American Hustle Set Design
When most people go to the movies, they’re looking for action, drama, comedy… but not when you’re a Ten Thousand Villages’ staff member. Assistant Store Manager for Ten Thousand Villages in Ardmore, Kylie Silvestri, spotted a familiar home decor piece while watching the recent hit movie, American Hustle. The Kalka Pillow is an original design made for Ten Thousand Villages by the artisans of Aravali in India. The pillow makes its screen debut mid-way through the movie in Sydney’s (played by Amy Adams) apartment.
The set of American Hustle holds a distinct sensation – the nostalgia of the era is captured through a set that is timeless and chic. Simple white chairs are offset with red mis-matched pillows. The choice of Indian block print in this setting alludes to the global sensibilities of the characters, adding warmth and texture to the scene.
What is block printing?
Intricate designs on saris and other textiles are a common identifying feature of Indian culture. Although the old methods have largely been replaced with more modern means of patterning, the style began with block prints.
A labor-intensive method of hand-printing fabric, the artisan moves from left to right, dipping the stamp into dye and stamping it into the cloth. Like most folk art, the designs themselves are often specific to a particular region, but the process remains relatively consistent across these regions.
Designs are drawn on paper, then carved into wooden blocks to create a three-dimensional stamp which can be used again and again for a repeated design. Like all handcrafted pieces, the charm in block prints comes from their imperfections. When we see a pattern slightly misaligned, we can imagine the artisan’s hand placing it there deliberately.
Complete the look of any room
Throw pillows are a great way to add interest to a sleek space. This particular pillow came from artisan group Aravali, which employs more than 150 artisans in Jaipur, supporting the principles of fair trade while maintaining the cultural art of traditional block printing.
Aravali continues to make beautiful tablecloths, napkins, robes and other intricate textiles for Ten Thousand Villages.