Tenth Annual Sudha Sale to Benefit Bread & Roses, Angel Island Conservancy and Gateway Public Schools

courtesy of Marian @ Bread & Roses

October 22, 2013 – . The Tenth Annual Benefit Sale “Sudha’s Treasures” will take place Saturday – Sunday November 9 – 10, and 16 – 17 from 10 am to 6 pm at Strawberry Village Shopping Center in Mill Valley.  The sale features unique hand-crafted items from the collection of acclaimed designer Sudha Pennathur who is generously donating her works to benefit three nonprofits: Bread & Roses, Angel Island Conservancy and Gateway Public Schools.   Bay Area television celebrity Doug McConnell will kick-off the two-weekend sale at a Friends & Family reception on Friday, November 8 from 5-8:30pm.  For more info, visit www.pennathur.com.

McConnell, star and producer of “OpenRoad,” is best known for his long-running series “Bay Area Backroads.”  At the preview reception, he will talk about Ms. Pennathur’s work in India where she travels each year to sponsor and mentor a select group of master craftspeople to create her distinctive line of jewelry, scarves, decorative objects, Christmas ornaments and other gift items.  Her works are featured in prestigious stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue, and in the National Geographic Society and the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Every year the Sudha sale benefits the craftspeople of India as well as Bread & Roses which brings live music to isolated people in the Bay Area,” said Cassandra Flipper Executive Director of Bread & Roses.  “We are grateful for Sudha’s incredible commitment to people globally and locally.”

Angel Island Conservancy is thrilled to be a beneficiary of the Sudha Sale for three years,” said Gail Dolton, Board President of the Conservancy.  “The funds donated will be put to good use as we continue our efforts to create an awe-inspiring visitor experience on Angel Island State Park.”

The Sudha Sale will feature wholesale prices for shoppers.  Hours are:  Friday, November 8 from 5pm – 8:30 pm; Saturdays & Sundays November 9 & 10, and 16 & 17 from 10am-6pm at  # 124 Strawberry Village Shopping Center in Mill Valley, next to La Boulange.

Bread & Roses, based in Corte Madera, brings hope and healing through live music to isolated audiences around the Bay Area.  www.breadandroses.org Angel Island Conservancy works in partnership with Angel Island State Park to raise funds and develop programs. www.angelisland.org  Gateway Public Schools provide a gateway to college for all students through a public charter high school and middle school in San Francisco. www.gatewaypublicschools.org For additional information about Sudha’s designs and work in India, visit http://pennathur.com.

Sudha Treasures Benefit Sale opens November 9th in the Town Center

As evening settled over the Corte Madera Town Center, the Ninth Annual “Sudha Sale” got off to a fine start on Friday, November 9 with crowds of expectant shoppers entering a world of Sudha Pennathur’s imagination.   The old Ann Taylor store had been re-imagined as a colorful, jewel-toned gallery selling artisanal goods from India and the Far East, all designed by Sudha and crafted by her team of hundreds of artisans.   Playful kantha scarves held their own; finely-woven pashminas and gem-encrusted necklaces contrasted with costume pieces; colorful skirts and jackets anchored one side of the room while whimsical bags, holiday ornaments, and decorative items highlighted the other.   A buffet of pizza, ceviche, brownies and drinks kept energy high as shoppers took in the scene.

The highlight of all, of course,  was the fact that all profits from the sale of these goods would benefit Bread and Roses and Angel Island Conservancy, two local non-profits supported wholeheartedly by Sudha for many years.   With the room full and buzzing, Doug McConnell  introduced Sudha in a short talk that underscored her great commitment to her community over the years and the grace with which she manages it all.    Sudha followed, to speak of her long appreciation for Bread and Roses and the remarkable work it does all year and and for the historic and natural significance of Angel Island  She also thanked the dedicated volunteers and staff from both organizations who had helped set up the sale and are critical, day in and day out, to the continued success of these groups.

 Photos courtesy Jon D’Alessio & Jim Prigoff

Kantha Embroidery as Throws

What is unique about this technique from West Bengal is that long before sustainability was a buzz word, the women in Calcutta region would embroider on old cotton saris and recycle them for homes.  Many of the saries were so well worn they would be patched together and that would lend an air of authenticity.

To create these works of art, women would gather multiple layers of assorted cotton saris and  sew them together. Then with weights placed on each corner to stretch the fabric, the women do a running stitch through the many layers. The stitches often are interspersed with alternating long and short stitches.  Often the threads for the embroidery are drawn out of the edges of the saris! Because the saris have been worn for long and washed repeatedly, the colors are often muted and to our modern eye look sophisticated.  Since it is as lovely from either side, it is reversible!

Each woman uses her imagination to do the quilting.  Every piece thus becomes one of a kind.

The works of these village women is carefully brought to the West by Sudha and is now available at select stores and on the web.