GLORIOUS GLARUS - (Pandemic) Printing through Time and Space



GLORIOUS GLARUS is a workshop format designed to unlock the transformative powers of historical textile archives.


In 1840, the 24-year-old Conrad Blumer, owner of a cotton printing factory in Schwanden, Switzerland, left for an exploratory trip to the Orient and returned 16 month later with lots of market insight and fabric swatches.

Back home, the colors and patterns Blumer collected on his route to then called Alexandria, Bombay, Calcutta and Batavia influenced the look and feel of his hand printed goods. Through trial and error and by experimenting with new techniques Blumer managed to successfully recreate and reinvent the detailed Indiennes and batik patterns and exported these design hybrids back to the colonies as fringed scarves, patterned head ties or fabric for traditional dress.


During an experimental block printing weekend at an industrial site in Glarus I wanted to investigate what the elaborately carved wood blocks, depicting partial motives from all over the world, could reveal about themselves (or us) during an analog printing session. Would we gain or produce knowledge on the origins of taste, colonial entanglements, international trade, the concept of glocalization? What else could the power of  repetitive and meditative bodywork unlock? As the workshop venue is currently closed, what was originally conceived as a physical communal experience now has to make room for a pandemic plan B:


We will print with the unwanted and rejected icons of our everyday life in Marie Kondo style instead. In line with the textile tradition of the canton of Glarus, the participants will prepare their own domestic mark making devices in preparation of a two hour session. From Glarus, to Zürich, to the world (wide web) and back.



Friday afternoon May 15th, 2020 from 15:00 – 17:30


At our individual homes


The medieval byzantine painters believed their icons to be inspirited by the saints they represented. Maybe the same applies to your icons of everyday life? Let’s find out together!


We will be connected via Zoom. Not much talking, mainly music (the Great Explorer’s playlist by


Due to shipping restrictions this workshop is unfortunately only open to people in and around Zürich


A donation of  CHF50  - CHF100 is recommended. All profits will be donated to COVID-19 relief funds for artists


Each of the participants will receive a postal package with a large cutting of naturally dyed cotton fabric, paper for tests as well as inks and tools for printing by Monday May 11th


A table (or floor space) / a soft wool blanket or towels you can fold and use as padding / time to declutter your household in order to collect printing devices


We would love to exhibit your pandemic prints. Could you please lend them to us after the printing session? You will get them back after the exhibition




K  A  R  A  W  A  N

A project in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Analysis ZHdK, 2020


If you would like to participate, please get in touch: