Monday, August 18, 2008


I've been working on a project for the Dallas Area Fiber Artists. We like to have a little "mini workshop" in the time before the meeting. This gives the members an opportunity to work more closely with the artist who is presenting the program that evening, or just a time for us to be together and create! This month, one of our members is giving a program about her trip to India. She wasn't able to develop a project for the mini workshop time period, so I offered to come up with something.

I wanted to do something associated with India to try to keep the program somewhat cohesive. First I considered doing a project inspired by the 108 beads on a Japa Mala, a set of beads commonly used by Hindus. I loved what Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about this concept in Eat, Pray, Love. I actually did a little collage with 108 circles punched out of decorative paper and glued onto a 5x7 postcard. Yeah... very tedious. I considered using circle stickers from the office supply store (you can see Benjamin's circle sticker piece at the top of the picture below), but that was also somewhat tedious and dull.

Finally I decided to make paper star lanterns. I was really inspired by these at Divine Planet. They are made in India and used to celebrate Diwali, a major Indian festival. Many legends are associated with Diwali. Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the "Festival of Light," where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being.

I took the basic idea from this set of videos on Expert Village.

Here are my test pieces. Hmmmm looks very Christmasy. I didn't intend that. I should make another sample in a different color. Drafting the pattern was interesting. I rarely use precise angles, specific measurements and straight edges.

I hope it's fun and the members enjoy it. If you're in the area, feel free to join us. Monday, August 25 at the CC Young Retirement Center in their beautiful new arts building. The mini workshop will be from 6 to 7 pm and the meeting starts at 7 pm.


KatyK said...

Love reading your blog, Deborah. Thanks for sharing.

Would love to share/offer some beads/sequins/embellishments from India, which I purchased during my last visit home - you can use it in your workshop or your art.

What is the best way to contact you to get a mailing address?


Deborah Boschert said...

Hi KK! Wow, I would be utterly thrilled to have some goodies from India. I can't seem to reply to your comment, but you can email me personally from the link on the upper right just below my picture and my short profile.

Pam said...

Can't wait for the work-shop - PP

Terry Grant said...

I love the star lanterns. This looks like a lot of fun. Hope you show results of the workshop!

Kristin L said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the stars looking Christmassy. If many of your participants are Christian, it could be a way of incorporating the Indian influence into their own culture/beliefs. It's not like religions haven't co-opted the rites and rituals of others before! ;-) In Germany, stars of all sorts are a big part of the decor during Advent and there's almost always an Indian merchant at the larger Christmas markets selling these paper lanterns.