I have recently returned from a 2 month visit to India. After leaving the cold and stormy skies of Ontario, I arrived in Mumbai to heat and sunshine! My trip was made up of several mini adventures, some shorter some longer, but all amazing and memorable.
Now that I am back at home, I am ready to begin some new work and try some new techniques, on fabric. I bought 10 metres of Eri silk, which is an eco friendly silk, in that the moths leave the cocoon as soon as it is ready to be spun. The eri silk worm is the only completely domesticated silkworm other than Bombyx mori. I plan to also try some natural dyes as well as a technique called Shibori, or tie & dye.
A far cry from the storm I had just left behind at home, in Ontario, Canada. On my second day, I took a taxi to the hotel where my tour group was meeting. We were 9 people travelling together, plus our tour guide, for 2 weeks. Most of our travels were in a private mini van with our very dependable and tireless driver.
The only exception was the first night, when we travelled by overnight train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, in Gujarat. The group was very well-travelled and knowledgeable about both India and Asia.
While I originally was looking for a tour specifically for this reason, I ended up going with a general tour, seeing not only textiles but a State that is not over- run by tourism. We encountered many curious onlookers. In Bhuj, a small group of us were very fortunate to meet artisans who work in shibori, block printing and weaving techniques. And as a special treat, we were invited to attend the opening of the Living and Learning Design centre! https://unitedinbeauty.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/museum-in-kutch-makes-1400-women-feel-like-stars/
We visited Gandhi’s birth home in Porbandar as well as a salt field, a lion sanctuary where we saw 2 lionesses with their cubs and a lion, off in the distance, and we spent a day in the dry desert of Little Raan.
Following my tour, I spent 16 days at an Ayurveda clinic, for panchakarma treatments and a good rest! Here I managed to complete 3 of my collages. Afterwards, I was in Jaipur for 2 days, then took a train to Mathura, followed by an expensive taxi ride to the volunteer house of Wildlife SOS India. I volunteered for 8 days at their sanctuaries for Elephants and Sloth Bears.
Before my return home, I enjoyed the heat and beach in Varkala, Kerala. During this time, I also completed three new collages. Although I am very happy to return home, I have already planned out my next adventure to India!
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