Some things take time. This is one of the gentle lessons of getting old (which is a very relative term, and I use it knowing that with any luck I have only just begun the process.) You have to learn to wait, and be patient, but without abandoning the effort.
I moved to this town a year and a half ago, and was soon trying to spread the word about what I do, what I can offer, what I'd like to share in the form of teaching or speaking. I proposed textile talks in different settings, without getting much response. Finally I wandered into Maestrale, an import store, and happened to meet the owner. In asking her about some Hmong batik cloth, I found out she is a real textile enthusiast, with a weaving and dyeing background herself, and a strong interest in traditional techniques and cultural context. "We need to talk," I told her. That was last September.
And so it happened that I'm giving a series of textile talks, with slides and collected pieces, at Maestrale this winter. The first one happened on February 1st. The topic was Indian bandhani dyeing and embroidery from Kutch, Gujarat.
The wonderful thing is that these images, scanned from printed photos and slides, were taken on my very first trip to India in 1994-5. The pieces I shared were also collected at that time. And this is what I meant by "some things take time." I headed to Mandvi, in Kutch, in 1995, to observe and document bandhani dyers for a day, hanging out in their workshop, being fed an amazing and spicy lunch, taking loads of photos and buying finished pieces. My goal was to write it up, or share the information somehow, and I never have until now. That first little foray into textile research lay dormant for over 20 years. Long enough for me to lose track of any notes I took (I was less organized then, and didn't have everything on a laptop and backup hard drive, of course.) But the images can still tell the story, and the technique still fascinates, and it was extremely gratifying to present this information to the group of women who came to Maestrale full of interest.
The fun continues this week, with Lao weaving. Here's the flyer for my whole series this winter - I hope it's legible. I'm really enjoying digging through my textile collection and all my images to create these presentations, and it's wonderful to meet my fellow textile enthusiasts around here.