I still remember arriving in class to see all the instruments used in Batik making. There was bees wax and some "sticky" wax, large skillets that were plugged in to melt the wax and a number of instruments called "Tjantings" which were used to apply wax. The premise of this technique is to have a painting or drawing, which one traces with the Tjanting applying the wax, which is not as easy a process as it sounds! Wax dries quite fast but one continues to apply it until all lines in the drawing are traced. Once it is all over, the dying process takes place. When the cloth is dyed it also rinses out the wax. One painting can go through several dying phases particularly if multiple colors are used.
|Garuda flight attendants:||(https://www.google.com/search?q=garuda+flight+attendant)|
|Arjuna with traditional Sarong|
My painting was the traditional "Wayang" or character from the traditional hindu epic, the Ramayana. My character was Arjuna, the brave warrior brother of Rama. Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation with religious influences from the Arab and Hindu worlds. All these influences are reflected by batik motifs, dress and various batik prints on tablecloths, napkins, bags, laptop cases and almost anything else.
My painting turned out very well! Wax had that ability to make mistakes look good with its delicate "bleeds" of color. So, along with all my international classmates, we all produced work that made us look like professionals!
This table cloth has a traditional motif representing a scene from the Ramayana. These colors are pretty traditional and are used quite often. The blacks, browns and whites or browns and whites are very typical in many patterns.
|Traditional table clot|
|Vera Bradley laptop case|
What a great experience it was to learn how to make a batik painting in high school. Although my Arjuna painting has gotten lost over the years, I would not hesitate to put it up on my wall if I ever found it!