Embroidery Series by Marasim
RECENT ARTICLES ON THE ART OF JEWELRY
Cypress Motif: When studying the history of motifs in the arts and crafts, we often read about the Paisley. But there is another motif, more mysterious, more philosophical, one that represents death and eternal life. And that is the Cypress. Many say that the Paisley was born of the cypress when a stray songbird sat on its very tip, bending it slightly. But let’s go back to the beginning.
It was usual for the Rajasthan medieval elites to have musicians, artists, and craftsmen associated with their family. The artists were attached to their patron’s family. They would create a whole gamut of objects and arts in-house for family-like jewelry, clothes, music, bangles or prints, etc. Sanganer became a land of great artists and patronizing families. Whenever the king or the ruler needed something particular, word of mouth would search for unique skillsets. The best artisans would be found and sent. The selected printers and dyers would prepare a new design or a new shade of color for their king. And that’s how the skills of the artisans of Sanganer became known and sought by higher nobility.
This type of patronage was not just a way for economic sustenance for artisans, but also a peek into the outside world, offering the artisans a channel for aesthetic inputs.
Last week, I had written about dyes extracted from animals. In continuation of the story of natural dyes, I will describe the primary dyes extracted from plant sources and the often violent history associated with at least one of these. (more…)