31Jan/140

Off To The Palace…Polo Club Gathering For 400

Posted by Sermarr

Last night Jaykirti and I had to go to the palace again.  The life of an itinerant artist is very blessed here.  So I put on one of my two outfits for going out (always travel light here so I can go home with a full suitcase)   Just a small crowd of 400 had been assembled in the courtyard inside the palace , with huge lights patterns flowing over the building, the princess and her family in attendance (yes, readers, I met her again courtesy of Jaykirti) and we dined outdoors in the larger courtyard with waiters in white coats and gloves and red turbans.  The central raised platform with beautiful columns in the larger courtyard was for greeting officials and conducting business.  It's open to the sides and holds some wonderful relics of the Kingdom of Jaipur's past.  Lots of swords/guns/arrows displayed and the marvel is two very large silver urns which one of the Maharajahas took to England when he went…full of water from the Ganges.  So we had a blast and saw a number of Jaykirti's friends and I got my picture taken with a polo pony when we came in and with Jaykirti on the way out.  DSCN8317 DSCN8318 DSCN8325 DSCN8324 DSCN8327 DSCN8345 DSCN8337 DSCN8334 DSCN8338 DSCN8335

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31Jan/140

Making A Padded Jacket…Whew, A Lot Of Work!

Posted by Sermarr

Jaykirti makes beautiful padded jackets, you know the ones with the little rows.  So she is having duplicated my red and black one that I bought at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market about 6 years ago  Now, unthinkingly, I believed that you just buy that padded material on a roll of padded fabric and cut out the pattern and make the  jacket.  But here is what really happens; first you buy two sides for the jacket…a red silk for the outside and a black cotton for the inside, in this case.  Then the tailors lay down first one piece of material, in this case black, and then overlay on it  this very thin gauzy fiber and they patch any holes in it (because it is really thin) sort of like you patch a tear in a piece of pie dough.  Then they lay the other piece of material over it, in this case red…then they go to stitching those long straight lines that make the padding.  And it looks spectacular.  So here's one for the truly curious and a testament to the tailors here who are truly masters.  Try stitching a long straight seam in something bumpy….it's hard to do.

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31Jan/140

OK, New Yorkers, This (Black) One’s For You

Posted by Sermarr

Last  year, just before I left India, I did some black on white pieces that I liked very much and was amazed to see how graphic they looked.  This year as I've heard from a New Yorker that everything I do is bright and New York is still all black, I decided to do an all black on white one…This one involved lifting and printing the front from a huge piece of marble that has been scored.  It mades a beautiful overlay…so, New Yorkers, this one's for you.

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31Jan/140

Another Combo Platter…The Front

Posted by Sermarr

I made a piece that was rock printing a few days ago and it had red stripes all over it.  I did the back and then didn't like it too much.  It was black, friends, and look dingy and yucky on red, despite what I thought it should look like.  So I unpinned it and waited till today.   I put a combo of flowers (here are some of the blocks to choose from and some of the sample prints I made to check what they looked like) DSCN8255 DSCN8260 DSCN8258 DSCN8256 DSCN8257 DSCN8261and some modern object prints on the front.  Especially loved the effect of the concentric circle block that I had made….gold and yellow printed next to each other in a chain.  Then once I finished the front I realized what I could do to the back to fix it.  I took a small terra-cotta pot that's used for incense here and has a small circular bottom and put turquoise on it and filled the empty circles in the print…it looks amazingly better.  See what you think. (well, it turns out you can;t see because I forgot to take a picture of the amended back….tomorrow)

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31Jan/140

Workshop Humming….In Gold

Posted by Sermarr

Masterji was working at high speed on a lot of beautiful things.  Here is a sample…And a lot of it had gold highlights…look at the beautiful shaded material, a product of one of Jaykirti's expert dyers.  This is beyond a miracle to me...DSCN8259 DSCN8244 DSCN8273 DSCN8265 DSCN8245

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30Jan/140

The Combo Vest….With Gold

Posted by Sermarr

Today I worked on making another long vest; this is my favorite form because of the long panels.  I wanted to make horizontal stripes of traditional blocks; they are so beautiful and I would have something to wear that displayed a lot of them.  So I got it laid out and picked all the blocks that would go together. And then printed them…except for that beautiful yellow center block of the small tree outline, which I asked Masterji for help with and as you can see he centered it perfectly in the red outline……..and….something was missing.  I got Jaykirti to come down and opine.She's been making clothes for 12 years and has a great eye for what might work.  And  she loves color just as I do.  She said it was too much like what they make and not distinctively like my work.  So, recognizing the truth of her eye, I went back to work and added some of the blocks that I just had made- a lovely metal piece and a small piece of sandstone had been transformed into wooden blocks.  So I added them intermixed into the traditional forms.  The red tree block at the bottom border and center of the back is a block made from a picture of a tree in San Francisco that had not been pollarded; I had a block made of it last year and Jaykirti liked it so much that she had one made for herself.  Voila…and I used gold for the metal piece.  See what you think

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30Jan/140

The Princess of Jaipur And Her Family

Posted by Sermarr

There is a Princess in Jaipur.  And she is married to a Maharaj (which means he's a male member of the Maharaja's family, but is not the Maharaja) and their son is the newly invested Maharaja, having been adopted by the Princess's father.  The Princess cannot be the Maharaja.  But she runs the City Palace and has recently been elected to the state of Rajasthan's assembly representing a particularly poor section of the old Jaipur territory.  (I think I got all this right)  The young Maharaja is on the Jaipur Coca-Cola polo team and so is his father.  I saw the Maharajah play the other day.  I thought you would enjoy seeing the polo team and the royal family up close, as this magazine took pictures of them.  I have met the royal family at events here and they are very gracious.

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30Jan/140

Jewelry Makes The Woman…And The Jeweler

Posted by Sermarr

It is a tradition here for Rajput women to receive large quantities of, what would be for Americans, large stones set in gorgeous settings.  Think Queen Elizabeth.  These are given as gifts to each bride by the groom's parents.  And of course they inherit some too.  The jewelers here are the profit making enterprises and there are stores and ads for jewelry everywhere.  I looked at a magazine today called "Hello" which had a lot of ads for jewelry.  I thought you would enjoy them.  We Americans do not have the gorgeous saris and other highly decorated clothing that Indian women wear.  Jewelry like this does not look out of place on them in a beautiful sari.  And they get to wear these to weddings, birthdays, birth of new baby parties, and other special occasions.  Our celebrities and other very wealthy women have the evening gowns and special events to wear this sort of jewelry, but alas the rest of us are on the outside looking at them in the paper/magazine/tv.

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29Jan/140

Off To The Palace

Posted by Sermarr

Last night we went to the City Palace at the invitation of the museum there.  The Princess is continuing a traditional of sponsoring cultural events there.  And she/the society hopes to broaden and increase the scope and quantity of these events.  I went to a number of them last year and they were musical.  This one was the discussion by a very learned, not dynamic-speaker professor on the Mughal influence in the work of a famous 18th century Indian painter named Nainsukh.  The artist was one of a multigenerational set of artists who painted beautiful, very tiny paintings sponsored by rich rulers and patrons.  We started comparing the portraits of hawks and the innovations in making them fill the frame of the picture and then progressed on to beautiful paintings of beautiful women and described in great detail all the relevant comparisons to Mughal inspired themes. I reminded Jaykirti of a Rowan Atkins movie where he is asked to give a verbal analysis of "Whistler's Mother"….look it up on You Tube, as we did last night, and you will see. So I will show you one of these pictures of the beautiful hawks and a lot of pictures of the beautiful City Palace.  And Jaykirti's candid photo got in here too in her beautiful turquoise coat from her shop.  The terra-cotta colored gate is to the inner city in Jaipur…the more buff colored one is to the City Palace.   The interior gateways are inside the palace.

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29Jan/140

A Walk In The Neighborhood

Posted by Sermarr

Yesterday I took a walk in the neighborhood and here's what I saw.  A house dressed up for a wedding, the ironing guy at  his stand, and a house under construction with the requisite bricks, and a pile of "treasures" nearby.  I would have taken the board, which had such a beautiful pattern, but my arm wouldn't allow it.DSCN8061 DSCN8058 DSCN8057 DSCN8060 DSCN8062

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