2010

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Barmeer, is a small town in Rajasthan near the Indian/Pakistan border where there is a traditional Ajrak printing house.  I was invited by a company called Adivasi to work with the printers to develop new designs utilizing these hand-crafted techniques.

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Ajrak printing is a traditional Artisanal craft of India. Using hand-carved wooden design blocks, a resist paste is hand-printed onto fabric as one of the first steps before the natural dyeing process begins.  The resist printing continues between the various dye baths until the final outcome is achieved.

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Initially, the designs I created were inspired from traditional Indian patterns, and were to be marketed to an American audience.  These fabrics were a successful seller and have remained in production for over ten years.

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Then began a project dear to my heart, one that came from personal inspiration: the trucks of India!

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India - truck inspiration

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India - truck inspiration

A studio was set up for me in Udaipur, Rajasthan where I spent a few months developing my truck-themed designs.

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India - truck inspiration /my studio

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India - truck inspiration/my designs

Then back to Barmeer to work with the block carver and printers.  Not surprisingly, my designs were breaking all the rules of what they considered possible.  But with persistence they humored me and created the beginnings of some inspired yardages.

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

Nika Feldman: Adivasi - Ajrak printing Rajasthan, India

These fabrics went into small production, and were then used for a body of work called Tribal Truck’r.  Tribal Truck’r (a-work-in-progress), and can be viewed in Portfolio.