Waxing floral details

January 24th, 2011

After Mary Edna’s floral batik has dried, she is ready to apply the third layer of wax.  The dried silk shows color as it will appear in the finished piece.  By waxing them in, those hues will be saved.  Darker tones that will be added during the final dyebath will dramatically change the art when complete, giving it depth and detail not yet visible.

Waxing a single, small batik can take all day to finish or even longer, depending on the intricacies of the design.

Not only are the pinks waxed over, but fine details of the chrysanthemums and leaves will be saved too.

A single drop of wax causes a dramatic change in the appearance of the work, although it does not change the color that will appear once the wax is removed.  Because the wax makes color appear darker, Mary Edna holds the memory of the dried colors in her mind as she works.

After waxing in all the pink flowers, Mary Edna flips the batik and works from the backside to make sure all the wax has fully penetrated the fabric.

A little wax is added to a flower from the backside of the art so that no dye can access the fuchsia design.

Mary Edna creates a moonlit edge out of the negative space formed by a flower stem.  Gray tones will be added to mute the yellow-green background in the next step of the process.