What Inspires Us: Stepwells

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Indian stepwells fascinate me, not only because of their ingenuity but their incredible architectural form. Stepwells were developed in India to provide water during seasonal fluctuations. Unlike a well, stairs surround the cut in the earth, allowing accessibility to deep groundwater levels.

The purpose may be utilitarian but, the architectural form and social space created is quite significant. Can you imagine the relief it provided on a hot summer day? The stepwells became a prime location for women to gather to collect water and offer prayers.

I had the opportunity to visit Chan Baori, in the village Abhaneri. Built in the 10th century, Chan Baori is known for being one of the deepest and largest step wells in India. I continue to be inspired by the history, scale, geometry, and beauty of this incredible water feature. I can imagine this form being infused into a line of narrative quilts. What do you think?

-Colleen

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