The Art of making Paper

I had the opportunity to visit a paper making factory in India. Known for its 100% recyclable products, they make paper from cotton waste. They’ve teamed up with local garment factories, to utilize the leftover pieces of fabrics. They use only 100% white cotton waste, which allows them to dye the cotton waste into whichever color they use.

Here, the village women sort through the cotton fabrics, and make them into piles.

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Next the piles of white cotton fabrics and put through some sort of grinder, cutting them into small tiny pieces of material.

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Once the left over fabric pieces have been shredded or cut into small bits, they are soaked in a huge vat, allowing them to absorb the liquid fully and the breakdown of the composition of the material.

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The fibers are ready to be processed into large sheets of paper, ready to be dyed.

 

With a large machine that looks like a printing press, excess water is squeezed out, and is almost ready for the heating and drying process.

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The paper mill produces roughly 10,000 to 12,000 sheets of large paper a day! They come is all sorts of lovely colors, ready to be shipped off to different parts of the world.

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A very cool component of their business is “seed paper”.  Small seeds for plants are shipped to them by their clients and are embedded into the papers, ready to be shipped back to their clients. The papers are all made by hand and naturally dried. This way the seeds endure only a little but of “processing”, which further allows them to germinate. These sheets of papers are made into greeting cards, wrapping paper much more. Once a customer sends a card to a loved one, with the seed, they tear them into little pieces and plant in pots under some soil and eventually the little seed starts growing into a plant. It’s a brilliant idea!

Next time send your loved one a wonderful “seed” card and see what it grows into.

Amrita

 

 

 

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A Colossal Palace-Amer Fort

On my first visit to Jaipur I visited Amer Fort,  located about 7 miles outside Jaipur city in the little town of Amer, once known as the capital city of Rajasthan. With its large walls and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake. It was once the ruling citadel of the Kachhawa dynasty, before they moved to the bustling city of Jaipur and now capital of the State of Rajasthan, India. Amer Fort was built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh of the Kachhawa dynasty in 1592 and was later completed firstly by Raja Jai Singh, and eventually by Sawi Jai Singh. This colossal fort took two centuries to build.

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Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu and Islamic style elements and Rajput architecture. The palace was built from red sandstone and white marble. The palace is divided into four levels, each consisting with their own courtyard. The first level is Diwan-e-Aam, the “Hall of Public Audience”, where the king would meet the people of his State, listen to and solve the issues from his constituents.

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The next level up is the Diwan-e-Khas, also known as the “Hall of Private Audience”, where the Kachhawa King would meet with his senior advisers, generals and so forth.

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This brings us to our third level, Sheesh Mahal, or “Mirror Palace”. Sheesh Mahal is adorned in tiny pieces of mirror work and inlaid with glass. The mosaic work is exquisite. The reason behind why this hall was made by glass because in ancient days the queen was not allowed to sleep in open air but she loved to see the stars shining. So the king ordered his architects to make something which could solve the purpose-two candles burning, reflect on the many thousands of tiny mosaic mirror-work, while they often look like tiny stars glowing.

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And last but not least, the four and final level of the magnificent fort is the Sukh Niwas, where the royal family women, including concubines and mistresses lived.  Also on this level,  Jas Mandir is located-a hall of private audience with beautiful floral glass in lays and alabaster relief work.

 

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It’s a stunning and beautiful place to visit, as many tourists from around the world can attest to that. It’s a “must-see” and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Onward,

Amrita

 

 

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

My third portrait was of Mother Teresa. The first being my Father and the second of President Obama. Mother Teresa was such an inspirational person to so many. This piece is called “Mother Teresa of Calcutta” because although she wasn’t Indian, she lived in Calcutta, which became her home for the many and many years that she worked and helped the underprivileged in India. She worked tirelessly for the poor. She gave of her self so that she could alleviate someone’s hardship in whatever small way. And because of that, I was inspired to create and art piece of Saint Teresa.

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Mother Teresa was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the poor. She was awarded the Jewel of India, the highest honor given to  Indian civilians. In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work  for helping to alleviate the suffering to humanity. She was considered one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century, and was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016 by Pope Francis, held in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

With that I leave you with this quote:

Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more. -Mother Teresa

With gratitude,

Amrita

A Portrait of my Father

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my art. Last year was a tough year. I lost my father in August. My world was turned upside down and my art took a back seat. I created a portrait of my father, to honor and commemorate him and for the wonderful and rich life he gave my mother and I.

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It’s the first portrait I ever created in the style of work that I usually do. I added three flowers by his forehead that represent, my dad, mom and myself-our close knit family. The patterns and designs also serve for the intellect and knowledge my father held. He was so well versed and had many ideas and thoughts and his mind was always “active”.

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I took the portrait back to Bombay to our family home, where my mother had it framed and hung up on the wall, above the antique desk that belonged to my patriarchal grandparents.

 

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Jasmine and rose petals lay below his portrait.

 

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Here’s another angle of the portrait in the context of our living room.

Hope you enjoyed the portrait.

With love,

Amrita

 

 

Website Re-Designed

It’s been a long time coming and my website needed a re-design. With some help from my dear husband, I was finally able to update it. Please take a look at it at http://www.amritadutia.com

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I’m looking to grow my art business and with the help of you all, I hope to achieve this. Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram. And I would be grateful if you could share my website and social media links with your families and friends.

With gratitude,

Amrita

The Obama Portrait

A couple of months ago, my husband and I watched President Obama’s farewell speech in Chicago. Although we were sad that he was on his way out, we more inspired by his words, that I felt I had to create another portrait (the other being my father) of an extraordinary man.

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There are nine symbols incorporated into the art that represent him in one way or another.

Basketball-his love for the sport

Education-attended Harvard and became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review 

Lawyer-he worked as a civil rights attorney and professor teaching constitutional law

Eagle-US national emblem-the eagle was chosen because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks and also because it was then believed to exist only on this content

Hawaiian state flower-Hibiscus

The famous Obama campaign logo

Kenyan shield-representing his African heritage

The Cross-his faith

And last but not least, another Hawaiian flower and one of my favorites, the frangipani.

Can you find the symbols?

Thank you President Obama for your grace, integrity and morals. My heart is full of honor and gratitude for what he has achieved. What a great privilege it’s been to have such a graceful and dignified president to represent the United States. America is a better and stronger place because of you.

With gratitude,

Amrita

Featured in Gay Wedding and Marriage Magazine

I had the pleasure of meeting the owner and editor of Gay Weddings and Marriage Magazine. Renee Clancy and I started to chat about my art and its process as I was working on a piece for the Mayor’s Art Show. She was interested in what I was doing and sat and talked a while as we were getting to know each other. An idea came to her and she asked if I would be interested in creating a piece for her Fall Issue, that could be used for the DIY-type weddings. I jumped in at that point and said YES!  I started with a black and white design and then decided to create a second one in color.

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I sent both drawings to Renee to let her decide which one to go with and she chose the colorful one. Since the article was for the Gay Weddings, I wanted to keep my colors neutral so either gender could use it for their special occasion.

A few weeks later, Renee sent me pictures of the photo shoot where she used my art printed on fabric and gift wrapping paper, all made through Spoonflower. The pictures turned out fantastically and I was so excited to see my work portrayed in a different light.

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And a handkerchief for a Men’s blazer.

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A dining room place setting with the artwork wrapped around a napkin.

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And of course little tiny presents or wedding favors with the printed design on gift wrapping paper.

image9                            image8  image10The pictures turned out great and they overall look was awesome. It was wonderful to see my art translated into so many different “looks”, something I’ve always wanted to do with my art.

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I downloaded the pictures from the online version of the magazine so I could post these pictures to my blog. This is how it turned out and it looks wonderful.

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I am excited that my work has finally gotten published and people around the country will see my art and hopefully I will get more exposure.  And I am especially thankful to Renee Clancy for giving me this great opportunity.

Peace and Light,

Amrita