Monday, January 23, 2023

Flora of Mughal India: Some Progress

Flora of Mughal India: Some Progress

Some progress has been made. The illustrations have all been printed with the base layer. And the miniature painter has painted over 4 of the 9 flowers. The harsringar (above) ended up being a bit different than my original print. An elegant solution presented itself, offering a chance to create overlaps with the image and the base sheet.

The Jasmine was painted atop a silver printed base, so the white seems to glow slightly. 

One of the challenges that the. miniaturist faced while creating these pieces was that the paint was beading on the surface of the paper, which did not happen during the initial tests and trials. In order to overcome that, he needed to first paint a thin layer of reetha and shampoo, and then the paint on top of it. As a result, a lot of the illustrations lost their translucency. But I think this is what comes of collaboration and trying something new–learning about creative process, technique and outcome and how much they can differ. The paper I used for printing worked perfectly, but not for painting. The back of the paper was slightly rougher and didn't print as well, but it worked perfectly with the paint. This pushed the miniaturist to think differently about how he could possibly make the paint attach to the slippery paper. I think we both learned a great deal.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Work.-in-Progress: Flora of Mughal India

Work-in-Progress: Flora of Mughal India 

I am working with Jai Prakash ji a miniature painter based in Delhi to make the illustrations "complete". Initially I was of the mind that he would take my 3-block illustration and add to it the highlights and nuances that it needed to make it come to life. As I worked with him and learned from him I discovered that this may not necessarily be the case.

This is the illustration after the first layer of colours laid down. This is a test print to test out different papers I was thinking of using for the book.

This is the print after three layers of ink laid down. You can see there is more detail. This is still a test print, so it is not registered as it would be in the final image, and the colours though close, are not what I choose for the final image. When I presented this image and the one above this to Jai Prakash ji, he chose the first, much to my surprise. The less detail, the more easily he could work the image. This one with more detail, meant more work for him because he would have to lay a foundation of paint in various areas to work off of.

A close-up of the third block that I carved with the details for my darkest and last layer of ink.

As much as his decision surprised me, I was glad for it. It made the workflow very clear, and it made our roles clearly defined too. I would be deciding the image of course, but also the colour values for the finishes illustration. 

Meanwhile, the miniature painter would add in the details to the printed foundation layer and work as close to my original illustration as possible using it as a reference along with images of the actual plant. 

We discussed what kind of foundation colours he would need for the rest of the images. I am in the process of carving them now.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Book Arts India Tour 2022

 Book Arts India Tour 2022

The tour is back! Hopefully this time the pandemic will not get in the way.

This intimate look into India is for those who wish to see behind the scenes of various working artists and craftspeople. Augmenting visits to art and craft centers, museums, studio visits and workshops, participants will have a chance to observe traditional wood block carving and printing on cloth, experience in natural dyeing, a visit to a miniature painter's studio and engage in traditional papermaking methods. On this visit, we will unfortunately not be visiting places like the Taj Mahal. If participants are interested in a visit, we can help arrange their travel post tour. Find out more and see more photos here.


Dates have been moved to February taking into account the air pollution that plagues New Delhi in December.

Dates: February 02, 2023–February 16, 2023. 

Deposit to secure your spot: 500 USD. 
Approximate Registration Fee: 3,500–4,000 USD (incl. deposit)
Length: 14 Days, 15 Nights
Arrive: New Delhi, 01 February 2023
Depart: New Delhi, 17 February 2023

Tentative Itinerary subject to change: 

First Leg | Delhi

Second Leg | Jaipur & Bagru

Lodging: 14 nights, accommodations on a shared and single basis (single supplement)
Transport: Private and public transport between cities and venues
Maximum Participants: 8
Minimum Participants: 6

Full Tour Registration: Approximately 3,500–4,000 USD for 15 nights (final cost depends on no. of participants).
Paying a deposit of 500 USD secures you a spot. You will be sent a tentative itinerary upon registration.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Artist Talk : : Hamilton Hang

 Artist Talk : : Hamilton Hang

I recently gave an artist talk as part of Hamilton Wood Type Museum's Hamilton Hang!

They host different artists every week on Fridays at 12 pm CST / 7 pm CEST / 10.30 pm IST.

Watch the talk on YouTube by clicking the image or here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Work in Progress: Mughal Botanicals

Started carving the block to test print. This is end grain maple.

Early results using stencils and the block