It was our day to be students, and we were all so excited!
We’d been to the warehouse. ((And bought oodles of fabric!))
We’d seen how commercial batik fabric was made, but what about the original artistry of the “REAL” batik, the way the Balinese have made it an art form over the centuries?
I’d had batiking classes in school through my art studies, and when batik fabrics first came to the states back in the “90s” ---These were NOT like what I remembered batiking to be. Similar yes, but there were no “pictures” to them. Just textures and over dyed color.
I so distinctly remember my first classes. The smell of the wax, the tool in my hand, the tedious process of drawing, waxing, dying…over waxing dyed areas so the next dye would resist that area, and so forth, painting in areas with a brush.
Would you believe my first batik ever in school was an image of a banana split? It was a fun project. I wonder whatever happened to that – that was long before married life and children and many moves ---
We loaded up the tour bus…all of us eager to get in and DO IT! We wound through neighborhoods, through the center of towns --- all getting decorated for Thanksgiving Garungan Day, remember? We parked the bus down by the monkey forest road in Ubud – the bus was too big to go where we were going!
From here we all loaded into separate vehicles and off we went! Our driver introduced himself to us as “Chili”. As in Chili Pepper. As in SPICY HOT! And we all laughed. He asked our names, and then began to sing a silly song, including all of our names in it. SO FUN! I wish I had gotten a picture of his vehicle…the ever present offering in place right there on the dashboard. “Please keep my passengers safe from my driving!”
We arrived to find ourselves at the Widya Batik Studio! Oh Boy!
The walls were lined with gorgeous batiks handmade by the artists who were teaching us! The method of traditional Balinese batiking was discussed and demonstrated.
This map is a batik piece. Mawa gave us ALL paper maps and told us that Bali looks like a chicken that’s laid an egg. He is right, it does! LOL!
We had our choice …..we could wood block stamp with wax…remember the wood blocks from the Block Stamping at the factory? These are much the same.
More stamping blocks to choose from! Some were wood, some were metal!
We could also choose from a multitude of designs to trace ourselves if we wanted. Sometimes just SEEING the traced designs can start your brain going on what you want to do ---and suddenly it hit me—I was going to DRAW!
I started out freehand on a piece of paper. When things were the way I wanted them to be…I slipped the paper under my fabric and traced.
Aren’t we SO busy!!
Here is my design on the fabric!
Our instructor showed us how the waxing is done. He dips a stylus into the melted pot of wax on the burner and carefully leaves a line of wax to cover each pencil line. It’s a painstaking process and not as easy as it looks!
Pauline is a trooper! She got in there and got busy with it – the woman has NO FEAR! She did a great job too! For those of us who weren’t sure, the instructors sat and showed us how to do it by waxing our fabrics for us! LOL! Yeah, it was the cheaters way out –but we still learned a lot by watching!
Here they are dipping their tools into the melted wax…this little stand is just COVERED with wax inside and out..the surround protects the other areas from getting wax where it isn’t supposed to go. I was fascinated by the ads in the local paper!
Mary is trying the stamped designs on her fabric!
Once the waxing is complete the dye is applied with brushes! Pick a color and get down to it! Put a color where you want a color..put another color somewhere else. After the sun dries the dye, the wax will be boiled away leaving a white dividing line between the colored areas. This was SO FUN!
There were so many photos and this post is getting long so I uploaded the rest to a slide show! Yes, there are chickens everywhere! And bananas growing on trees! We were in a magical place letting our inner child come out to play.
After our dye has dried in the sun, it’s time to boil out the wax! You’ll see photos of that in the pics above as well!
This is my boiled and drying batik piece!
This whole process was very much what I had done in school, and it was so fun to do it again. I am thrilled with how my piece came out – not sure what I’ll do with it yet!
Photo op with the family’s shrine behind me! What a memorable day for everyone – and to think – at this point we were only on our second full day!