Friday, March 27, 2015

block the irrelevant

Thought behind the thought
One of the main reasons why we sometimes don't reach our destination is because we stop along the way and spend time doing things that really do not matter. We take unnecessary detours, stop to understand things in detail, which are probably very irrelevant to the journey that we are making. It is only when we focus on the important, and block out the irrelevant, that we make progress.

About the Craft
Blocking something to focus on something more important is a technique used in craft as well. As in the case of Batik printing, the craft of creating wonderful textiles.

Originated in India, the art of batik has come a long way from being a mere handicraft. The word batik actually means 'wax writing' and is a process of decorating cloth by covering a part of it with a coat of wax and then dyeing the cloth. The waxed areas keep their original color and when the wax is removed the contrast between the dyed and undyed areas gives the pattern.

The history of Indian batik can be traced as far back as 2000 years. Indians knew resist method of printing designs on cotton fabrics and Batik tapestries were often elaborate illustrations of the art, culture and traditions of the days of the yore.

The art of batik is a three-stage process of waxing, dyeing and dewaxing (removing the wax). There are also several sub-processes like preparing the cloth, tracing the designs, stretching the cloth on the frame, waxing the area of the cloth that does not need dyeing, preparing the dye, dipping the cloth in dye, boiling the cloth to remove wax and washing the cloth in soap.

The characteristic effects of the batik are the fine cracks that appears in the wax, which allow small amounts of the dye to seep in. Batik wax exercises an important function in the process of batik printing. Proper usage of wax results into an impeccable batik work. 30 per cent beeswax and 70 per cent paraffin wax are generally applied. The common batik fabrics that make for excellent batik prints are cambric, poplin, voiles, and pure silk  and natural colors derived from barks of trees, leaves, flowers and minerals are generally used.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

cast yourself into a new mould

Thought behind the thought

I want to be different person every other day! Sometimes, I picture myself as the super career woman who I just read about in the newspaper, sometimes I am fascinated with the celebrities showing off their glamorous selves. At times, I want to be that supermom and super homemaker who gets everything right when it comes to home and kids, and even manages to look amazing while she is at it!
And then I wonder how I could cast myself in that mould, and become the person I want to be. Why is it so difficult for me to change myself? The answer lies in the fact that to become someone else, you have to first lose a bit of yourself, become fluid, give up the rigid frameworks that bind you (at times frameworks that you, yourself have created). 
And above all, you have to brave the heat of the situation and face the consequences of the transformation. Unless that happens, you will remain your old self!

About the craft
Candles are possible, only because Wax gives up its rigidity, becomes fluid and allows itself to be cast into a mould. That is how a blob of wax transforms into a beautiful candle!

Candle making was developed independently in many places throughout history.
Candles were made by the Romans beginning about 500 BC. These were true dipped candles and made from tallow. Candles were made from whale fat by the Chinese, during the qin Dynasty(221–206 BC). In India, wax from boiling cinnamon was used for temple candles. In parts of Europe, the Middle-East and Africa, where lamp oil made from olives was readily available, candle making remained unknown until the early middle-ages. Candles were primarily made from tallow and beeswax until about 1850, but subsequently have been made from spermaceti, purified animal fats (stearin) and paraffin wax.

Contemporary candle making has gone beyond the standard cylindrical design. AQ lot of interesting shapes and processes are used today to create fascinating candle craft!

One is amazed at the creativity and skill of the candle makers who mould and carve wax in a very unique way to produce amazingly beautiful candles!

Credits and Source of information


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

reading a book

Thought behind the thought:
Books are actually doorways to unimaginable worlds. They manage to hold your hand and lead you down a path to a place you have never been before. These places can be real or fictional but what’s interesting is the journey. Every time we place a book down after reading it, we have travelled to a far off place and back. A good book remains with you long after you have finished reading it. It has managed to unlock your mind and allowed you to explore possibilities that you have never before entertained.

About the Art:
Illustrating children’s books is a huge challenge. The colours, the characters, the theme, the drama has to be so engaging, that even a child with a minuscule attention span becomes engaged with the book. Some of the great children’s book illustrators have created characters, places and events for us that have been a huge part of our growing up years. Even as adults when we think of these characters they instantly bring a smile to our faces and we revisit a place in time when life was easy and anything was possible. The conviction and earnestness of the storyteller makes even an impossibility or farce real to us.

Whether it’s a Cat wearing a Hat, or a Rabbit wearing a coat, what makes it believable is the author and the illustrator. Authors and illustrators are both artists and craftsmen. One, painstakingly creates the story, the characters, the drama and the thrill. The other, makes it a visual reality for us. The illustrator’s job is a tough one because he needs to be completely in tune with the style and manner of the author. When the two people are aligned in their ideas and vision great results are produced A.A Milne and E. H Shepard- Winnie the Pooh, RenĂ© Goscinny and Albert Uderzo- Asterix, Roald Dahl and Sir Quentin Blake- Novels by Dahl . A lot of authors have held the distinction of being great illustrators like Dr Seuss and Georges Remi who wrote under the pen name Herge.

Paolo Domeniconi is an Italy based illustrator for children’s books. His books have been published by Italian publishers Agaworld, Arnoldo Mondadori, EDT, Franco Cosimo Panini, La Coccinella, Pearson ltalia, Sinnos Editrice. What is unique about his work is the strong use of colour and creating ordinary scenes with extraordinary treatment. He draws potential from the characters and transforms them into unreal and unimaginable creatures. The narrative is so strong in the illustration that it perks your curiosity and binds you to the story. It creates interest and one wants to delve more into what the book has to offer. He not only shows you an interesting visual but sets you off on a journey, a journey of wonder, discovery and imagination just like a wonderful book is supposed to.


Monday, March 23, 2015

give and take

Thought behind the thought:
It’s interesting how friends are constantly doing things for one another and there is absolutely no record that one maintains about who did what for whom. There is an innate understanding with which we instantly know who should be the giver and who should be the receiver in a situation. We all reach out to our friends each day for comfort, advice, care and sense of belonging. Lucky are those that find friends who reciprocate the emotion.


Finding love

Give and Take

During love
About the Art:
Lorenzo Quinn is a figurative, contemporary, Italian sculptor. Michelangelo, Bernini and Rodin have been his inspirations. Son of the famous Hollywood actor Anthony Quinn, Lorenzo is internationally known for his monumental public art and even smaller exhibits. In a series called ‘Give and Take’ he has explores the use of hands to indicate communication between individuals. Quinn believes hands are the most powerful parts of the human body to sculpt because hands have the power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy. Friendship transcends all forms of love. It is a selfless bond that connects people regardless of gender, age, race and class. Quinn’s sculptures echo this undying bond and give a visual imagery of how we reach out to people and respond to others needs. The sculptor’s passion and faith in human values can be felt through his work.


Sunday, March 22, 2015


Thought behind the thought
Humour is the elixir of life. A man, or a woman for that matter, is worse than dead if humour is not an important part of his existence. A life without humour is a boring life indeed! Because the ability to laugh at whatever situation life puts you in, is what can keep you going. A hectic day at work can be made bearable by a witty colleague, the grim news on the front page can be offset with a single cartoon, and simple word play can bring an accidental smile to your lips.

Word craft
People who bring humour to other people's lives are worthy of the highest awards that could be given for the service of Humanity. Like P.G.Wodehouse, the master of the craft, who has brought 'Something Fresh' to so many of my days.

The author of almost a hundred books and the creator of Jeeves, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge, Uncle Fred and Mr Mulliner, P. G. Wodehouse was born in 1881 and educated at Dulwich College. After two years with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank he became a full-time writer, contributing to a variety of periodicals including Punch and the Globe. He married in 1914.

As well as his novels and short stories, he wrote lyrics for musical comedies with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, and at one time had five musicals running simultaneously on Broadway. His time in Hollywood also provided much source material for fiction.

At the age of ninty-three, in the New Year’s Honours List of 1975, he received a long-overdue knighthood, only to die on St Valentine’s Day some forty-five days later.

Selected lines from his books, that will put a smile on your face!

Unlike the male codfish, which, suddenly finding itself the parent of three million five hundred thousand little codfish, cheerfully resolves to love them all, the British aristocracy is apt to look with a somewhat jaundiced eye on its younger sons. (Blandings Castle)

I saw my Aunt Agatha for what she was - not, as I had long imagined, a sort of man-eating fish at the very mention of whose name strong men quivered like aspens, but a poor goop who had just dropped a very serious brick (Very good, Jeeves)

.... there came into his eyes the sort of look which would come into those of an Indian chief - Chicagook, let us say, or Sitting Bull - just before he started reaching for his scalping knife. (Very good, Jeeves)

The jaws fell, the ears dropped limply. He had been looking like a dead fish. He now looked like a deader fish, one of last year's, cast upon some lonely beach and left there at the mercy of the wind and the tides. (Right ho, Jeeves)

"Maybe his bark was worse than his bite."
" Ver possibly, though, I cannot make any authoritative pronouncement, the old relative never having actually bitten me." (Barmy in Wonderland)

The waiter brought the menu, and Barmy's stomach caught Barmy's eye in a congratulatory sort of way, like a stomach seeing the approach of the happy ending. (Barmy in Wonderland)

"It's incredible. Don't you ever stop eating, Phipps? Digging your grave with your teeth, that's what you are doing. Oh well, tapeworms will be tapeworms," said Mervyn Potter philosophically.

'So!' he said at length, and it came as a complete surprise to me that feelows ever really do say 'So!" I had always  thought it was just a thing you read in books. Like 'Quotha!'  I mean to say, or 'Odds Bodikins' or even 'Eh, ba goom!'

Credit and Source of information