I went to this V&A exhibit a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. For me, the most interesting parts were detailing the traditions to do with dying using natural dyes - the bolts of gorgeous indigo and turmeric dyed cloth are stunning - and the videos about cultivating different silk worms with examples of the differences in the woven cloth were fascinating.
Here's a quick round up of some Indian inspired bits and bobs I love
Botto is a textile art studio in Bombay, who do some interesting stuff - I love how this embroidery takes typical Bollywood colours and gives a contemporary twist with the background choice. The shapes and simplicity keep it feeling fresh too.
A super simple sari-as-curtain idea from the book 'Cloth'; gorgeous fabrics need no extra help to show off, and the light playing through them will just add an extra dimension. Now to get on ebay for some second hand saris to hang...
Kantha is a Bengali technique using running stitch to layer together fabrics (traditionally a way to use scraps or reuse part-worn cloth). Even the simplest patterns give a wonderful tactile quality to the cloth, as the stitches create little waves in the dense pad of fabric.
Aari embroidery, from Kashmir, is similar to punch hole embroidery, using a hook to create a sort of chain stitch. I love what the artist here has done combining curved and straight lines - there's a tutorial on her blog too
I realise that for most people, Mondays are the baddie of the week, as everyone returns to work - but in theatre, the first half of a Monday is still the weekend, and the day only gets dull in the evening when we all troll in for the first show of the week. (Before you explode with jealousy, remember we all work all day every Saturday...). For us, the midweek matinee is the real slog - twice the work of a normal day, and no imminent reprieve in sight.
To cheer up my Thursday matinee day, I've decided to start a series of Thursday blog posts about cool stuff (admittedly a pretty broad remit)... so here we go
I love colour - bright colours boldly used - so on a recent trip to Venice, my favourite area was the island of Burano. I loved all the smooth painted houses, set against broken brick exposed by cracked plaster
The best thing about this photo is that, unbeknownst to me, my buddy Emma (a great photographer) took exactly the same shot of this chimney breast on her holiday last year, validating the excellence of my taste.
We got there pretty late on the last afternoon of our trip, so the light wasn't great for capturing all this gorgeousness. If I ever go back I'll be hot footing it straight onto the vaparetto out there.
Top tip: weirdly enough we also found that the nicest examples of Murano glass were being sold here (not on Murano) - mostly smaller pieces and touristy stuff like tree decorations and magnets, but given that all we really wanted was a little souvenir that was perfect. If you want a glass sculpture chess set with the pieces shaped as Roman Catholics verses Jews, you'll need to hit Murano itself.
One thing I especially love about knitting is the way that items come to represent memories of what you did whilst making them - they are a slice of your life. The striped strata above are a narrow boat holiday in the sun, evenings snuggled up with The Walking Dead, and weekend in Brighton catching up with old friends.
Whereas below, the geological progression are a few days in tech rehearsals getting to know new colleagues, some hours stood in theme park queues laughing at my niece's impatience, and a handful of stolen minutes on the train looking forward to home.