the stars already know your name - love threads & heart strings

the stars already know your name - love threads & heart strings

this project has been a year in the making from the first time i visited india. i spent two weeks solo in jaipur, rajasthan doing ceramic and woodblock printing workshops and it was the woodblocks i loved. i loved the smell of the dyes i loved the carving of the wood i loved that the whole village/family was involved i loved the big open earthy studio and i loved that i could wrap myself in handmade art.

4. love threads - rajasthan hearts and stars
pencil and acrylic on board 100x100cm

5. love threads - rajasthan hearts and stars quilt
bagru dyed woodblock kantha cotton quilt 210x280cm
staying in rooms that were white white and more white, the first thing i bought was a small colourful kantha quilt nothing special but i would sit on it to message home, draw, watch the life on the street, and throw it over my bed before i left for the long hot day knowing it would comfort me when i returned.
making my own quilt was a dream project for me.

the love threads quilt design was a combination of patterns from walls and tiles through rajasthan. the colours of the eco-friendly and highly sort after bagru printing unique to this region with its mustard, black and deep red perfectly represent the great indian desert that spreads through the state of rajasthan.

my plan was to do a painting first of each of the quilts to get an idea of colour, pattern and i very much wanted to get the kantha stitch, it was like a journey the thread was taking over the sand dunes of fabric.

freehand drawing on a canvas was natural and easy for me. my biggest challenge was working out the repeat pattern, how to draw up precisely for the woodblock carver? after failed attempts on the computer i found it easier to grid up paper and work with pen and watercolours.

months of whattsapp and emails to get back to the studio in bagru and to see my woodblocks was such a squeely moment it was so very very cool and a little teary. the blocks are beautiful artworks in themselves made of local mango wood, i will always cherish. the head of the studio, Anup did some testers to play with colours and we were off printing. a week to print the fabric, three different blocks a rust/red (madder and alum) for the hearts, a black (made of iron fillings, jaggery and gum) to out line the star and the white/natural section is resist dabu printed and finally the entire piece dyed a mustard colour. Anup and his father (master printer) printed this stars pattern as it was a little more challenging and i loved that, another 10 days later for the ladies to do the hand stitching and we have my dream quilts, the colours are so earthy and warm, padded with a lining of cotton and i chose a pattern from Anups personal designs to use as the reverse. its big and soft and perfect x 

6. heart strings - australian wattle
pencil and acrylic on board 100x100cm

7. heart strings - australian wattle quilt
indigo dyed wood block kantha cotton quilt 210x280cm

the heart strings wattle quilt is a bit of me and the beautiful native wattles growing wild in my (then) front garden on the fleurieu. playing around with repeating pattern of greens and yellows of the wattle having too much fun dripping the yellow paint from great heights onto the canvas to attain my splashy blooms and i had recently painted my beach shack purple it just fell into place. small lines travel around the motif like little moments of time.

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