Torana House Presentation: Moving from Chemical Dyes to Natural Dyes

Last year, I watched Chris Buckley from Torana speak about the process of moving his production of rugs from chemical based dyes to natural dyes (see interview here).

Chris Buckley is an Oxford science graduate and PhD, who has lived and worked in Asia since 1994. He worked as a product development specialist for a multinational company before leaving to pursue a new career in handmade textiles and Tibetan crafts. Chris lives in Beijing but is a frequent visitor to Lhasa.

Chris founded the Torana Carpet retailing company in 2000 and co-founded the Tibet Tanva weaving company in 2006 to make handmade rugs in Lhasa. His contributions to Tanva include design and color.

He is the author of the book “Tibetan Furniture” published by Thames and Hudson in 2005, as well as many papers and articles on Tibetan art and craft topics

It was a process for Chris that is shown through the slide share below, and in combination with his interview I think offers an excellent example of why one should go through a similar process where applicable.  Some of the decisions were difficult, but made none the less.

Living Hands: Tibetan Arts and Artisans

“Living Hands is the first book that treats Tibetan art and craft as a living subject”

“This unique volume portrays weavers, dyers, metalworkers, thangka painters, mask makers, sculptors and carpenters and their crafts, in Tibet and Nepal. It is an outstanding introduction to Tibetan art and craft, as well as proof of the vitality of Tibetan traditions today.”

By Chris Buckley, photographs by the author and Mimi Kuo.

100 pages, 131 color photographs, 8.5″ x 11″ (21cm x 28cm). Torana Publications, Hong Kong, 2011.

Price: 200RMB/ 250Hong Kong Dollars/ 30 US Dollars /25 Euros/ 20 Pounds Sterling

This book started life as a project to photograph Tibetan artisans in and around Lhasa in 2004 and 2005. The catalogue from Mimi Kuo’s exhibition at Torana Gallery was so successful in its own right that we decided to expand on it and make a book out of it. More photographs of artisans have been added, as well as photographs of Tibetan arts old and new, and this volume now covers most of the traditional arts that can be found in Lhasa and Nepal. It makes a great companion to a visit to Tibet or Nepal, and we hope that it will also stimulate interest in contemporary Tibetan crafts.

Currently this book is only available direct from Torana, but we hope to have it available on Amazon soon. If you are in Beijing you can get copies at the Torana Gallery in Europlaza. For those further afield please write to [email protected]. Postage is free to most destinations.

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