SURYA blocks for printing. Photo: Anil Advani

We were at Ameneh Ispahani’s home a few evenings ago along with Cathy and Len, talking about her long friendship and association with artist Surayia.  She told us that Surayia had created the design for their stationery paper. I am unsure if SURYA was the name of an organization, or the name of a “label”.  I will have to speak with her again on this subject and get the details. She brought out these metal printing-blocks – which are absolutely amazing!  A small block with the words “SURYA” [the Sun] and a set of 4 plates with a designs based on the famous Jamdani weave of Bengal. The traditional Jamdani motifs and “butis” [flowers/leaves etc] incorporated into a multi-layered letter paper design. The metal blocks were probably used to print different colors with each block – making a final multi-colored print. The blocks have markings on the sides, some with a number and some have the name of the color written onto the wood side of the block – which are “LAAL” on one block [meaning RED] and “KAALA” on another block [meaning BLACK]. I will need to do a few test prints from these blocks to see if all 4 are to be layered into one print or [what appears to me] into two separate designs from 2 blocks each.  I will post an update to this blog as soon as I have been able to obtain prints from these blocks with the assistance of an artist / print-maker friend who has very kindly offered use of their ink, press and other equipment at a print-making workshop.

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