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Mastering Hand Block Printing

- Carla Hillekens, OWC Member & Culture enthusiast

© Carla Hillekens

Last week OWC organised a block printing workshop at Tharangini Studio. This is one of the last heritage block print studios in Bangalore and is a women-led studio started in 1977! The people working there are one of the last experienced artisans in this area. Tharangini Studio also has one of the largest collections of old wooden block prints. Soo beautiful!

In the workshop we learned how the natural and eco-friendly dyes are made, saw how the blocks are cut from wood and, of course, how to print on fabric. One of the artisans demonstrated how a pattern in different colours is printed using different blocks.

© Carla Hillekens

The most fun part of the morning was printing a bag ourselves. It looks easy, but it sure isn’t! I wanted to try printing a pattern in 3 colours. For every colour or layer you use another block. It is a very precise job, to create a pattern that fits exactly. The guy was very patient, marked the block with white chalk so I could try to fit the block on the pattern ..... with varying results :-)

It was so much fun to do and before we knew it, our time was up. For me it was a nice first try and I would love to learn more about it. Hopefully, Tharangini Studio will offer more workshops! In the meantime I will try at home with the wooden block prints I bought there.


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