Inspiration for Color

November 24th, 2009

When working on the Kimono Silks, my reference books provide inspiration for color and design.

Twenty of my local aerial photographs are printed for composition.

Just unrolling the silk is a delight. There are 7 new batiks in 7 different damask designs still in various stages of process for this exhibit. Each silk has intrinsic design which seems to relate perfectly with one of the photographs .

First I sew with a zig zag stitch to prevent fraying and throw the silks in the washing machine with a textile product called synthropol. This removes the oils and sizing, as well as prepares the silk for dyeing.

The first waxing is to save the original white or off white of the silk. I use beeswax and paraffin in a 50% combination. The beeswax makes it adhere to the cloth and the paraffin can offer a crackle in the wax which I seldom employ.

The brushes are made especially for hot wax application.

I will keep you updated with the process.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

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CATEGORIES: Books, Kimono Silks |

Creating a Batik

October 27th, 2009

Sydney with Sylvia

October 27th, 2009

While staying in the lovely home of Sylvia Riley, I taught one more batik workshop in Sydney which she kindly organized. There were 9 students creating marvelous works. I am thinking about doing more workshops here in America, so email me if you want to be informed in the future.

My dyes are procion, invented in 1952 and are fiber reactive which means they bond with the cloth with alkaline chemistry and heat. Every color is a different chemical combination and the results are the most colorfast in the industry of dyeing. Each day I made a new batch of dyes progressively darker in hue. Gloves and a mask, as well as good ventilation, are a must in mixing dyes as they are carcinogenic. The dyes last only a day after chemistry is added.

Here is my demonstration batik in process with the first dye-bath blended from underneath and the second layer of dyes waxed. The image is of a photo taken of a hummock on the way to Folly Beach from my home on James Island in SC. Artistic changes bring water to the foreground, a new sky and more interesting colors. The wax is 50% beeswax and 50% paraffin. The finished silk will be in the KIMONO SILKS exhibit opening on December 10th in Charleston.

Two of my students are aboriginal leaders of their culture, Teekee and Shaun. I hope to have a chance to visit them again with my band, Lime & the Coconuts.

Toni had the most extensive brush collection and she gifted me with a tjanting tool, a copper bowl with a spout that is used to draw with the hot wax, from Indonesia.

Sylvia’s batik of  an octopus first and third dye bath. You can usually have 4 dye baths before the wax begins to disintegrate.