Prof. Weiss gains momentum during Fulbright in India
27 Feb 2009
Now into the seventh week of her Fulbright Fellowship in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, Wendy Weiss updated us again on what she’s been up to:
Nidhi Chauhan (center) of the National Institute of Fashion Technology Craft Cluster in Surendranagar, translates for Wendy Weiss while she interviews Lavagibhai Dhanabhai Dulera, a weft ikat weaver in Kataria.
“The research is starting to heat up. Thanks to Dr, Anjali Karolia, I have developed a relationship with the NIFT craft development project in Gujarat. One of Maharaja Sayajirao University of Boroda’s former students is on the faculty at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Gandhinagar. They have federal funds to work with a group of artisans to help promote and market their work as well as provide product development support. I spent several days working in this district interviewing weavers and planning future trips.
View of Hindu and Jain temples and surrounding landscape, part way up the mountain.
“On our first excursion to meet the weavers, we added a few days of travel to see some of Gujarat. We went to Gir Nar and hiked up most of the mountain, before the heat became too much and the hard stone steps took a toll on our calves. The next day we went to Gir Forest and got to see two lions!
“The first week of March we will travel to Kolkata for a Fulbright conference. All of the scholars and student researchers currently in India and nearby countries will have 10 minutes to provide an overview of their experiences so far. Later in March we will travel to Hyderabad to visit this historic city and visit some other ikat weaving villages. Bina Rao of Creative Bee is generously providing guidance on this journey. The work is exciting and the people are happy to help me with this project. I feel very fortunate.”
Weft bound resist in the village of Kataria, Surendranagar District, Gujarat.
Wendy is working on documenting Patola ikat techniques at the University of Baroda. The process is practiced today by only a handful of master artisans and is in danger of disappearing.
Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design