Monday, July 16, 2012

The Little Big Reveal

{Behind the Scenes of a New Project}











When P. and I lived in Jaipur I got to know a remarkable family of traditional hand block printers in a desert scrub village beyond the city limits. If Rajasthan was a dry-heat Narnia, the printing village was my magic wardrobe, the threshold into a different world. 

The visual feast of the place is vivid, but it is the sound of the place that's especially lasting: the still air was filled with the rhythmic beat of men slapping cotton against the cool water tanks and the double-thump of printers pounding their wooden blocks. Old-timers stirred boiling vats of indigo dye with long poles like dhoti-clad gondoliers, masters of their craft, masters, it seemed, of the universe. Hindu women chirruped and chattered as they spread yards of sari fabric across the public square (a sweeping plot of scored earth) for the punishing Rajasthani sun to fix the natural dyes. I remember humming, singing, the sound of women shooing cows off the drying textiles. Punjabi pop songs drifting tinnily from someone's workshop radio. Laughter.

Save for the gut-shuddering, soul-deadening, pride-shattering diarrhea I always got after those cherished visits (sorry to break the magic spell!), my days with the printers were hands-down the highlight of India Thymez

Well one year later my sister Hopie is in Jaipur, picking up where I left off.

In my best Ira Glass voice: Stay. With us.

All photos © Lily Stockman / bigBANG studio. Please credit moi if you repost. Spanx!

31 comments:

  1. This sounds very exciting and i cannot wait to see what's coming next. (If you tell us we can buy some of these treasures, I will start saving my pennies RIGHT NOW.) xoxo

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  2. I am IN LOVE with the pink arrows fabric and your discriptions of this place! Beautiful images and words. "Old-timers stirred boiling vats of indigo dye with long poles like dhoti-clad gondoliers, masters of their craft, masters, it seemed, of the universe." WOW!

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  3. i am shitting myself lily. PROVIDE US WITH WHAT WE NEED.

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  4. OH STOCKMAN GIRLZ I WILL BE YOUR SCARF SLAVE.

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  5. gorg! so excited to see the finished products. i've always been intrigued by india but it was never at the top of my list. for some reason over the past month i think about it all the time...like i'm being magnetically pulled:)

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  6. Oh please tell me there's going to be a scarf at the end of this, accessible to meeeee!

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  7. I just fell head over heels for that neon coral dupatta. oh, baby. textile-induced stomach butterflies.

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  8. oh, can't wait to see more! xoxoxo

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  9. The travelling sisters making beauties in all continents! What great fun. Love that pink/orange scarf. Want to follow it around the globe:)

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  10. HA! i was skimming this before. i just read it, and realized how my kind of dumb comment actually er, fit with your post.

    and YES, CAFTANS.

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  11. i hate to be all valley girl on you, but ohmygod do these ever look AMAZING!!!! aaah! please tell me #'s1, 4, and 6 will all be available?! (...otherwise my heart might explode with sadness...)

    also, nothing like a good case of diarrhoea to ruin a perfectly good narnia moment, huh? :)

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  12. this is literally a life dream of mine. I'M NOT KIDDING. how do i go to there? really.

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  13. also, it is all gorgeous. all of it, everything. 'cept the diarrhea. not that.

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  14. Two things - did you know your blog is blocked in Vietnam? You and Facebook. I'd consider that an achievement! Second - thought of you this week while I was here: http://www.ockpoptok.com/ - I took their natural dyeing workshop - and found Shangri La In Luang Prabang Laos... A MUST to be added to anyones travel list! The weaving project is truly inspiring. Think of LP as a blend of french mountain village meets SE Asian hospitality (and heat)! Goat cheese, pho, and green curries all in one meal?! Yes, please! Check it out!

    Alley's-Aly

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  15. Lady, you blow my mind! The textiles are incredible. Love, want, must have, need.....

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  16. wow so very lucky to have that amazing experience i havent been here in a while. i always love going through your blog. it makes my heart so happy and i get to live through your adventures vicariously.

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  17. can't wait to fully discuss all this biz IN PERSON.

    xoxo

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  18. I'm so excited about this! I've been obsessing over your yellow triangles ever since you first posted them!

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  19. These are beautiful! I'm excited for your next big project! I'm so enjoying catching up with your blog after quite some time off from blog-land. Your posts and photos are gorgeous, as always! xoxo

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