Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paisley Pillows

I used to call the "paisley" the "mango design" like most Indians. It is only a few years ago that I learned that the mango design is formally known as the paisley. This morning I made covers for two pillows.--one with a black paisley pattern on it and the other white with the black paisley pattern fabric as a ruffle. I bought this fabric from one of the state emporiums in India. There are 25 states in India and each state has a distinct culture, language and a distinct fabric/art/craft tradition. In order to showcase and encourage the native artists and artisans from each state the Indian Government has set up emporiums/showrooms for each state in New Delhi. So, if you go to New Delhi, there is an entire street dedicated to the 25 state emporiums. One side of the street is lined with store after store,each representing one Indian state. When my husband and I lived in New Delhi before coming to the US, I had a job as a sub-editor at a news agency. My office was very close to the street with the emporiums. Every time I had morning shift which started at 8 am and finished at 2 pm I would go straight to the emporiums to shop. My husband would come home only in the evening we did not have any kids and to me there was no better way to spend an afternoon than to look at the enchantingly wide variety of textiles, arts, crafts and home decor things. So when we visited New Delhi as a family in the Summer of 2011, I made sure we went to the emporiums. It was so surreal to go to my old favorite place after so long except I was going with a family consisting of two teenagers. In my memory the emporiums were huge and colorful and magical. But this time when I went it seemed smaller, more congested and not as colorful. I don't know why. s While I was making these pillow covers this morning I could not help but think about the women and men behind all the textile patterns, and and craft items in the emporiums. I know most of them would be poor artisans working with an art form passed down to them by their parents. And because I was also working with my hands creating something artistic I felt connected to them just because I also know how it feels like to make something. One day I would like to do something to bring those artisans into the limelight by helping them make something cool using their art. I hope you have a wonderful day!

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