Priscilla Kibbee

I love to travel all over the globe shopping for textiles to add to my wearable art. I have taught quilting to school children in Nepal, seminole patchwork to seamstresses in Thailand, and jackets and embellishment to quilters in Turkey where I also served as a judge at 2 of their International Quilt Shows. I have created garments for 5 Fairfield and Bernina Fashion Shows and teach classes on embellishment and wearable art. Lately I have been leaning more toward making art quilts.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Agashiye Restaurant Ahmedabad and The Calico Museum

On my last night in the hotel I went up to the terrace to the lovely Agashiye Restaurant for a traditional Gujarat meal. There are rules for eating:

1. You normally use your right hand for eating and your left for the water glass or to help yourself from the food placed on your table.

2. You wash your hands both before and after the meal. Squeezing lemon between your fingers before washing removes greasiness and odors.

3. The napkin is not meant for wiping soiled hands during the meal but to wipe them after they are washed.

The first course was a sort of rice cake and a fried sort of dumpling accompanied by two sauces.

After a hand washing the salad course followed with the main course. You eat off a traditional Kansa plate made from five alloys which is supposed to be good for the memory and purifies the blood.

There were frequent refills by attentive waiters. The round tray on the top holds the lemons, sweet dishs, and yogurt.
The waiters keep you supplied with two types of bread for "spooning" your food(two types of roti), vegables, a delicious potato dish, dal (a lentil soup) juice, rice, a yogurt drink, and other foods I had trouble identifying. The menu changes every day.
After the meal you are served homemade ice cream (thankfully with a spoon) . The green paan (beetle leaf) is served along with a range of mukhwas (after mints) and freshly grated cocoanut in an antique box. You add a mix of these to the paan which is intended to clear the palate and also supposedly aids in the digestion. This feast was about $12. A bargain considering the hotel I was in.
The beautiful hotel terrace.

My main purpose in going to Ahmedabad was to visit the Calico Museum. Unfortunately photos are not allowed. This article is exerpted from Hindi Magazine.

One of the finest textile museums in the world, the Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad was started by the industrialists and design visionaries, Gautam Sarabhai and his sister Gira Sarabhai. They realised the need for a design resource which would inspire and nurture contemporary textile designs at their Calico Mills, one of the oldest textile manufacturers of Ahmedabad. The concept of a museum as a design knowledge resource began in the Forties, when Gira Sarabhai was entrusted with the collection of Indian textiles which form a part of our country's cultural heritage. She selected and curated textiles of a high quality represented in the fabric's construction, ornamentation and vocabulary of colour, form and texture.

Today, the Sarabhai Foundation houses the Calico Museum of Textiles and the Sarabhai Foundation Galleries located on its campus in Shahibag, Ahmedabad. The textile collections are of historic value, comprising court textiles used by the Mughal and Provincial rulers; trade textiles of the 15th to 19th centuries, produced for export markets; regional embroideries of the 19th century, tie-dyed textiles and religious textiles. The collection represents the Indian sensibilities expressed in a very wide spectrum of textile techniques. The galleries also have exhibits on ritual art and sculpture, temple hangings or pichhvais; miniature paintings; South Indian bronzes, Jain art and sculpture, and textile techniques galleries and library. The Foundation also has a shop which sells its publications comprising catalogues, books, gallery notes, cards, posters and reproductions in cloth and paper.

The Foundation has emerged as a leading research institution, unique for its vision and its comprehensive design approach manifest in the architecture and landscape; indigenous display and installation; quality of technical research, and vigorous publication programme. The Museum has sought professional consultancy from qualified art and textile scholars, anthropologists, museum scientists and textile conservators, from India and overseas. The uniqueness of the Museum lies in the Sarabhais' single-minded commitment to quality. This is amply demonstrated by the "design sense" that pervades over all the display systems, architecture, landscaping, curation of textiles and art, research and publications leading to the generation of knowledge.

Both in the concept and design, the Sarabhais have drawn inspiration from Anand Coomaraswamy's insights on Indian culture and the value of experiencing art in a museum. The Textile Techniques Galleries are unique because of the visually rich, encyclopaedic information presented in the Buhler's gallery of classification of textile techniques and Anne Morrell's gallery on embroidery techniques. The description and analysis of techniques is stimulating and informative. The galleries demonstrate the potential that traditional knowledge systems have for inculcating research and innovation and for the education of contemporary textile designers.

The Calico Museum of Textiles is housed in the chowk; a complex of old buildings around a swimming pool was transformed by facades of carved wood and mud construction, typical of traditional Gujarati houses built around a chowk. Inside, the legacy of Indian textiles is unfolded in the exuberant floral and figurative vocabulary of Kalamkaris, embroideries, woven Jamawars and brocaded fabrics, yarn resist dyed textiles and tie-dyed textiles. The old swimming pool is used to display large tents, carpets, costumes and textiles of the Mughal and provincial courts. The traditional knowledge systems of vegetable dyeing, patterning through resist methods, simple and complex weave structures and their resultant textures, the unstitched garments and costume repertoire, all evoke the intensity of the layered textile traditions of 2000 years.

Textiles are displayed on an indigenously developed system of panels. The entire textile is stretched on a wooden panel and preserved by a plastic covering. Panels have been displayed at varying heights, in different planes, or suspended from the ceiling to create a spatial dimension. Panels have been stacked like the leaves of a book, which allow viewing of individual textiles yet economise on space. The textile can be viewed intimately without actually being handled.

Relevant to students of design, art history and architecture besides research scholars of anthropology, textiles and history, the museum has assisted researchers from textile magazines, Indian museum curators, and collaborated with leading research institutions as co-publishers. The museum had organised several appreciation and sensitisation workshops, to help inculcate "ways of seeing" art and culture. The textile design curriculum at the National Institute of Design has drawn important influences from the museum. The Museum as a cultural resource for people to experience and enlarge their perceptions, is a monumental service done by the Sarabhai Foundation of India and the textile world. Every visit to the museum reveals a little more of the universe of Indian textiles.

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Blogger Gaurav Patel said...

I visited restaurants with my family last week. It was great and delicious food family is happy with service and the location. restaurants Ahmadabad

March 19, 2013 at 2:36 PM  

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