Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Tales from the Hills - Spinning and Weaving


Waking up in the morning to a view like this, wish this was everyday of my life.

Watching the clouds over the hills, it was all so beautiful during our stay at the 'Zahir Resort' (sister's resort in Himachal Pradesh, India)

 Olivia loved walking around in the forests close to the resort...

...and Little Emily couldn't stop feeding the baby Angora rabbit.

I sat here watching the clouds move and filling some of my travel journal pages. Watched the birds and Emily play with the bunny and the dogs. It was nice to spend quality time with my sister.

We went tracking up and down  the hills, walked in the villages.

Wonder what this chap thought as he watched us climbing up.

First time we went to Kullu-Manali was with our parents and I was about 10 - 11 years old. Since then this was my first trip back there. Was surprised to see how much it has developed but some things were still the same.  Many people still live in these old wooden houses with slate tile roofs.

I went with my sister one day to watch some local craft work. I was particularly interested in hand spinning and weaving done pretty much in every second house there.

And it was so interesting to see how people still live and work the same way as hundreds of years ago.

 This lady was making rope for carrying willow basket which they have on their backs and carry almost everything.

I sat down to see how it was done. It was quite interesting to talk to the local people. They are so humble and friendly people.

(Sister- Reema Jain)

I think I need to move there with my sister, haha. I am very grateful to her for showing me all around, taking me to the most remote areas, seeing local craft work, temples and letting us all stay in her beautiful resort for free.

Look at the wood work of some of  the old houses.

I was a bit nervous to climb up in this house though, but it was good to chat with the lady sitting above on the corner, who showed me how they made rope for their baskets.

This is an 80 years plus old grandmother, of one of the boys who works in my sisters resort.

She made hand spinning look so easy.

I had a go at it too. Actually a few times, but I think I need some serious practice if I want to spin my own.

The most simple hand weaving equipment. Every second house in the villages has this set up in one corner of their veranda. They spin their own yarn and dye them and then are woven into beautiful Pattu (woollen shawl) which they wrap around and pin them to keep themselves warm. You can read more about them in my post here.

I need to go back there once children are big enough and stay longer to learn spinning and weaving. But for now I think I need to concentrate on my paintings. Can't believe next month I have two exhibitions and I have still a lot to do.

But, I needed this break. Had to see my family and enjoy the beautiful Himalayan holiday. I am so inspired and ready to spend my hours in my studio now.

The family holiday is over now. We are back to our normal life but still the girls are home, so I'm a  bit restricted to how much I can push myself to be in the studio. So I have decided to just enjoy the rest of their holiday. The girls are growing fast and I need to be with them as much as I can now.