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The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia

Tanvi Kant

Residency at Arts Reverie

week two

Posted by Tanvi Kant on 17th February 2008


plans are roughly arranged for visits to make this week. I meet Sitaben who makes beadwork into a whole variety of things - jewellery, objects for rituals, coasters, hair decorations...

I choose to see two types of beading to be demonstrated and I have a go myself. I get to choose a piece to take home, so I now have the lovely strawberry red simple necklace that had caught my eye from the whole spread.

It turned out to be a very comical monday... giggly weavers, masses of goats by the roadside, cut out windows on corn, birdcage man - popatlal the popatwalla? best in the whole gujarat, macho man polisher, giant red carrots, real-life dodgems with rickshaws and scooters, interpreting poems about food and our health by an elderly man trained in aryuvedic cooking, sipping just one sip from a drink to taste a potion that will make me well - one sip only because it was made from saadu water (not mineral) which will make me unwell,  visiting an organic shop which doesn't use electricity but castor oil fueled lamps and a hand powered fan...


I want to 


I like colour and contrasting materials, the combination of contrasting materials and transformation of original material into another


first day I felt hot, travelling in the car contributed to this, but it was good to finally feel a bit too hot.  

NID, National Institute of Design: met two lecturers, interesting to hear the differences in the systems.  I prefer how we set out our courses in the UK, but I am a product of those so its inevitable I would.

Split ply-braiding

its amazing how people can be fascinated and passionate about a particular material, technique or processes in making for decades.  They really love it - still.


in the middle of an industrial estate out of the city, a small tree lined dusty drive and into a peaceful area of play and creativity.  met with two designers and a young designer trained at the Architectural college working on socially and environmentally conscious application of material and design.  things that need to be produced for the masses rather than stay within a niche market, to really make an impact on waste, in this case, the reuse of plastic - they have a significantly larger resource from pre-consumer/industrial waste than post-consumer waste

local artisans are encouraged to use their skills to work with new materials, they continue to work from home.  such a change from factories we know or knew at home.   

Saw flamingoes and and indian scarecrow with turban and all.  

more punk camels


Opposite my father's old university, our driver Johnny took us to see Doshi's cave, painted within by Hussain, one of my favourite things in this city. you should see it.

we then walked across into the grounds of the architecture college, interesting detail in signage, paths, communal grounds and activity of students working on the grass on a project to build...something with a dry plant material I didn't recognise.






having been invited for a meal into an apartment, I felt inspired by what objects are in the home, to be displayed as well as what is not! Its as important not to have some objects as to have


there are images, things, stories, and mementos which inspire and warm you or comfort you that you have, but things somehow start to invade your space. just like thoughts 

I am warming to the idea of work for the walls. I choose to show my work wall hung over flat and/or behind glass, though there are practicalities to think of too.


colour. texture. tactile. complexities, intricacy, subtleties within colour. 


so many ideas and images in my mind, need to stop and set up a space and time so I can sketch, take notes and make samples.....



factory which is one of the nicest, if not the nicest factory I've ever seen. the women seemed really happy and smiled at us a lot. 

Saurashtra Crafts

trying to find real zari - fine silver and gold threads used in weaving or embroidery but due to expense most is artificial, and the antique braiding I have worked with before is hard to find in a form I can work with.

Apparently, Surat still has some producers, about two, but I've also been told no-one makes it anymore, sometimes people who say its still made actually mean artificial zari.  

I've seen benaras woven sarees which are tie and dyed back in Kutch which the seller says are real zari woven into the fabric, so someone somewhere must still be making it, but I have our young designer friend on the case...


Nice shop, bought a scarf - really useful in the dusty journeys in the rickshaw


met with an artist that evening with some of his family who were hilarious, and his work is pretty amazing  


roundabouts, lots of them and different work on each

Fashion college

Designed by Doshi, lovely and tidy spaces, talked to some students about their work and we ended up giving a talk about our work too. 

contemporary/studio jewellery practice is non-extistant here, from what I've seen so far.

Paper weaver

amazing samples of woven materials with paper, strip of plastic, sari, bamboo and cotton with nylon, silk or cotton


stone-baked pizza won over gujarati food even after being told the restaurant's speciality is the gujarati food - yes, that's nice but I still would like pizza

arrive home late, unfortunately its not the time to think and reflect, its time to unwind and get to sleep...slowly


day of rest, tried to do some sketching but couldn't quite get into it.  Think I am tired

My space

the small room downstairs has become my little studio, but right now I am on the dining table.  It is Sunday and everyone is about, so I can do lightweight work and converse with people.  I am sat in the same place since breakfast this morning and its about 4 now. Think I should move, maybe go for a walk.....