A Story from the Old Times

As I talk about this piece today, it takes me back to my belief about nature’s collaboration and impact as well as the evidence of existence. 

This work is inspired by the process of the Dabu or Bagru Printing technique which dates back to the 8th century. The mud resist on the fabric plays a major role during the dying process.

The fabric is block printed with Dabu, which is a mud resist paste made from clay and Gavar gum, and sprinkled with saw dust (so that the fabric will not stick to itself), and laid to dry in the sun. The Dabu mud makes the printed area resistant to dyes, and therefore will remain unaffected when it is later dyed.

Dabu Print Fabric

Once the mud has dried, the fabric is immersed in a dye, usually indigo, and again laid to dry in the sun. The printers may repeat the Dabu printing on top of the dyed fabric to create further layers of resist and again dye it in darker shades.

Love the transformation of blue underglaze to an earthen tone in reduction atmosphere and the effect of a celedon glaze over white slip giving it a beautiful natural hue. The collaboration of man and mud in this process result in quite an exquisite fabric.

‘Indigo’: This piece adorns a beautiful house.

Dabu Printing- Process. https://www.unnatisilks.com/dabu-printing-process-indian-crafts.html.

Cotton Dabu Print Fabric. https://5.imimg.com/data5/CS/WT/MY-36615758/cotton-dabu-print-fabric-500×500.jpg.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post! Do share your thoughts in the comments.

Mona Malhotra

Hailing from India, the impact of cultural diversity has always acted as a seedling to my thoughts and I try to find resemblances in different cultures. Thus, amalgamating my creations with my travel experiences. I have explored and incorporated those beliefs in my work. I take pleasure in depicting the intricacies and the pleasant outcomes of the complexity in everyday's life through the crudity of clay transforming into an exquisite masterpiece. The connection from Earth to Clay to Mankind amuses me to bring out my forms and connect to them. I am inspired by the balance in nature choreographed by mother earth in the various forms of existence and their connection to each other.

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