In celebration of Women’s History Month, The National Museum of Women in the Arts is running a campaign to spread awareness of women artists. Only five percent of art hanging in museums are by women!! So, they’ve started a campaign to challenge people to name five women artists. We’re always up for a challenge!
We were very luck to find Gouthami for our trip to India. Before she started her own travel company – Travel Another India – she spent 20 years working in social development and had made many great connections with craft people all over India. Gouthami introduced us to so many artisans and we had the pleasure of meeting many President Award winning craft people in remote villages. Here, she shares her knowledge on crafts in India with our readers!
Craft is the second largest employer in rural India after agriculture. In most villages you will find some form of craft – the potter, the weaver, the basket maker. It is still a way of life rather than an art to be practiced for its own sake.
Nuapatna is famous for its intricate Ikat weaving. In the background you can see the spindles of yarn casually stuck into the pile of sand, while the woman in the picture is wearing a hand-woven ikat sari as she goes about her daily chores.
We had the honor of meeting with the very talented kantha artist Mahamaya Sikdar while we were in Kolkata. Mahaymaya is a President’s Award Winner & National Award Winner in her craft. She was in the middle of a move when we visited and graciously took the time to bring all of her kanthas to us so we could see her work. We got to see the incredible detail, hear about her process and discuss how she is helping pass her craft to younger generations.
Everyone knows India is a colorful place, but you don’t quite understand just how colorful until you are there. There is a beauty in the chaos of all these colors flowing around you. There are no neutrals. You don’t realize how plain and muted everyone dresses in your home country until you step foot in India. Men and boys wear pinks and purple without a second thought. Young and old proudly sport bright & bold colors that reflect the bright and joyous spirit of the people wearing them. Because everyone and everything in India is colorful we kept running into these special moments where a person wearing bright yellow would walk into a banana stand and suddenly camouflages into the background. Or when our photographer disappeared into a field of marigolds with his Ikat shirt he bought in Kolkota. We made collages of our trip pictures to try to share with you a little taste of these special moments.
When I first started designing for merchandise, I realized how many products had cute animal designs but weren’t doing anything to spread awareness or give back. Around the same time, I was working with a handful of non-profits who wanted to raise funds by selling products, but they didn’t have the funds or knowledge to design them. (Usually they would just sell a t-shirt with their logo on it, which would only appeal to the audience they already had.) I wanted to bridge that gap by designing product that would appeal to popular markets, but would spread awareness and raise funds for these causes, too. So for the holidays I created four greeting cards for some of my favorite wildlife organizations.
In partnership with Red Panda Network
Our visit to the Bauhaus museum and library left us in awe. We were so inspired by Gunta Stölzl’s weaving and beautiful use of color. The watercolor sketches she used to plan out her weaving were especially inspiring. We used them as inspiration for our Berlin cityscape for girl and as print inspiration for our women’s blouse. Gunta Stölzl’s watercolors and Tea Collection’s Berlin Cityscape Graphic Tee. Gunta Stölzl’s watercolors and Tea Collection’s Berlin Cityscape Artwork. Gunta Stölzl’s weaving, photo of Gunta Stölzl’s weaving fabric, photo of Gunta Stölzl, Gunta Stölzl’s watercolor and Tea Collection’s Norderney Silk Blouse
What are you going to do when your little girl grows out of her adorable Pretty Panda Tee?
I thought it’d be fun to turn it into a pretty little teddy bear!
1. Gather your supplies: Tea’s Pretty Panda Tee, old baby socks/stockings, filling, needle, thread, scissors, pins, iron, sewing machine (optional)
2. Iron wrinkles out of shirt.
3. Cut back and front panel out of shirt. Line up graphic on back and front with good sides facing each other. Trim shirt leaving about 1″ around design. Sew around panda keeping about 3/4″ away from edge of graphic. Make sure to not make any of the curves too narrow or she will look funny when you stuff her. Also make sure you don’t accidentally sew into her little flower.
4. Turn her right side in & stuff her to make sure everything looks ok. If not, adjust appropriately. Once she looks like you would like you can trim some of the excess fabric from the inside. Lay your socks or stockings underneath the panda and judge how long you would like them to be. Trim down socks/stockings if there is excess.
5. Stuff the foot of both stockings. Leave of the top of socks without stuffing. Pin feet to bottom of panda. Sew across bottom of panda and feet.
7. I worked with a baby shirt so I did not have much excess fabric near her flower. This left me with an awkward bit of the shirt’s collar sticking out of the top of her head. I hand stitched that part to make it look better. I also took in the bottom edges to make the curve where her body met her feet more gentle.
8. I wanted her feet to feel heavy and for her to have floppy legs so I shoved all the stuffing towards the bottom of the foot and stitched around the top of the stuffing.
9. All done! Now you have a cute little panda with hanging feet.
Here she is with her new friends – Vintage Minnie, Blue Ostrich and Black Bear. They are all envious of Pretty Panda’s stylin’ argyle feet.