I is for India

I visit my workshop in rural India as often as I can, usually 3 or 4 times a year and every time I go there, I can’t resist taking photos. Everything seems to bright and colourful. It’s nearly always sunny and sometimes it’s super hot and humid.

Shona Easton Chennai Fabric Street Market

I love to visit the street fabric market in Chennai. And since I’m my own boss, if I see something I like, I can negotiate and buy it instantly. I don’t have to go back to the office to have a design meeting to decide if it’s something we want or not. The fabrics available change daily, so it’s important to be able to make a quick decision.

Shona Easton Ikat fabric buying

This stall holder had loads of lovely ikat fabric and I chose these 3 cottons in green, black and red to make into my handbag organisers.

Kalpa Druma Textiles

After work, I love visiting textile and handicraft shop Kalpa Druma, where I usually end up buying several new pieces to bring home.

Shona Easton India Ikat Sari

I have to resist buying too many saris! This one, another cotton ikat weave was beautiful and so nicely displayed. I don’t expect it was there for long.

Shona Easton view from Workshop

Back at the workshop, this is the view (after the floods last November) from the main entrance. The ‘pond’ you see there is actually a terraced area of the garden that flooded but the reflection of the golden temple made it look so pretty, I just had to take a photo. Thank goodness the workshop was safe from the floods as it’s raised slightly above the garden and ground level.

Shona Easton temple in Pondicherry

Some temples are super ornate and very colourful like this one in Pondicherry. And taking inspiration from this, I’ve decided I want that shade of blue (sort of cornflower blue) for a bag in my collection next year.

Shona Easton TukTuk in Pondicherry

Looking for transport? This neat taxi rank of Tuk Tuks are waiting for you in Pondicherry.

In Chennai the traffic is a bit more hairy. You’re supposed to drive on the left but hey, if there’s a space, we’ll take it! I took a little video of part of my drive to visit our city office last November. It was following the floods and finally the streets very drying out and everyone and his wife were back out, trying to get somewhere as quickly as possible. See if you can recognise the music that was on the radio at the time 🙂

To receive our FREE newsletter, with details of our latest special offers, new collections and exclusive events, simply click here! I respect your privacy & will never share your information with anyone.

7 Responses to I is for India
  1. David Bennett
    August 11, 2016 | 10:52 am

    I didn’t recognise the music. I have a soft spot for the music from Bombay Wedding, though. 🙂

    Never been to Chennai but the ikat fabrics and the whole scene is enticing.

    • Shona Easton
      August 11, 2016 | 1:52 pm

      Haha, it’s ‘Down Under’ from Men At Work (1981). Ooops, showing my age now 🙂

      • Julie Corbett
        August 11, 2016 | 9:56 pm

        Nah…I love Men At Work!

  2. Paul Davis
    August 11, 2016 | 4:02 pm

    I think it is awesome that you get personally involved with your workshop in India. That is a tremendous commitment, and it shows in your access to creative inspiration.

    • Shona Easton
      August 11, 2016 | 5:48 pm

      Thanks for your comments, Paul. I would only ever work with people I know personally. It’s important to build up a good relationship with them. The ladies (and men) at my workshop are great and doing fabulous work. I’d love to go there more often!

  3. Julie Corbett
    August 11, 2016 | 9:58 pm

    I love this post. I especially enjoyed the photos you shared of this very colorful city. The traffic…well, that is scary. There are no lines, no signals, no crosswalks, no signs…it looks like whoever is the most aggressive and assertive wins! LOL

    • Shona Easton
      August 11, 2016 | 10:33 pm

      The traffic… Well, I first travelled to India in 1996 (I think) and I was surprised by the driving and apparent ‘free for all’ on the roads but now I’m totally used to it. I just took a quick video because I realise that it is very quirky!