Beading - South Indian style

Beading is so popular and universal, it needs no introduction.  I have tried the general scheme for making beaded pieces like table mats, wall hangings etc.  

Recently, I also learnt the art of applying a single color - pearl white beads interlaced with golden threads and beads from our Acharya's wife Smt. Godha at Melkote, using traditional south-indian religious motifs.  She is an expert at creating exquisite works of art for the temples such as making the Thiruman, shanka and chakra on cushions, wall panels, curtains and fans for the sanctum.  She was kind and generous enough to teach me this precious art and follow it up with useful tips and experienced advice. Following her lessons, I have made a couple of pieces for the temple and for home.

The two velvet cushions with sacred symbols 
In South India, square or round pillows are generally placed on either side of the idol/statue of Lord Vishnu during religious ceremonies.  I made two separate round cushions with the shanka (conch) and chakra (discus) for Krishnashtami celebrations in 2010.

Click on the pictures for larger views..

I first took a square piece of maroon coloured velvet cloth, roughly etched out the outline with a white color pencil, and began sewing the motif from the middle.  

I used different sizes and shapes of beads of both the colors - pearl white and golden. For the outline, I traced out a circle on the outer edge of the motif, and stitched two rows of different laces of golden color, and cut it out in a round shape with a 0.5" edge.  I cut a rectangular piece of 2.5" wide for the outer rim of the cushion and attached it to the round backside piece.  

The finishing was done by putting in a 2"inch thick foamv batting, and sealing it in by sewing the outer rim with the sewn motif's front piece.
The sacred Shanka or conch of Lord Vishnu

The sacred Chakra or discus of Lord Vishnu
Smt. Godha, my teacher for this art, was kind enough to share her latest artwork with me - a torana with mango motif and a fan made for a newly-wed couple..

This is the other side of the fan, with the initials of the boy's name on the left of the bow and the girl's name in the heart being pierced by the arrow of love..  Notice the deftly-executed border and the golden fringe..


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