Wednesday, 27 February 2019

The Journey Design exercise in Jaipur - The Jaipur Journey with Colouricious Holidays 8th - 18th January 2019

 A section of one of the Journeys half way through.

 Right - now where was I??? The Journey in Jaipur . . .

It might seem rather a long way to travel to do a design exercise, But I am sure you can imagine the incredible inspiration that we were surrounded by, before we even left the hotel! Your head just spins with all the shapes,lines and forms.

 A beautiful lock on a door at the Amer Fort Palace.

 Part of a fence in the paper factory we visited.

One of the many stunning domed buildings in the Maharani's Garden in Jaipur.

If you look back trough the last 2 posts you will some of the inspiration for these Journey exercises. 
We painted the first part of the Journeys in a local workshop that had plenty of space for the long pieces of paper we needed. It was cool and not too bright in the workshop, great for relaxing and concentrating on the designs.

 The group getting on with creating their Journeys.

 Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I have been teaching this design exercise for 20 or so years now. What started as something I developed to help students to create original designs when I first taught my course Experimental Textiles. I have now taught it in Australia, New Zealand the UK and Jersey. To hundreds of students. And now I have taught it in India. You just never know where your teaching will take you.

I teach the exercise exactly the same way every time I teach it, and every student creates something different. It never ceases to fascinate me.

 Wonderful work.

We got as far as we could in the 2 hours and the Journeys were hung side by side, This is always an exciting moment.

 The journeys hanging side by side . .

 And then the photo cropped down.
This exercise need to be in black and white.
If you introduce colour, you would be distracted from the design.

 I have probably taught hundreds of groups of students, and of course, they are all special. But once in a while you work with a particularly splendid group of individuals. This was such a group. They supported and helped each other along the way.  There were no prima donna's!!! The group got on so very well. This of course made my job as the tour leader much easier.

 This is my gorgeous group.
Back row -Wendy, Angie, Sara, Kath, Lesley, Karen, Maggie, Jan.
Front row - Sabine, Dian, Jenny, June, Angela and Helen.
Joyce and Sheila were missing action, but they caught up the next day.

Here are a few sections I took of the Journeys when they were hanging up.

 Great lines and shapes.

 We finished off the Journeys in the hotel garden the next day. There was time to add some more delicate (fiddly) lines to fill in a few spaces.

 As you can imagine it was delightful working in the garden with all the delights of the hotel grounds to enjoy.

 There are some very fine chandeliers in the dining room of the hotel

 The desserts were a feast for the eyes . .
Such wonderful repeat shapes. 

One of the small lounges in the hotel.

I will post more on how the group developed their designs and introduced colour next week. 
The holiday was through Colouricious Holidays and the hotel was the Alsisar Haveli.


A reminder for those of you closer to Ireland, booking for my classes at The Quilters Guild Annual Conference in Maynooth, County Kildare, closes tomorrow, the 28th. 

There are still a couple of places on All that Glitters, my newspaper based book cover and Look, Draw, Print, Stitch.  Have a look here if you are interested. It's going to be a great weekend. Conference classes


Tuesday, 5 February 2019

The Jaipur Journey - January 8th - 18th. Part the second . .

A wonderful labyrinth block print - in GOLD!

So - onward with our wonderful trip to discover all things design based and just so exciting in Jaipur with Colouricious Holidays
Our second day started with a trip to a brilliant factory that specialises in printing with metallic paint - no surely not Kim . . something shiny!!?

It is a great factory, very well organised, and helping to bring back hand printed fabrics into the high streets all over the world. Next time we go I would love to hear the owner talk about how he started the factory, developed it and how he is, almost single handedly, changing the the image of hand block printing in Jaipur. He is employing more and more block printers who in turn need more and more blocks. It is all very exiting. I wouldn't be surprised when we go back in 2 years if he is on factory number 2.

 Joyce had her own young man to help her match up her repeats.

You can hear the buzz of very happy ladies printing with the metallic paint.
Even as early as the second day new friendships were being formed.

 The concentration . . you can almost hear Kath thinking . .

 June thoroughly enjoyed her printing session. 
Look at the shine on that print.

 Even though everyone was concentrating they all had a great time.
It was a very relaxed yet informative session.

 Just 4 of the all blocks we used.
Plus - we were all presented with block of our name.
How lovely was that?

 This end of the table had a riot of a time. Maggie, Angela and Lesley got on really well right from the start.

 There are always loads of different shapes and colours to see around these printing factories - wonderful.

 After the metallic printing it was back on the coach to visit The Blue Pottery and have a wander the village of Sanganeer where some of the block carvers work.

 It's not often you see a cobra.

Having a wander around the village we saw lots of inspiration for design.

 I loved this railing, wonderful positive and negative space.

 The position of this young man within the space of the shop.
Love the straight lines contrasted by the strings of packets.

 A fabulous little building quite separate from the rest of the street.

 The Blue Pottery - lives up to its name. Using local soil and quartz to make the clay for the pots with their special glazes.

 Just beautiful tiles, vases, elephants, bowls, buttons, beads . .

 The next stop was a paper making factory and retail shop. My goodness it was fabulous. We saw how the paper was in made in large vats and then went to see a group of ladies making up paper carrier bags.

 A cross section of a stack of handmade paper - gorgeous.

 The ladies making up the paper carrier bags.

 A bit of retail therapy - very reasonable . .

While I am writing these blog posts, there will be at least 2 more about this trip, I am building ideas of how to develop this trip for my next trip out to Jaipur in January 2021. I am making notes . . . I am hoping that by the time I have posted the last blog post next week, we will have the next holiday up on the Colouricious website.

I would like to stress that apart from 2 sisters that traveled together and 2 friends who had been to Jaipur before, everyone was traveling on their own and knew no one else. That included me!! We had the best time together.

I will post more in a few days. 
The Journeys are AMAZING!!!

x x x

Sunday, 3 February 2019

The Jaipur Journey - January 8th - 18th 2019. Part 1.

The 2 sisters, June and Joyce, on their elephant at the Amer Fort Palace.

 Having met the group at Heathrow we flew to Mumbai airport then onto Jaipur.
 Mumbai is a beautiful modern airport, the roof is just FANTASTIC. Seeing it was a great start to our design based course.

 The Jaipur Journey Colouricious Holiday was planned by Jamie and myself to be quite different to any previous Colouricious holiday. Jamie and I had handpicked each venue that we visited. All were chosen for their particular design and or colour inspiration, as you will see. This was not the usual block printing holiday, though we did have one or two sessions that were great fun. I wanted time for the group to absorb and just be . . .  in these beautiful places. Have time to draw what they see and take photos. 

Our first day had two quite contrasting venues. The Amer Fort Palace which is very ornate and highly decorative. Contrasted with a visit to Jantar Mantar which is full of very simple massive shapes and lines.

 The Amer Fort Palace is the most remarkable series of buildings. A must every time you visit Jaipur. This was my third visit and I saw so many new aspects to this stunning place. You could never be bored in such a beautiful and inspirational palace.

 These are series of images showing a few of the amazing shapes and decoration.

 Wonderful arches and ceilings.

 A wonderful pop of colour.

 There is exquisite mirror and tile work.

 Even drain holes are interesting.

  . .  corners, easily missed.

A note about the elephants .  . on a previous visit I have visited the farm where the elephants are looked after by their human families - very well. The elephants that walk up and the road to the fort only work from 8 - 12. I have also been part of a group that paints the elephants. I still cant decide whether it is gratuitous entertainment. The elephants certainly don't suffer, are well fed and seem to be having a great time. In any group i have been in, there are several that won't go near the elephants, for whatever reason. Because of this - I don't have any elephant 'entertainment' on my holidays with Colouricious. 
Something for you to bear in mind if you are thinking of coming with me on my next trip in January 2021. You will have the choice to ride on an elephant up to the palace - or go up in a jeep.

Elephants walking up and down the road to the Amer Fort Palace. 
A wonderful sight, such beautiful animals.

There are beautiful gardens and fountains at the Amer Fort Palace. 

 It has to be done. Our very informative and humorous guide took our group photo.


In the afternoon we visited Jantar Mantar. Another must see as far as I am concerned.  It is an observatory as you have never seen before. Again, this was my third visit and I was still excited by the huge forms and shapes. The lack of colour helps not to distract you from these amazing buildings. I really love this place. Do look at the website if you would like to know a bit more. The buildings were built around 1724. Just remarkable.

 Jantar Mantar is a huge park in Jaipur. The cool, calm massive structures help rest your senses after the madness of driving around the city.
My favourite structure. Such and exquisite curve.

These deep curved instruments are just wonderful. So simple.

This was just the first day, getting the group to start thinking about line, shape and form. Such a treat. We had 3 days to get everyone thinking about design in general and of course, enjoy the stunning pink city that is Jaipur, before we started to create the Journeys. I will write more in the next couple of days.


Work is continuing in the new studio. Insulating, painting, electrics and of course . .  sorting out my STUFF.  I hope to be in there and working by the beginning of April when the season starts out here. I have had several inquiries about one to one workshops with ladies from America and Australia who will be traveling in Ireland in the summer. This is very exciting and not something I had considered. I live and learn. 

It is very cold here at the moment - but no snow.
My friend Jayne came over to smarten up and update my website with my Irish teaching and generally organise me. We are nearly there with the Scrumptious Spunbond online workshop. The inspiration book has just gone off to be printed. We hope to have it up by the end of the month. 
We had several new students enrol on various online workshops last week. I look forward to working with them. I will show you some of what they create, on here at a later date.

 Poppy loves Jayne - Jayne is still not sure.
Pops does love digging in the sand.

Jayne and Pops having a sedate wander on Carrigaholt beach while I was taking pictures of  . .  stones!!

 Yesterday I was in Cork for the AGM of the Cork Textile Network. I am a new member and am very excited to be part of such a diverse group of talented artists. You may have seen the 'Heads' exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Shows last year on the Cork Textiles Network stand. They have now returned to Ireland and are hanging in Bishopstown Library.

 It is good to see all the heads again and back in Ireland.


That's it for now, I am going to cuddle up in front of the fire with Poppy
I hope you are enjoying the end of your weekend. Whether you're freezing cold in Europe or boiling hot in Australia, Have a good evening. 

x x x