in India but also Bhutan and Japan. Do have a look at what is on offer.

The holidays and all they involve are amazing, you are very well looked after. Each trip is different, Jamie is always finding new and exciting things for her guests to discover and enjoy. There is nothing she loves more than wandering around all the back streets of cities, finding new workshops and factories to work with.

Colouricious also offer more 'off the beaten track' holidays. Do check out the website.

Puneet and Jamie.

On arrival at the hotel from the airport, we all milled about on the beautiful terrace by the pool while we were waiting to be shown to our rooms.
A least half the group were traveling by themselves, everyone was getting on well already.
Jamie's good friend and 'man in Jaipur', Puneet, came to introduce himself. Puneet organises the carving of all the Colouricious printing blocks and shipping them to the UK.  He also is very involved with the Jaipur tours, going on ahead to make sure everything is set up and ready for the group when they arrive at workshops and factories. Puneet is a lovely man, nothing is too much trouble.

Sitting on the terrace by the pool. 

Arriving in a group of 25 guests when you are on your own can be daunting, but everyone got on well right from the start. Everyone felt included.

 Our first day started with a local emporium that block printed clothes and fabric and also had the most incredible collections of old Indian artifacts. An amazing collection. From antique door handles to massive stone ornaments for the house and garden. A wonderful feast for the eyes.

Wonderful shapes and designs.

We were greeted with marigold garlands, We were all wide eyed and fascinated as we go off the bus. Our first trip out . . . 
Throughout the holiday we were ferried about in an air conditioned coach and were given endless bottles of water. Being a group of 25 the coach was just right.

The whole group was given a short talk by the owner of the emporium, it was very interesting, how they worked, what they printed. We then split into 2 groups, one group stayed downstairs to do the block printing, and the other group went upstairs to watch the Zardozi embroidery and look at the fabrics in the textile studio. The groups then swapped over after an hour or so.

As well as printing metres of fabric, the factory prints on partly made garments that are then completed once the printing is dry and fixed.

It was wonderful to watch the group working with the factory workers, although they spoke no English, everyone communicated with their hands and smiles. Great fun. The groups were showed how to mitre the prints with the border blocks and how to register the double and triple prints. You could almost hear the concentration. I think the factory workers were quite impressed with the results. I know we were. And it was only the first day . . .

While one group were printing the others went upstairs to watch the incredibly skilled embroiderers. In these photos the men are working on 6 cushion cover designs. Once the embroidery is finished, the fabric is cut into 6 squares and made up into cushions. All manner garments are also decorated in this way. It is a very rich, rather magnificent form of decoration.

The group were fascinated by the embroidery and the men were very patient when they were surrounded by groups of very excited ladies.
It was fantastic to be able to watch how this embroidery was done.
And we all love a bit of sparkle.

To see more of this kind of work - have a look at this link -

This is a link for Google images - you will lost for a while in these images . .

The gold bullion, fine gold wire wound to make a tube.

The bullion cut into lengths ready to be stitched down and a pot of gold sequins . .  can you have too much gold?

The textile studio is next to the embroidery room, A chance to look at rows and rows of gorgeous fabrics and maybe get some clothes copied. They have very fast and accurate tailors in Jaipur.

A beautiful pile of antique embroidered textiles.

This chandelier was one of several in the textile studio. A bit of glamour while you are choosing fabrics for your garments.

So - that is it for a day or so, I will be writing several posts about this trip, it really was remarkable. Watch this space for metallic printing, painting elephants, forts and palaces . . Wonderful.


I am desperately trying to catch up with all my admin this week, I am off to Redditch tomorrow to teach the penultimate session of ExTex5, then the following weekend it is the trade show at the NEC . . AArgghh!!! There are not enough hours in the next 2 weeks, hey ho, head down and get on with it Kim . . 

Hello Jill, your visit was too short, see you in March.
Hello Diana, will ring you today.
Hi Tod - you are next on the list.

x x x