India, and especially Rajasthan, is one of the places where block printing is a specialty, and the Anokhi Textile Museum not only displayed the results but showed us how it was done.
We started out in the exhibit spaces. The fabrics are so lovely, and the patterns so beautiful and so reminiscent of quilt patterns, that I could not stop taking pictures. I especially liked the cloth game boards with their marching soldiers and geometric designs. The garments were lovely, too.
After such a big lunch and no nap, with the guide telling us things in a soothing singsong voice, I was nearly out cold as we made our way through the galleries, despite the beauty. But the block carving demo was fascinating (and allowed me to stretch my aching back), both for the man’s skill and for his ability to sit in a full squat for hours on end!
Here is the man who carved the blocks, squatting on the floor and tapping skilfully at the wooden block to create the design.
Then we watched the man who prints the blocks quickly but with great accuracy, much more challenging a task than he made it look.
They showed us how to make a pretend block print on the inside of our wrists, which was oddly wonderful,
and several of us tried our hand at printing on paper.
A few more images from the workshop: carved blocks, and the trays of inks.
The gift shop offered many delights, including some little notebooks for the girls, and little purses for the nieces, plus a pack of 100 block printed squares for the quilters among us.
On the way out of the village we saw lots of kites in the air, plus monkeys shinnying up the wires and leaping from ledge to ledge. Back at the Trident by 5:00 and dinner not till 7:00, time for a welcome rest after a busy day.