Sunday, February 25, 2018

Stained glass window in the Senate Room, Madison State Capitol #melissaenderle, #madisonstatecapitol, #wisconsinstatecapitol, #stainedglasswindow, #madisonphotographymeetup, #radiating, #stainedglass

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mirrorwork Murals of the Kutch

About 63 km north of Bhuj lies some remote Banni villages in the Kutch region of Gujarat. We made the dusty drive there to appreciate the architecture and handicrafts of the people living here. Many of the people still live in these circular bhoonga (also spelled bhungahuts, whose shape and mud walls are conducive to counteracting the oppressive heat of the region. In direct contrast to the drab surroundings, the exteriors of these conical dwellings are painted with brilliant colors. Traditional bhoongas have thick mud walls and conical thatched roofs, but some of the ones rebuilt after devastating earthquakes in 2001 were constructed from cement. 

Enter these bhoongas, and you'll be treated to some intricate mirrorwork murals. This mud relief mirrorwork is known as Lippan kam or Chittar kam. There are variations of this relief mudwork in various communities throughout the Kutch region. Equal mixtures of dung (either from wild ass or camels) is mixed with finely sifted clay. Men traditionally are in charge of gathering the clay and hauling it to the village. Some use millet husks, which provides a natural repellent to termites. Very fine coils are rolled on top of fresh slabs of clay. Round, diamond, or triangular mirrors known as aahbla are interspersed. Muslim artists generally constrain their motifs to geometric or floral designs. Women, often working together, form communal bonds as they work on the creative process, much like our quilting bees.

Lippan Kam is also functional. When placed on the outside, it acts as an insulator by reflecting heat. interior work helps magnify the effect of limited light sources. Imagine even how a single candle could magically light up an entire room, reflected by all the mirrors! 
A Rabari woman demonstrates how to make Lippan kam
A Banni woman with Paako embroidery

Interior of a Muslim Mutwa home

Lintel above a doorway
Mutwa embroidery
The designs of the Lippan kam are strongly reminiscent of their highly intricate embroidery. Beauty times two!

The Lippan Kam mirrorwork has currently appeared in two of my artworks, seen below.
Two of My Favorite Things. Color pencil, 2018 by Melissa Enderle

Bhunga and Bhandani. Color Pencil, 2017 by Melissa Enderle

See more of my artwork at

Dressed in Pink and Somewhere to Go - Bukchon, Seoul. South Korea #melissaenderle, #southkorea, #koreatourism, #tourism, #2018Olympics, #hanok, #bukchon, #hanbok, #pinkdress, #korea, #seoultouurism, #seoul, #koreanarchitecture, #madisonphotographymeetup

Bukchon Hanok Village in Winter. Seoul, South Korea #melissaenderle, #southkorea, #koreatourism, #tourism, #2018Olympics, #hanok, #bukchon, #korea, #seoultouurism, #seoul, #winter, #snow, #koreanarchitecture, #madisonphotographymeetup

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Dancing with Rainbows for Buddha's Birthday #melissaenderle, #donggukuniversity, #seoul, #southkorea, #buddha,#performingarts, #koreanarts, #traditionalkorea, #2018olympics, #celebration, #lotuslanternfestival, #madisonphotographymeetup

Celebrating Buddha's Birthday Jeonggagwon Temple, Seoul - South Korea #melissaenderle, #Jeonggagwontemple, #donggukuniversity, #seoul, #southkorea, #buddha, #lanterns, #2018olympics, #lotuslanternfestival, #madisonphotographymeetup#celebration

Two of My Favorite Things

I wrote a story to accompany the color pencil artwork I just finished. We met this family of the Mir ethnic group on our way back to Dasada, Gujarat. (Read my blog post on our encounter). Note the red flip phone that she is clutching, along with the goat "kid." Like other Mir families who have settled in the Rann of Kutch region of Gujarat, her family lives in poverty. Nowhere near their "tent" (a plastic tarp propped up with skinny logs) could I see access to potable drinking water, electricity, or toilets. 
The elaborate background in this piece is of Mutva mudwork known as Lippan Kaam, seen in some homes in the Kutch region.
See more of my artwork at
With the heat beginning to let up, I climb over my sleeping brother and lift up the flap of our plastic tarp. Time to play a bit with the baby goats before their feeding time! I’m glad that our mamma goat had some babies. It gets a little boring living out here in the dry, flat region of Gujarat called the Rann of Kutch. I would like Papa to move our tent closer to the town of Dasada, because then I would have more kids to play with– besides my brother and three sisters. Plus, we might even get electricity so we could charge our cell phone more easily. Papa says our location is just fine because it is right along the highway. That way, more tourists can stop to buy our bangles. Oh, wait! Here comes a car right now! Gotta go!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Thai Structure in the Snow

With a decent combination of blue skies, fresh snow, and non-frigid temperatures, I took a late Sunday afternoon walk over to Olbrich Gardens. Winter transforms the pavilion, which looks far more like its counterparts in Thailand during the summer (see example of the Emerald Buddha temple in Bangkok, below).

The late afternoon light caught the warm hues of the gold leaf and red underside, enhancing the jewel-like appearance.

Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand
If you're in the Madison area, be sure to visit the Olbrich Gardens. Diversely beautiful in each of the four seasons.

Gyenbokgung Palace in Winter. Seoul, South Korea. Snowfall in Seoul was rather minimal, so I was happy to capture one of its beautiful palaces with fresh snow. #melissaenderle, #Gyeongbokgung Palace, #Seoul, #Palaces, #winter, #architecture, #mountain, #asiaarchitecture, #southkorea, #koreatourism, #madisonphotography meetup, #2018Olympics

In honor of the Olympics now held in Korea, I will be sharing some photos of this beautiful country. Corridor, Binyangmun Gate. Changgyeonggung Palace, Seoul, South Korea #melissaenderle, #Changgyeonggung Palace, #Seoul, #Palaces, #corridor, #architecture, #perspective, #asiaarchitecture, #southkorea, #koreatourism, #madisonphotography meetup