Enfilade

Renuka Reddy’s Search for Traditional Chintz Techniques

Posted in exhibitions, museums by Editor on October 19, 2015

Writing for the the V&A’s blog for the museum’s fall exhibition The Fabric of India, Renuka Reddy, “a contemporary chintz-maker,” recounts “the story of her search for lost techniques, the challenges she’s faced as a designer-cum-maker, and how the V&A’s collection has inspired her work. Renuka’s studio, Red Tree, is based in Bengaluru.”

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“Guest Post: Renuka Reddy’s Adventures in Chintz,” V&A Blog (6 October 2015).

Color swatches. © RedTree Textile Studio

Color swatches. © RedTree Textile Studio

If only I could time travel…

It was nearly two years after its publication that I got my hands on the book Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West written by Rosemary Crill and published by the V&A. I vividly remember my response to the spectacular plates, the desire to make something so beautiful. Little did I know how this reaction would change my life in ways I could not imagine.

By chintz, I refer to hand-painted resist-and-mordant dyed cottons. I am particularly interested in the intricate resist work of chintz exported from India to the West between the seventeenth and the eighteenth century. This is where I draw my inspiration from.

My goal was to produce chintz, which at that time meant working with craftsmen. So I went in search of one in Machilipatnam and Srikalahasti, two historic towns in the state of Andhra Pradesh where kalamkari (literally ‘pen-work’)
is practiced today. . .

The full posting is available here»