Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adventures in Batik

So my latest crafting adventure is Batik. What is Batik? Is that a specialty store that you go to for designer clothes? No! Its a beautiful Indonesian artform used to put some bold and intricate designs in their cloth. The crafter puts a resist of some nature, usually wax, upon the cloth in a design and then applying dye to the cloth. Wherever there is no wax, the cloth will be dyed, but where the cloth is protected will remain the original color.

Honestly, the approach that I am coming to favor is a bit different. My children are still young and enjoy crayons, which means they enjoy BREAKING crayons! I had pure white delicious cloth and a bunch of broken crayons. There was a small metal paint tray with little divits for the paint in my crafting drawer. Perfect. I broke up each crayon into little pieces and filled several divits. Warming the whole tray in a steamer basket double boiler on my stove. As soon as I achieved liquid wax, dipping a paintbrush in and painting quickly I achieved a beautiful and colorful desgin. They key was to do it in very short strokes so the wax would stay very HOT upon the brush. After the wax cooled, I placed the cloth between newspaper (I keep a roll of newsprint paper purchased cheap from my local newspaper)and cardboard and then used my iron to warm the wax,wicking it onto the newsprint. It took several changes, but finally I had bold colors and beautiful designs.

I have tried adding pariffin to the crayon for a more diffused color and using just straight clear paraffin resist and dying the cloth too. I plan on picking up some beeswax from a local beekeeper and trying that for a resist! All of the methods are fun, easy and relaxing adventures in crafting!

This is going to be one bold new way to allow MY creative spirit to fly..

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