The fascination of batik

Batik is an Indonesian word of, probably, Javanese origin. It is used to denote a way of applying wax to fabrics, with the help of a tjanting (also written: canting) which is a small, copper can with a fine spout, or with the help of hog's bristle brushes. The fabric used is, usually, cotton or silk. The tjanting is used to draw lines, the brush to fill in larger areas.
When the first lines of the design have been put on the fabric, this is dyed by submersion. Places which are covered with wax will not take the dyes, so when the surplus dye has been removed and the colour has been fixed, the design is visible on the coloured fabric in white lines. Only when the material is totally dry, the design can be further developed. Once again, lines are drawn in wax, and larger areas filled in; after this the whole process of dying, rinsing, fixing and drying is repeated. This process may be repeated lots of times. Only when all the colours needed for the design have been applied, the wax is removed. It stand to reason that this process is time- and patience consuming.

By nature, I am a very impatient person. The endless patience, needed to create my, often intricate, designs is a real challenge for me. I start out with some vague idea of what I wish to make, and as the design develops the challenge grows until, finally, I feel that I have reached my goal. The removing of the wax is a moment of exhilaration.

You will find more pictures of batik works in the Gallery.


Recent work

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