Friday, June 21, 2013

Indigo Batik - from the Vault!

On the left, below, is the sarong I mostly wore during our 2 months bumming around Indonesia in 1995.  For visits to all shrines and some performances (shadow puppetskecak dancetraditional dance), a button down shirt & sarong & sash were required for both the Roommate & I.  
I believe it was made with a stamp?  Or a printer?  Is there a printer that dispenses hot wax?  I should look into that.  The pattern is very regular overall.  

Anyway, the fabric on the right is some less-precise batik, which looks totally hand-drawn by someone with a tjanting tool.  The design is fairly regular, but not perfect.  I bought 2 of these sarongs, and later had them made into a bedspread, which got quite faded in Oman...even with the curtains closed!  (Just a LOT of light there.)  

The link for tjanting will take you to Dharma Trading, where you may want to have a look at some of the batik stamps, too, just to get an idea of how those work.  

Batik is one of those techniques that is very difficult for me to think about...because the artist must keep preserving the lighter color with wax, then dying it darker & darker & darker.  With 2 colors, it's not so difficult (though there is so much white on the first batik, above...what kind of stamp was that?)...however, it's sort of like relief have to take away the air, and leave the thing you want the carving to show.  It all seems sort of reverse and counter-intuitive to me!  

Hope you enjoy seeing these; I'll show some more batik, from India, Africa & Java soon.

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