Originally started out with these glass beads from Bhuj.
Train wagons would be occupied to the maximum capacity. Their ventilators mounted to the ceilings would turn at full speed and often I lay right under those spinning fans. Often I would wake up with a stuffed nose and a puffy eyes, because of these dusty spinning blades trying to add coolness to a very warm train coupe in India. I always loved traveling in India, though the trains were full with fat snoring men and eyes pinned to my being. Opposite these annoyances were the excellent food served on these often days long rides and the excess consuming of sweet chai, brought to me by the chai wallah. All this consuming of tasty food and much chai would inevitable lead to visit the toilet. The toilets on these trains were an adventure on its own; the constant swagging of the vehicle, hard shakes from left to right and unexpected forceful bumps had you hold on to the bars attached to the bare iron walls of the tiny cubicle. Needless to mention that the stench and the state of cleanliness was far from admirable.
Those memories come up while I attach beads from the town where I was heading to. Strolling through the quiet town and surrounding faded palaces always made me marvel. The street life abundant and dusty at dusk, the restaurants, particularly in Gujarat, of outstanding caliber.
India is always a feast for the creative soul but coming to a standstill at a haberdashery shop I saw something I had perhaps never seen before: beads, buds, studs, buttons, sequins, little round mirrors, strings, threads thin and thick, yarn bundled and loose, little metal ornaments, ribbons, colors. I soon learned that the Gujaratis are masters in embroidery, alas, I was not so much into that back than. But I did buy beads, in tiny sachets, each of them containing not more than 10 pieces. Some glass, some shells, all artifacts in itself, just like India.
It sounds a fossil thing to say but traveling 20 years ago in India is not what it is today. I loved each little bit of those travels, yet I could never stand to be longer immersed than 5 months at a time.
From it came this design, not in any way connected to India anymore. I started with beads from Gujarat, in a manner I thought good but turned out absolutely wrong. So, the preliminary story is in no way making sense to this pouch as the piece of fabric that inspired me is from Laos, the fabric I used comes from Nepal (I dyed it with robinia bark). The liner originating of a kitchen drawer from a Mennonite cattle ranch in Paraguay and the threads, thin yet strong, are from a cousin who got them from somewhere many years ago.
The work that went in this pouch was again many hours, reminding me of the women who made such stitches on to a much larger piece of cloth that would become their husband’s garment. I wonder what they had in mind as inspiration but for me, it reminds me of tree trunks saw in seemingly perfect pieces.
This pouch took again very long to finds its shape and correct stitch. I began freestyle oblique to the grain of fabric, that means the fabric becomes stretchy. Soon I changed to the right-angled side of the fabric and used the double satin stitch. It seems pouches are forming themselves without me having a say in it. Perhaps far fetched, or bordering a tad too much artistic freedom? Possibly.
I had this piece of fabric sewn in to several shapes but none was satisfying: with a border made from two different fabrics, with two folded sides, without a zipper and at last, with a zipper and one folded side. The zipper puller was intended very different and again, shaped itself. A wondrous thing and for sure a meditative one. Indeed, I feel blessed that I am able and have the chance to just plunge into creativity.
Sawn Tree trunk is an odd name for a pouch but living in Hungary and camping in the woods made me see that the design had much similarities with cut wood. And the forests in Hungary are mostly about wood for cutting. Just as I was camping here, early morning had me woken up by a chain saw cutting tree trunks.