Posts Tagged ‘textiles’:


Island to Island – Textile Tour in Eastern Indonesia

  ow does a journey begin? I know how my early travels in Turkey evolved but in this case this journey began not with a single step but instead with a book. How in fact does a book on  Qaraqalpaq textiles of western Uzbekistan lead to a journey in Indonesia? I met David and Sue  Richardson initially through their extensively researched publication on Central Asian textiles – Qaraqalpaqs of the Aral Delta. As we connected on social media I was intrigued by their technical passion for textiles and an upcoming textile tour of the Lesser Sunda Islands in Eastern Indonesia  that they had planned.  Needless to say, Jack and I marked our calendars anticipating our first travels in this varied culture. Sue and David partnered with a company from Bali named Seatrek and were the resident textile experts on board the Ombak Putih. The ship was a 42 meter sailing ship with twelve staterooms and a top notch crew of fourteen men. The service and culture on board was delightful relaxed and helpful. There was

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Patolas in Patan, Gujarat. Ikat Weaving by the Masters

My Turkish travels and studies of textiles over the years has led me further afield in search of a broader and deeper understanding of global weaving techniques that enhance and inform my understanding of the regional textiles of Turkey and it’s neighbours. That said, just over a year ago, I had the privilege of traveling with a small group in northwest India visiting the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Judy Frater hosted the group.  Judy is expert in local textiles and involved with the newly launched Somaiya Kala Vidya a training institute for traditional artisans. The highlight of the travels for me was a visit to a small workshop in Patan, Gujarat where a family of weavers were practicing their complex art of double ikat weaving producing silk wedding saris known as patola. I had handled and sold the wonderful, powerful and graphic ikat textiles of Central Asia which come onto the Turkish market but I had only studied in textbooks the practice of the double ikat weaving technique of this corner of India. The

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Rainy Day Outing to Istanbul Market on the Asian Shore

pre-planned visit with friends to Istanbul’s Sali Pazar or Tuesday Market on the Asian side of the city ensured that I headed out in a torrential morning downpour to wade through puddles and sift through piles of textiles in one of Istanbul’s largest biweekly markets. Although named the Tuesday Market, the market is now held twice a week on both Tuesday and Friday. The market has relocated from a massive parking lot in Kadikoy to another open space in the neighbourhood of Hasan Pasa.  As we jumped in a taxi does seem slightly strange to announce our destination as the Tuesday Market even though it is Friday. Shopping for home goods, ‘seconds’ in clothing lines, produce, cheese, nuts, spices, fabrics and all manner of oddities; the market is both a visual delight and an audio assault as vendors shout prices and encouragement to the shoppers to take a look at their wares.  Today the overriding challenge was to avoid being drenched by unpredictable deluges as the tarps covering the goods were filling with pools of

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An Unique Retreat on Turkey’s South Coast – Peter Scholten’s Lycia House

  ho loves Turkey more than me? What feeds my soul more than the beauty of carpets, kilims and textiles? What are some of my most restoring activities? A long swim, a hike through the quiet of archeological ruins, a day at the beach or just relaxing in beautiful, peaceful surroundings with a good book are all ways that I love to unwind from the daily routine of city life. Jack and I have found the perfect place to settle for a week of rest and relaxation. We are guests this week at Peter Scholten’s newly opened Lycia House on Turkey’s south coast. Located high above the Mediterranean in the small village…

Anticipating a Visit to the David Collection of Islamic Art in Copenhagen

fter some time spent in Istanbul and Western Turkey this spring I have plans to revisit the David Collection in Copenhagen, Denmark.  I want another opportunity to  study this extraordinary collection of Islamic Art. Housed in a recently renovated space in central Copenhagen the museum is located in two early 19th c buildings thoughtfully conceived with series of intimate spaces to showcase an extensive collection and variety of art of the Islamic world.

THROUGH THE LENS – TWO WOMEN LINKED BY PHOTOGRAPHY, FILM AND OUR FRIENDSHIP

  IN MEMORY OF: JOSEPHINE POWELL –  ETHNOGRAPHER, PHOTOGRAPHER AND KILIM SCHOLAR   1919-2007 and EVA MONLEY –  FILM PRODUCER    1924 – 2011 had an email last week that an old friend Eva Monley had died  in Nanyuki, Kenya of complications from a chest infection.  Eva was 88 years old. Five years ago another friend Josephine Powell died also at 87 years old from emphysema or COPD.  The death of Eva has made me reflect on the loss of both these women from my life. They never knew one another; lived and worked in different parts of the world; Josephine for a large portion of her life in Turkey and Central Asia and Eva often in Africa.   Their shared characters imprinted on me when I first met them in my mid forties. Together they shaped my perception of who I am as a woman and what life holds for me as woman who holds life. Eva was a film producer; Josephine an ethnographic photographer.  Both women had backbones of iron, determination, fierce independence and

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BEAUTY IN TEXTILES IS TIMELESS
ST PETERSBURG AND THE PAZYRYK FELTS

am haunted by textile images  which float in my mind.  Men on horseback. Throned figures.  Phoenixes and Sphinxes. Last month in St Petersburg on a visit to the Hermitage I anticipated seeing the much published Pazyryk carpet – the earliest knotted example dating back to the 4th century BC.   What I didn’t anticipate was having my heart and soul invaded by the beauty of a monumental felt (4.5 m x 5 m) from the same archeological find.  I had seen images of this felt published in Hali – the quintessential publication for carpets, textiles and Islamic Art but

An Unplanned Journey into the World of Carpets and Textiles.

ow is it that a woman in mid life steps off the solid ground of the predicable and known in Canada and leaps into a pile of carpets and textiles (or make that zillions of piles) in Istanbul, Turkey?  This is my story.

From Opera to Salsa – a Tour of Diversity in Copenhagen

ur pedometer read 18 kms today when we came through the door of the flat from our tour.  What you may ask were we up to that kept us walking for 26,000 steps today?  The day held diversity galore; treats for our eyes, ears; basically our whole beings with the exception of our tired feet. We started with two terrific architectural stops both great contemporary design and both located on the edge of city canals.  The state Opera house has a huge presence with views across the canal to the Royal Theatre.  A cooperative young woman was responsive to Jack’s pleas in rusty Danish to gain access and so we had the building to ourselves for half an hour or so and took a ‘self guided tour’.   From there we made our way to the Black Diamond – a contemporary addition to the Royal