Possibly the most interesting morning I spent in Laos was in a weaving and dyeing workshop just outside Vientiane. If I ever go back, I will sign up for a two-day course.
The women can stay here, in safety, bringing their own skills and learning new ones.
A lovely, messy time adding the indigo dye.
Below are the scarves we made. It took us nearly two hours to dye them, with excellent help from our teacher.
I also spent nearly an hour on the loom. It's a lot harder than it looks!
Some examples from their shop. Oh I wish I had bought more, but time was running out.
The labels below read: jack fruit, stick lac resin, indigo
I find the colours and patterns superb, and when you see the work that goes into a few metres of hand dyed, hand-woven fabric, it really makes you appreciate their art.
Of course, it's not hard to find colours, patterns and interesting textures all over - in the trees:
on the river platforms:
in the wooden roofs (which I drew while waiting for lunch in Savannakhet)
and in the tiles and on the pillars in the temples, of course. I could devote more time to patterns, so maybe in tomorrow's blog....