Where to begin with my travelogue? I spent almost three weeks in Jaipur, and it felt like entering another lifetime, with Cape Town a distant planet, many galaxies away. This was a full immersion experience and quite frankly, I could die quite happy right now. But before I go, I’ll do my best to try to sum it all up with some pics and words:
Hotel Diggi Palace, in central Jaipur, is the oasis where our group of 16 intrepid gals arrived for the 10 day Ritchie Ace Camps Jaipur Block Printing Tour, and it’s here that we spent three intensive days under the trees by the pool, where I imparted pearls of wisdom about pattern design, pattern generation and printing by hand.
The schedule was intense, and the weather was too. This was Pattern Bootcamp! But my students were fantastic people, hard workers and quick learners. Really, I was thrilled with the results of their work, and I think they were too!
Alongside the learning about pattern and placement, we got to see the real blockprinting deal, for which Jaipur is so famous. We visited the Anokhi Museum of block printing, as well as the impeccable atelier of Brigitte Singh, and also got to see one of the blockprinting facilities for Soma, where founder Andree Pouillet gave us a glimpse into the business of block printing at work.
We also spent a day in a village outside Jaipur called Bagru, where we spent a day making and dying our own mud-resist block printed and indigo dyed scarves (!!!), and another day learning about vegetable dyes, and then block printing our very own scarf. Extraordinary to get an insight into the intense hands-on, labour-intensive processes that are involved.
After a demo from the experts, we got to choose from the print house’s blocks and then it was chocks away, and we got printing. See me printing my scarf below? Do I not look like I’ve never had a better time in my life? Everyone’s scarf turned out so beautifully, all in madder red and black oxide. We were beyond thrilled – this was no doubt a highlight of this Ace Camp..
The internet is not being my friend this week (thanks for the welcome home, Telkom!), so I will continue to post about Jaipur when conditions are favourable once again. Stay tuned for posts on colour, shapes, traffic, and – of course – shopping!