Kantha….what’s that? Be prepared to find out in this publication written by Anna Hergert, published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
This book is titled ‘inspirational’, but why? Lets go through a few highlights….
Who is the book for?
Kanthas in brief, are traditionally embroidered fabrics created by women in northern India and Bangladesh. The technique can be simple or complex, depending on the stitch and pattern, so there is a project for everyone. Anyone who has an interest in cultural textiles will find this an informative read.
At the beginning, a clear contents page has been illustrated….
The book has been divided into sections, first we can learn about Kantha in its historical context:
Then we discover the tools we need to begin, the stitches themselves and what we can do with the samples we create.
What makes it special?
This book is said to be an ‘endeavour in creativity’. Hergert doesn’t just tell us how to do the stitches, she also gives us the developmental stages, for example how to turn our Kantha into a bag:
There’s a bright and colourful Gallery section:
This all helps to feed our creativity and helps us to visualise how we can personalise this technique.
Lovely bright images have been illustrated alongside more muted ones, which gives a lovely variance:
What is wrong with the book?
There is very little which could be picked on; the only issue will be down to personal interest, as not all who have an interest in Textiles will find the subject area interesting. However most of us can gain something, even from the stitch diagrams or patterns themselves.
Traditionally Kantha is a diary, a way of its creator expressing themselves. This is something we can all do – what story or narrative will you stitch?
As a freelance artist, designer, lecturer and tutor (how do I narrow down that description?!) I have been contracted by numerous arts organizations to provide Talks, Workshops’ and Masterclasses’ in Textiles, Print Making and Fine Art subjects. These include branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild, Textile Study Groups and The Women’s Institute. Every year I teach at The Knitting and Stitching shows and exhibit with the Artist in Action stand. Currently I am building up to my exhibition at The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, London this spring; having also written articles or had work illustrated in Stitch, Inspired, Embroidery, Selvedge, Daphne’s Diary, Prima (online), Cloth Paper Scissors and the Batsford book ‘Be Creative with Textile Art.'