Thursday, October 6, 2016

Chittara Workshop

The Paaruls and Palash were introduced to the Chittara art form through a two day workshop at Shibumi.  Chittara is a folk art form practised by the women of Deewaru community living close to Jog Falls in Shimoga, Karnataka. CFRIA (Centre for Revival of Indigenous Art) is a non-profit organisation that is committed towards preserving and Indigenous Art practices in India. We had Geetha Bhat, from CFRIA, as the facilitator and Lakshmakka, who is from the Deewaru community, introducing the kids to this art form.  We started off with an introduction to ’Hase Gode Chittara’.  The motifs used in Chittara are geometric and mainly lines. Hase Gode Chittara represents a marriage ceremony in the community. The drawing of the Chittara itself is part of the ceremony.  The colours used in Chittara are red, white, black and yellow. For white, ground rice paste is used; roasted rice for black, yellow seeds (Gurige), red earth and the brushes are made up of pundi naaru.

The children started to learn by drawing the basic shapes that go into making a chittara. This took almost the whole of day one. The kids were fascinated that simple things like mango leaves, hand fan, clay pot, bird, hand saw, and not so simple things like bride, groom, palanquin, musicians etc can all be drawn using simple straight lines!

On the second day, we went on to the main thing which was drawing an actual Hase Gode Chittara on hand made paper. It involved lots and lots of measuring. Everything had to be precise!

The kids got tired of measuring. They were eager to get to the end of the drawing and do the painting.  We used acrylic paint for our paintings. It was not at all easy using those brushes to paint straight lines. Lakshmakka made the brushes from pundi naaru. These are really thin brushes made from the fibre of a plant that grows on the banks of a river. We found that using those brushes made the lines straight J

During the painting, Lakshmakka sang for us. In their tradition, the women usually sing when they are painting.  It was beautiful.

The two day workshop ended with a presentation and display of all the work that the children had done.
Lines are drawn .... ready to paint
White lines on red paper
black lines on white paper

Beloved Lakshmakka...

A sample 'Hasegode Chittara'

Sharing our learning with the rest of Shibumi

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Shibori at Shibumi

We had a one day intense workshop with Nikita Jain and Priyanka Patel , where they shared with us the magic of Shibori. We had done tie-dye earlier, and were fascinated by the simple technique of knotting and dyeing fabric to create happiness!

Shibori is the Japanese word--meaning to wring, squeeze, press--for a number of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. It was magical because of the various labor intensive techniques that created elaborate patterns that were unexpected and mind blowing. The techniques involving crumpling, stitching, plaiting, plucking and twisting. Once the cloth was 'shaped' by these methods, we secured it in a number of ways, such as binding, clamping or knotting.

The children's questions moved from, ' what will happen if  I do this?' to 'let me try this!'
The element of chance to the display of patterns and colours of this method gave life to the shibori process and added its special magic to the fabric and us.

Playing with the fabric....
 being placed into indigo dye...

Every step of the procedure called for a pause.... 

The wait....

Each method gave unique results and revealed  exciting moments. 

Look look look!

An element of the unexpected  was always present!