Join style and craft expert Deborah Needleman traveling to the source of India’s incomparably rich craft culture, learning the artistry of traditions carried forward from ancient to Mughal to modern times. The former editor in chief of both T: The New York Times Style Magazine and WSJ magazine, and the founding editor of Domino, Needleman will lead us to the country’s legendary workshops, studios and ateliers during a ten-day journey from October 28 to November 7.
In Jaipur, Maheshwar and Kolkata, we’ll gain a firsthand appreciation of centuries-old techniques such as block printing, indigo dyeing, Kantha embroidery and terracotta pottery-making and see their highest visual expression everywhere from maharaja palaces and Hindu temples to the studios of sought-after craftspeople and connoisseurs.
Needleman will introduce us to the celebrated shop owners of India’s design capital Jaipur, hereditary artisans in villages where tourists rarely go, and modern-day masters during hands-on workshops. The trip will include incredible shopping experiences in craft villages, city markets and the archives of sought-out studios and ateliers.
The accommodations are Jaipur’s bohemian Samode Haveli; Kolkata’s grande dame, the Oberoi; and Maheshwar’s Ahilya Fort, India’s most romantic heritage property, which we have reserved in its entirety for our group and where we will showcase the region’s prized craft and cuisine. Joining the trip is PRIOR co-founder David Prior.
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Meeting the masters of crafts such as handspun khadi fabrics, block printing and indigo dyeing, and rare and endangered jamdani weaving, we’ll gain a richer understanding of Indian textile traditions coveted in royal courts and foreign capitals for centuries for their unrivaled caliber and detail.
Commission custom pieces from craftspeople in private workrooms and step behind the doors of sought-out studios and ateliers where shop owners will open their most prized archives and catalogs of textiles, gems, jewelry, metalwork, ceramics and antiques.
Travel to specialized craft villages where tourists rarely visit, going straight to the source of ancient traditions still practiced by generational craftspeople, including dhurrie weavers in Banskho and block cutters and mud printers in Bagru.
FORTS & PALACES
PRIOR members will lodge in Jaipur’s bohemian one-time royal residence Samode Haveli; Kolkata’s palatial retreat, the Oberoi Grand; and at India’s most romantic heritage property, the riverside Ahilya Fort in Maheshwar.
Throughout our journey, we’ll visit the workshops of non-profit organizations dedicated to reviving and sustaining the techniques and traditions of craftspeople whose families have practiced the same trades for generations, from Kantha embroiderers to handloom weavers.
From the street food of market stalls to the brilliantly spiced banquets of palace kitchens, we’ll sample dishes prepared by custodians of regional cuisine showcasing India’s incredibly rich and diverse food culture.