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North Georgia Mountains
sculptor, painter, mixed media artist

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

learning to batik

I've been calling this technique faux batik. Mostly because the pin which pointed me to the website I got the information from called it faux batik. But then my sister (an artist whose major was fabric design) pointed out to me that batik is simple a dying process that uses a resist. So I'm now thinking of this as "non-traditional" batik.

All that aside, it's just plain fun!

My first time out I got beautiful results! I was so happy with it I thought I was an expert. I didn't plan my design for project # 2 but just sloppily painted on my crayons and dye. And the results were DISASTROUS!!! Lesson learned. A clear design idea is a must for this project. I think with more practice a bit of abstraction would work. But I'm going to go slower and get comfortable with the basics first. Thankfully I'm working on muslin so it's only $0.99 a yard worth of mistakes. Plus I've been needing small squares of colorful fabric for another project so I'm not really out any materials. You know my mantra.

No such thing as waste in the Artist Studio.

To begin this process you melt crayons. CRAYONS! How easy is that? I first melted them in the oven but they cooled too quickly. So then I set the muffin tin on the skillet I use to melt my encaustic medium. This worked perfectly. It kept the crayons melted so I could paint with them.

Sorry, I didn't take step-by-step photos. But the full process is shown on this blog. The only thing I did do differently is at the very end. On the blog they removed all the wax with an iron. I used an iron to heat-set the pigment in my crayons. Then I went back to the more traditional batik and boiled away the rest of the crayons and dye. Lastly, I took a stiff bristle brush and scrubbed off the rest of the dye. Boiling the fabric makes it much softer then only removing the crayon wax and dye with an iron.

Here's a picture of my fabric after I removed the fabric dye. Dig my pink pajamas. :)

Sunlight House.

Moonlight House. This is my favorite side!

I'm very happy with the finished project. I sewed the 2 long sides together and made a gift bag. The bag is currently in the mail with a bottle of wine inside for a birthday gift. I hope they like the bag (though of course liking the wine is a given!)

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