Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fronds and Frames

India Sketch Journal 2013 Aug 6 by Meera Rao

During my childhood I used to love to weave the palm fronds into little snakes, bracelets, finger rings, boxes etc.. Growing up in coastal Karnataka, it was normal to see screens and mats made with the palm fronds used on buildings for temporary shade or protection from elements. Tents made with these mats are common when there is a celebration or gathering happening. I saw this fellow weaving a number of these on a side street a few days before the Goddess Chamundi festival.  Below is a photograph I clicked of the screen in use -- normally even the roof is made with these screens even though here a tin sheet is being used.  I sketched an ornate tent 'Mantapa' last year - check it out here.  I also found a flicker group that has a collection of photographs of objects made from weaving the palm fronds the world over!  - much more sophisticated than my humble efforts as a kid!


Woven Palm Frond Mats Photograph By Meera Rao

Below is the sketch of an ornate door frame of an old building in a narrow street in Mysore city center with a 'wicket' door within it. The open small door gave me a glimpse of a couple sitting in a small shaft of sunlight and chatting.  The teal blue paint against the massive carved wooden door made quite an impression.  I wondered about the secrets and stories this ancient structure was hiding!  

India Sketch Journal 2013 Aug 7 by Meera Rao

I, of course have to include the shot of the page from my sketch book with both these sketches :)   :

India Sketch Journal 2013 Page31 by Meera Rao

8 comments:

Sadami said...

Hi, Meera, what a wonderful journal and interesting topic! (you should have been a very clever girl!!) I,too, love watching weaving natural plants. Skilled people's hands make a magic. It is a shame, if we are losing sophisticated, yet, humble and simple natural products and cultures.
Best wishes, Sadami

Katherine Thomas said...

This post suddenly made me think... what a great book you could write for school children, to learn about your culture and where you live. Teachers could read it aloud and discuss it with their class. Your gorgeous illustrations would really help get the information across to the children. I used to love books like that when I was teaching.

padmaja said...

I agree with Kaherine, what an awesome idea for a childrens book on our way of life Meera, I am always in awe of your observations, keep them growing!

Meera Rao said...

Sadami, I think as children we are more eager to try anything and all the weaving with fronds was play! Harder thing is to do that when we are adults too! Thanks for stopping by

Meera Rao said...

Thank you Katherine ;) I am toying with a couple of ideas - hope some day they will come alive!

Meera Rao said...

Padmaja, thanks! I did notice a lot more things once I started keeping a art journal - as I said before something about acquiring sketching eyes!

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

Happy Holidays, Meera! Happy sketching, happy enjoying every moment of your life!

Lisa Graham Art said...

I can't imagine the patience it would take to weave with those. Amazing, as are your sketches!

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