Kantha embroideries made by a womens' co-operative in Bahir India.
Today, we spent some time finding out about these wonderful embroideries, and the women who make them. Kantha means 'rags' and these quilts were originally made by sewing rags together, before decorating them in images that tell a story about the lives these women and their families lead. Making a 'whole' cloth from smaller saved pieces, also represents 'making whole' a situation, or an aspect of their lives.These beautiful textiles are now also beginning to earn the women who make them a wage of their own, giving them some much needed financial independence.
Our next exercise, was to make a small embroidery, using the simple hand stitching technique used in Kantha. We were encouraged to find a simple image to use in our piece, and as you can see from above, I decided on a tree.
To give us a break from the hand stitch, we spent an hour or so on another mark making exercise, which certainly woke us all up! After covering a piece of tracing paper with a thick coating of graphite, and inserting it into a length of white paper, we then proceeded to bang a nail all over the surface in a pattern of our choice. Needless to say, it was very noisy, but lots of fun, and we achieved some interesting result. Mine are above and below.
We finished off the day by continuing with our Kantha embroidery, and on leaving to drive home, I had completed what you see below! So much more to do, so I have homework tonight!!!
Tomorrow is batik day, something else that is new to me, so I hope to have some more interesting photos to post! I suppose I'd better get on with the stitching now, but this is homework I love, something I never said as a schoolgirl!!!
Thanks for looking in again.