Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Batik Workshop

SUMMER IS HERE!! AND I'm gonna have me some fun! Starting with this Batik Workshop I took through the VSA Florida and held at the USF School of Art and Art History. AND it was FREE!

I have not done batik in many, many, many moons. I actually think it may have been during a summer program that I took while in high school. And from what I can remember, it was done a little differently. More about that below.

While the program was free, we were told to bring a sketchbook. So I figured that meant I needed to have sketches in it. (Really-need-to-get started on one of  the many sketchbook challenges I've been following.) Anyway, since my school mascot is a lion and I'm a Leo, I decided a lion would be perfect.

We were given a white, sheet like fabric and a embroidery hoop to stretch the fabric over. Then we were told to trace or copy our design to it.

If I wanted to keep any parts white, then I needed to paint melted wax onto those areas. Afterwards, depending on the look I wanted, I could spray different colored dyes onto my fabric. I sprayed yellow, orange and a little red. Before I could continue, the fabric needed to dry, with a little help from a fan. Then whatever area that I wanted to remain those colors, was again, painted on with melted wax.

To have stronger areas of color, I painted right on the fabric with dyes. Dried the fabric again, then waxed over areas that I didn't want to turn black during the next step. Batik is at it's best, if there are cracks in the wax for the black dye to ooze into. Soooo after removing it from the hoop, I scrunched up the fabric to create some cracks.
Then it was time to soak the fabric in a tub of black dye.
 A little scary 'cause I'm hoping I have enough wax on it. Totally happy when it was pulled from the tub! Then it was spread out and rubbed dry.

Next, I ironed out the wax and TA DA!

Here are a few batiks from people who were in the workshop with me.
I love the fact that everyone did something different. We came prepared with sketchbooks and were not influenced by seeing the instructor's art. It is probably the first time I was happy with something I did at a workshop, and again, I think it was because I was prepared.

The batik I did in high school was different because instead of painting with the dyes, we blocked the colors with the wax then dipped it into a tub with the color of dye we needed. I believe I also ironed out the wax to dye other colors so as not to mix them and turn them brown.

It was much easier this time. I know I won't be doing this anytime soon with my elementary age students. But, that's okay-it's my turn to have some fun learning artsy stuff!

Thanks for Reading!


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