Within tells the story of Aparna’s journey in life

Tales of Thread promises to be an engaging workshop to be held in Bangalore by two women, Aparna Vinod and Rohini Sen.

The idea for the workshop came to Aparna, the founder of The Craft Caravan when she was pondering about how the new generation has lost touch with the crafts of their mothers and grandmothers. Crafts such as embroidery, crochet, knitting…which were, in fact, she says, “the Facebook and Twitter of the older generation”. The women would often gather together in one of the homes, usually in the afternoons, and do needlework. This was also the time when they raved and ranted. They shared their problems. They offered solutions. They discussed relationships, sex, health and politics. They talked about their men and their children. They laughed, they wept. They were loud, and they were silent. As they looped the thread around the needle or weaved the wool into a pattern, they told each other stories  — about their lives.

Those sessions were as good as lying down on the psychiatrist’s couch. These craft sessions were like counselling sessions. Except that they didn’t have a label. Since it didn’t require labelling. It happened organically.

Aparna wants to dip into this age-old tradition to create a community environment of sharing using the medium of crafts.

“We didn’t want it to be embroidery workshops.  We felt there was a need to connect and tell stories using thread and needle as the medium of expression,” Aparna says. And in the process forge bonds.

To me, that sounds like a dream. An artful one. Imagine stitching chains across a piece of cloth, and having each link remind you of the journeys of your life. It can almost be a Merchant-Ivory film.

For three days Aparna has been working on her journey. Her embroidered piece is called Within. She used her hand as a metaphor to tell her story. “I traced parts of my hands into emotions. Sorrow, joy, hope everything that was part of my journey from a girl to a woman to a mother.” And she soon realised that as she was stitching, her life kept replaying in her mind. “When I made the biggest rose, I realised that it was my daughter who came to my mind. The piece became a testimony of what I believed in and what I wanted.” There was nothing rigid about the exercise. She used basic stitches, and Aparna allowed herself to follow her “inner path. “I soon realised that the artwork also made me understand that everything that I wanted and wished for was within my grasp. At the end of it, I felt like I was counselled.”

And that is the power of telling your stories.

The workshop will be held in Aparna’s friend’s home because the duo didn’t want an impersonal space for such a personal endeavour.

It is an all-day workshop from 9 am to 6 pm. There will be an introduction about weaves, demonstration of stitches, exchange of knowledge and time to ponder over the stories the women want to tell before they begin stitching their stories. The entire process is pivoted on the principle of sharing.

Cost: Rs 2200, inclusive of lunch, tea, materials and a take-home sewing kit.

For more info call 9483505483 or mail thecraftcaravan.in@gmail.com