Monday, October 18, 2010

Illustrations for tool-kit

This is the illustration style I am going to use for my tool-kit book. It is a cover for an activity card. Each card will have a front cover with an illustration like this with some conversations written on it.
These conversations came out during the process of doing an activity. This will give more insight to a facilitaor who will be conducting the activity.

[to see iterations of this work please click here and scroll down]

Monday, September 27, 2010

bags in progress

Kids told me that they want to make a bag for themselves as they need a bag to carry their things to school or otherwise. I was looking at different kinds of bags they can make like a bag with a belt or bag like folder. Then I thought it would be nicer if they have a bigger bag so they can carry their books as well in that bag. I thought it would be nice to use their old sketches from previous activities.
I chose the activities of finding "things in pairs" and "first thing they touched in the morning" that I had done with younger group, some of the kids had already done this activity so they started making their bags by taking the visual from this activity (they tool top and thread, radio) others quickly drew 5 ideas for things found in pairs, chose one that they like the most and started making bags (pairs like stove and gas cylinder, kite and spool, foot and slippers, scissors and fabric came out) they made bags in the shape of cylinder with stove attached, top, kite, water “matka”. They used only patchwork to stitch their bags. I told them to choose fabrics which are printed and embroidered and combine them together to make their bag. This will reduce their work of embroidering on it. They will just have to stitch patches together.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Now the activities were bringing out abastract art pieces from children. It was time to break the chain and bring in some new activities that would emerge visuals that are different from what we have been doing till now. It was also time to bring in a new technique to use to break the monotony. So I kept different objects in front of children and told them to choose one object and draw 5 sketches of the same sketch. Each successive sketch being simplified from the previous sketch. I introduced children to printing using rubber chappal. They carved one of the simplified sketch of the object and printed on a piece of fabric that they will use as a patch on a garment.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

pretty clothes!

green top before embroidery

green top after embroidery (visualization from the song "chinna chinna aasai")



Some clothes and patchwork done by kids. Some more to come soon :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

fourth panel meeting

Mrs. Narayanan

-Tell children to choose another song and visualize it- get them to familiarize with design process and design thinking
-there is a difference when you are going to Swati’s class and I am going to Swati’s class and I will become textile designer, you are making these children designers or to be designers. Now they say we are going to Sadhvi’s workshop, let them say it’s for “us” “we are going for us.”
-Let them find value for themselves in it
-its its time to do hopes and fears for them, tell them to locate fear and it will be a feedback for you to plan more, designers need feedback constantly
-build the tool-kit in the process, tell children to make their books, write their reflections, their hopes, fears etc. and I should mention the point that Prayas said in Alisha’s review as well, DON’T THINK THAT YOUR PROJECT ENDS WITH THE END OF THIS PROJECTS SUBMISSION DATE.
-I don’t think you should include story in tool-kit book-its an artistic impression, it may get muddled up with tool-kit book, you may get jacked in jury-they may tell you to show level one and two of the tool kit book, you are working at level three now. If someone like sharda wants to use this tool-kit book she should be able to find value in it easily.
-could you take some graphic sense in embroidery because I think boys would want to wear something more graphic? And graphics asks for a lot of simplicity, that is another level of working.
-have you showed them some work by artists who have worked with contemporary embroidery?


-look at different aspects for tool-kit book for children as well as facilitators.
-let children write what they struggle with, their reflections etc.
-you have done iterations for the form of the book now make iterations of tool-kit book-rough iterations with little content then you would know which one to choose that is working-then may be you can take it to Sharda and other facilitators to give you feedback if you look at co-design, it says involve users as involving users help to improvise the product.
-you will also need to make your content crisp for the book
-I think tool-kit is your main product and garments you are achieving through the process of tool-kit book so focus on tool-kit book as well

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Chinna Chinna Aasai"- "Small small wishes"

"Chinna Chinna Aasai" is a Tamil song which means "small small wishes", it is a song in hindi also which goes "dil hai chota sa, choti si aasha"
Today was an exciting day for everyone, especially for kids. Today’s workshop involved listening to Tamil music which included sketching a part of the song. Each of the kids chose one line from the song, added one more of their line and visualized it. They started visualizing the lines on the clothes that we have collected for them, giving them clothes to embroider on made children more excited.

Children came up with beautiful wishes after listening to the song. Chandrakala chose a line from the song that said, I want to touch the stars, she added her own line saying “she wants to talk to the starts, because it is said, old people when die they become stars, so she can talk to her grandparents by talking to the stars”

Devika chose a line that said, “Throw away your sorrows” she added her own line that said, “and flow like a river, which is independent.

I discovered that some children are becoming stuck with certain ideas; they draw either rainbow or wings in every drawing. Now next task is to figure out the ways to break their ideas which are becoming set.

some visualization of the lines that children chose.

some clothes in progress.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


[R]On Saturday, besides keeping the things very open, there were still limitations. Limitations in terms of visual vocabulary, lack of structure. After getting the feedback from children about why they felt uncomfortable/frustration to do visuals-it came out that children were not clear with what they were expected to do. They have very limited visual vocabulary so something was required to push up their visualization.

[C]Arzu suggested, I should give them some painting to refer to and let them select some works from textiles that they think relates to their work, then tell them to draw from the painting and a piece of textile they like. I chose a painting by Kandinsky, {which had various forms and it gave a feeling of patch work} and gave them few textile books to choose one piece of work from it. They will start seeing the transformation designs through textiles.

[T]Children chose paintings according to the emotions they had chosen on Saturday. By choosing the paintings and a piece of textile work helped them build their own ideas, it opened them to use lines in different ways, they thought about what color they want to use for which emotion.

There was a jump in learning for children. They moved up from the level they were on Saturday. I realized I was being too rigid with the idea of letting them have their visuals first, then let them start with embroidery. In a conversation with Arzu about letting them start even if their visual is not complete would be ok, let their needle be the tool to continue their visuals rather than limiting them to use colors to finish the visual.

Thank you Arzu :)
color circles with younger kids


The following visuals and emroidery pieces in progress are outcome of ReflectionChangeTranslation

Embroidery pieces in progress after sketching the visuals.
children were introduced to patchwork.

Some of the sketches that kids came up with.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reflections of first day of workshop after summer camp

We started with choosing the emotion that we had gone through from the time we got up till we reached school. We chose colors for our emotion and we spoke about what would be the opposite of the emotion we went through and what color of the opposite emotion would be. Each one of us had our own meanings associated with color. Selva felt love for embroidery so the chose white, love as pure as white. Chandrakala felt joy for meeting nandini, sharath, selva who she doesn’t meet in usual classes. She chose pink, her favorite color for a joyous feeling. Sharath felt happy to know embroidery was starting again, he chose yellow, the yellow of flowers blooming.

Then we made rainbow of the colors that we chose for our emotions. It was arranged in family of colors. We spoke about red, green and blue being the parents and they create their kids (orange, violet etc) by giving ach other their color and its qualities.

We listened to the story where colors quarrel about being superior from each other, each color describing its qualities as better from the other and symbolizing something. In the end rain brings the colors together,unite them and they stretch together to form a rainbow,”a sign of hope for tomorrow”.

We discussed that no one is actually less than the other. Each of us has special qualities like colors.
Then we started with visualizing the emotions we had gone through in the morning. We used lines and colors to depict emotions. Children struggled with what kind of lines to use, how important would color be in a visual. But they started drawing something that they don’t generally draw, something they are not used to drawing before. It was not easy to get the feel of the emotion through lines and colors. There was struggle amongst kids to break away from the usual drawings they draw, and struggle for me how to get them to do that, how to direct them towards their visual. Some communication issues arising-some felt discouraged. Some were in a state of confusion which is not a bad thing, but it was very uncomfortable for them.
It took a long long time to help them with visuals; we are still not done with it, also because I was working with them individually. Coming of arzu helped, she said I can tell them give each other feedback that would make better time management and work faster and it would help children. Children did not start embroidery today, though their heart lies in doing embroidery more.

One thing is that the children need to be clear in their heads what is it they want to show and I need to help them bring it out by asking them questions and giving them some sort of directions.

Conversation with Arzu-
I realized that I need to encourage children more than just telling them “try more”, tell them it’s good. (Arzu)- There are four tools to work with in facilitation- see (VALUE) in something-point out in the visual what is good. Ask them questions-what are you trying to express? Is it coming across? (CLARIFICATION). Tell them what is it you think about what they have drawn(CONCERN)- ‘it is similar to your previous drawing’, give them suggestions what they can do to move further (VALIDATE)
I think it would be okay to do just visuals on Saturday and not push for embroidery on Saturday (Arzu)- what do they feel do more? They showed me their embroideries, it is embroidery that they want to do. What ever they come up with, they will feel happy about it. Let them do it, let them make mistakes; don’t protect them to make mistakes. It’s a game, let them play it.
Get them to give feedback to each other in groups of three.

I am not trying to protect them from making mistakes, I am struggling with knowing when I should tell them yes you can start embroidery, considering the amount of time I have with children. I want them to know what they want to draw and does their visual say that? I know the joy they get by doing embroidery is much more than the tedious task of doing visuals. My struggle is till what level to push their visualization.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Next step

I looked back at my proposal. I decided I won't stick specifically to the dreams and identity aspect.After summer camp, I spotted some of the needs of kids which can be fulfilled like need for self worth, need for encouragement, need to express, need to be listened. After extracting some insights from summer camp, I am trying to get them to say something about themselves that they have never thought about before. what is it that they would want to tell others about themselves? They are unaware about it themselves but through the process of activities that I have planned, they will discover things about themselves.

I have planned activities in such a way that they fulfill the three skills: conceptualization, visualization and technical skills. The activities will connect to the final garment.

They have been given uniforms for each day, I wonder if that makes their identity or is it a loss of identity? (This point came while I was talking to Meera). I am not getting too deep into identity aspect either. What each child discovers about himself/herself will form their identity. what they discover about themselves will make them "them".

Focus points

I have planned further activities keeping in mind all the three skills. the activities have been planned in such a way that they will connect to the final garments in the end in terms of visuals, concepts and techniques.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I want children to have their stories with them that they want to say about themselves. What is it that they want to say about themselves? What is it that makes them “them”? Till now I was looking for big things I think, expecting too much. Simplest things would be the most powerful things-ordinary is extraordinary.

We miss a person-which is ordinary. The way Shashikala missed her Akka in school was ordinary-her thoughts/feelings inside her made her do ordinary. We miss ordinary the most. Ordinary makes us “us”.

The small flame of a lamp gives Vijaykumar the idea of oneness. The little flame became extraordinary after Vijaykumar’s thought.

Kanniyamma’s one straight line-“I want to be free like air” says it all.
I think there is so much in these simple straight words, which can be carried forward for their stories. I think it would be good to take their thoughts form Summer Camp forward for their identities and stories.

Accepting their thoughts, would be the way to proceed ahead.


Kids listening, watching, thinking, doing.
I just sat and drew after one class, I was so frustrated from inside about how the workshop was being facilitated. So I just sat and drew and drew.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Panel meeting

-Reflect more on Summer Camp-see what you have got, because you are saying much more than what you have shown in the blog
-Look at the challenges that you faced or foresee.
-What themes you came about?

-Discuss with kids about COST-many topics may come up like consumerism, politics, cost of living etc. you may have to prepare a little before this.
How does it get decided that a garment costs so much? (This may help them later if they take up embroidery later)

How will they get access to materials? Like you have collected old clothes from Srishti crowd, how will they get access to old clothes or threads? Get them to discuss this, they may pool in some money and buy material and work.

-Organize the tools that you have used, what worked and what did not work and what will work and why? This kind of documentation would help someone who comes from outside reflects on it and knows what will work.

-Think of how you have incorporated feedback/reflections the next day

See what you had planned? How it has changed? Would you still want to do what you had planned--justify very clearly. Are there any new ideas? Be open to new ideas, if there is an idea that would help these kids in their lives then go ahead with it.

-Discuss how they see themselves in what kind of clothes (present/future)-what is the way of interaction with society now and how would it change if they can do something fantastic to old clothes? How society will change its view.

-May be you can do a small fashion show in the end when they had made their clothes, a photo shoot with them.

-Ask them if they feel other kids also need this kind of workshop-What kind of kids would need? What would they need?

-When you have a full day of work with them, keep an hour for discussion.

-Take two days to get everything out of your system, reflect-do it intensively

-I agree with Krupa that you must look at your proposal again and re-write it. Now do a small activity with them. Give them all their work that they have done and tell them to look through this work and find a work and say "I am proud.....", let each child say this, let them say what they feel proud of. Their dreams will come out this way more rather than say "hey! what's your dream?"

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I feel stuck now. How do I get children to say more about their dreams? They have similar dreams as they have similar problems. The last day's question about "Who is myself" brought out some inner feelings of these children. What kind of activites/questions will help them reflect their inner self? How can I go deep in this area with kids? They have done one round of activities relating to dreams. How do I incorporate dreams with identity. I am thinking about more activities/questions, I hope I will figure out soon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I was clearing my head about "Avant-Garde". I found something very interesting that I would want to incorporate in my project.

It has been in the search of the absolute that the avant-garde has arrived at "abstract" of "nonobjective" art and poetry too. The avant-garde artist or poet tries in effect to imitate God by creating something valid solely on its own terms, the way nature itself is valid, in the way a landscape-not its picture-is aesthetically valid, something given, increate, independent of meanings, similar or originals. Content is to be dissolved so completely into form so that the work of art or literature cannot be reduced in whole or in part to anything not itself.

Day nine-ten

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day seven-eight(younger group)

With younger group,I gave them one day to revise their stitches and practise all the stitches they have learnt before. The next day, they drew the objects they first touched in the morning and embroider it. Some of them almost finished embroidering the sketch of the object. They were exposed to planning the stitches on their design.

Day seve-eight(elder group)

This activity started well when kids had to make paper snowflakes. They had fun doing that, and it did not take them long to do snowflakes. The planning of the design with stitches took them a little longer.

I discovered, that they need to be exposed to hierarchy in color. Some of them used 7-10 colors and the design looked hodge podge.