Sunday, April 21, 2013

Indonesian Batik Workshop

I was very fortunate this past week to be able to participate in a 2-day batik workshop at Artistic Artifacts with Indonesian batik artists Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam.  They are in the US for the opening of an exhibit in which they are featured, Out of Southeast Asia,  at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC. It was a very full 2 days, starting with learning about the ancient creative process of batik, symbols that form the basis for traditional designs, and getting in touch with our own creative source.  We started by learning to create designs by hand with the tjanting tool seen here is 3 sizes.

Ismoyo instructed us in the techniques for using tjaps. the copper tool used for stamping batik designs.  The wax pan has a layered pad in the center (copper, wire screening, and several layers of fabric); the tjaps are placed around the outside of the pan to heat, and tapped on the center pad to coat it with wax that is then applied to the fabric. The fabric is placed on a foam pad that is saturated with cold water, so when the hot wax on the stamp is pressed into the pad, it immediately solidifies.

After the wax is applied, its time for dyeing.  They use napthol dyes which is a different process than we use in the US.  There are different pre-soak base mixtures that determine the color resulting from the color solution.  Its all very confusing!  After dyeing and a 15 minute post-soak, it goes into boiling water to remove the wax and then a cold water rinse.  The colors are rich and fabulous!

Above are my first 2 pieces from Day 1.  The red one is my "doodle" piece, learning to use the tjanting tool.  The blue piece has a hand done border, with a stamped tjap design in the center.  The blue piece was waxed again and over-dyed the 2nd day. More pictures tomorrow.


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