Saturday, March 01, 2014

Let's go on a pilgrimage. A Chai Pilgrimage.

I got to know about Jenny Kostecki-Shaw and Patrick Shaw (a.k.a. The Masala Chai Wallah) way back in 2008 when I had a series on my 'A Cup of Chai…' blog called Tea with friends and they had sent me a photograph of their chai.

I became aware that they were in the process of compiling a book on their many tea adventures in India and being a Chai-lover and a design enthusiast I kept updated on their blog, website and subsequently their Facebook page.
In August 2013, they used to fund for their beautiful book Chai Pilgrimage which they have self-published.
It was but obvious that I ordered my copy of the long-awaited book as soon as it was available for purchase!

So today I am going to share about this delightful piece of art and it's creators!

Jenny is a freelance illustrator and national award-winning children’s book author and illustrator.

Patrick teaches Ayurveda, Ayurvedic cooking and Ayurvedic herbology at the University of New Mexico in Taos and has been making homemade masala chai for over 20 years. Their daughter, Tulsi, has boundless patience with her publishing parents even though she doesn’t like chai.

 In their own words they tell you how this idea took shape and resulted in a book…

'We LOVE chai! The aroma of simmering spices fills our home each morning as the sun rises over the mountains. We also love India—her people, spiritual traditions, music, food and art have become woven into our lives. 
One morning while sipping chai, we had this crazy idea to fly to the chai motherland of India, spend four months steeping ourselves in chai culture and collaborate on a book. So we did! 
Chai Pilgrimage is our way of sharing our adventure and discoveries with you! It is our experience brought to life in a full-color art and photo filled travel journal, where we use chai as our compass to discover the people, places, spices, traditions and gods of an ancient culture. 
We also wish to share everything we’ve learned about brewing up a deliciously healthy cup of homemade masala chai with beautifully illustrated recipes and chai wallah tips on the art of chai making. 
We hope it offers a soul-nourishing vision of human connectedness and an opportunity to sip chai on the other side of the world!'

I have been so taken in with Chai Pilgrimage book, I have been devouring the visuals, the heartwarming narratives and beautiful illustration techniques.

Jenny has used various mediums to illustrate the book. Here is a video that shows us how she uses these techniques.
She also shares this frame from her studio:-)

Reading the book has been 'soul-nourishing' indeed. Especially for me sitting in sub-zero temperatures in Minnesota:-)

The book has so many interesting Chai recipes, I tried the Elaichi Chai yesterday…

Today I plan to try the 'Chai Guru Chai' taught by Patrick's friend and teacher Hamid Drake.

So do drop by their website Chai Pilgrimage  and their Facebook Page to read more about their book or order this beautiful, visual book. A great gift for yourself or to anyone who loves chai, spices and India! 

Go on a virtual pilgrimage. A Chai Pilgrimage!

( Images from Chai and styling by Arch. Copyrighted Materials)