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Block Printing Lessons In India!


I've had a lot of dreams about India lately. My dreams are always completely and totally nuts--- I've talked about them years and years ago, time and time again. The most vivid dreams, odd dreams, lucid dreams, bad and good dreams. All the dreams. Lately it's been India that pops into my night time rest--- over and over again.

I had a dream the other night that I was walking toward a large temple with a few of the girls who came on the trip. The same three girls who walked me up to my terminal when it was time to leave at 3 in the morning, the night/morning of my 30th birthday. The same three girls that came to visit me only a week or so after I got out of the hospital. When I pushed myself, maybe a little too hard, because I didn't really want to believe what I had just went through. Anyway, in my dream, I was from the future. Or maybe I was from the past. It was super confusing. All I knew is that I knew something they didn't know. And I needed them to believe me that we would all be back there again soon. And I promised them this as we all cried ugly tears together. And even though this was a dream--- I can sort of see this happening again. At least, I hope for it to happen.

I still talk to so many of the girls who came on this India trip--- at least weekly. And at the very least, I'll receive a ridiculous youtube video or check in from time to time, just a reminder of something good, something funny, something to let me know their thinking of me--- or that I'm thinking of them. I'm grateful for all of it.

I was tremendously excited for our block printing experience. A real artisan experience that few rarely get to see. We each listened and learned, picked our blocks, and had our chance to create what we wanted. Like every art project I attempt, I did well in the beginning and slowly got distracted and careless as time went on. It's one of my biggest flaws. Something I need to work on. I used to have so much patience with art-- now every time I practice art, I practice patience.

One of the biggest takeaways from the block printing experience was that printing machines are slowly replacing these artisans jobs. People want inexpensive products and the easy and cheap machine made fabric supply is taking away from the real quality art that these men make. Yes, it is of course hard to make only perfect purchases every single time. And hard to live a completely perfect, harmless life. But making little steps to be more aware of who you could be affecting is always a good idea (duh). I read this quote somewhere a few months ago, but it's really stuck with me. It's been on my mind every single time I've bought something since hearing it. It was something along the lines of, "every purchase you make is casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in." Whether is food, clothes, cleaning supplies, the quote works. But like with anything and everything, my motto still is, do what you can. Any little step you take can make a difference.

Well folks, I'm off to get ready for bed. I'm interested to see what my dreams will be tonight. They've been mostly good lately. Not the nightmares that they used to be. Grateful for that. <3

8 comments:

  1. wow! im so jealous i wish i could go visit india and do that too!
    I love art and their patterns are amazing!

    xo, grazie
    http://www.yomommainthetropics.blogspot.com

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  2. Reading this and seeing the pictures of the block print workshop/class makes me wish I could join on a similar trip with awesome people too. Even if I'm not too artistic, but I love the creative vibe going on. (To be honest, I have one of those blocks at home here, but I have no idea what to do with it, it's just being pretty in a showcase.)
    Every time I see your pictures from India, it makes me dream away a bit of those colourful places.

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  3. It's a wonderful quote, and so very true. We are shaping the world, and not in a good way. I'm very tired of cheap Chinese imports. It's lovely to see the handprinting, and brilliant that you all got to have a go too. CJ xx

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  4. Wow, this looks like the coolest thing ever. I want to do it! Is there any tutorial for doing this at home in the US?? I'd love to try :) Also, I hope all of you brought an extra suitcase for all the awesome souvenirs you got from this trip! So cool.

    I used to totally agree with your statement at the end, but I'm reading The Travels of a T-Shirt in a Global Economy right now and it has some amazing insights to industrialization and globalization. While an artistan might lose his job in the short run, switching to machine-made products will likely bring in more revenue and provide better-paying jobs and higher incomes for the country as a whole, and the artist could find a better paying job and be better off after some time passes. Just food for thought!

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  5. Oh wow, such an incredible experience, it looks amazing! So much detail, so much hard work!

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  6. I gone through your web site about block printing.its really wonderful.if you want additional designs about block printing visit our website
    Block Printing in Bangalore|Block Printing Classes

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  7. Great post - I'm visiting north India in November and would love to know where this is? Thanks!

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  8. Great post - I'm traveling to Jaipur (first time to India!) in November and would love to know where this is? Thanks!

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