We discovered the Once Upon a Tea Time blog on design when they found us.  Enjoy browsing their site.

Surayia Rahman tapestry: "The Tea Garden."

We wish all of our friends in Bangladesh and around the world who are celebrating the end of Ramadan a heartfelt “Eid Mubarak.”

Tapestry design by Surayia Rahman. Photo copyright Anil Advani and Kantha Productions LLC.

Copyright Kantha Productions LLC

When I was home visiting my mother recently, she asked me if I would like to keep some of the petit-point embroidery that I did when I was a small girl.  Of course I would ! My mother was a talented seamstress, often going to charity bazaars to find special fabric – velvets, woollens and prints – to make clothing for me.   Princess collars and polka-dot dresses are etched in my memory.  Mom also taught me to bake, to stitch, and to wash dishes!  These petit-point pictures are not perfect, but they are special as Mom and I made them together.  Mom was my teacher, and a very talented one.  If I have a chance to show Surayia my petit-point, she would be very pleased, but she would probably make me redo many of the stitches.   She was, after all, a perfectionist teacher.

Working on the film and catalog of Surayia’s art, we were kindly put in touch with the members of the American Council for Southern Asian Art.  Many thanks to ACSAA for helping us to find more of Surayia’s designs around the world.   One of the Council’s members, Joanna Kirkpatrick,  has studied the art of Bangladesh rickshaws and we think that you will find her Ricksha Arts website of interest.   Rickshaw drivers in Bangladesh are very hard working, often providing transport for several people and their market purchases in the scorching heat or pouring rain.  Some of the women that Surayia trained to embroider had to supplement the income of their husbands who were rickshaw drivers because the work is not a particularly well-paying even in the best of times.  As difficult as this job is, rickshaws provide a critical and affordable means of transport, and the art portrayed on the rickshaws is often colourful and imaginative.

Copyright Joanna Kirkpatrick

Copyright Anil Advani