After the business-minutes of the previous meeting and the treasurer’s report. Dee gave the Chair’s report explaining our successful year beginning with our exhibition ‘Shorelines and Seascapes’, the National Celebration of Stitch at Savick Library as well as numerous excellent workshops, day schools and social events. Next the election of officers took place and Kath Howarth was voted our new Chair and Stephanie Spencer as Vice Chair. Other officers were re-elected and Carolynne Parkinson was elected to take up a new role as membership secretary.
Victoria explained she had travelled around the world as a child and had always loved the batik techniques of Indonesia. She returned when she was a student to learn more about the methods and designs .
Batik is a dye resist technique which uses wax and is one of the main exports of Indonesia .
Victoria explained there are two methods of applying the wax- the ‘cap’ method where the wax is applied with stamps. The stamps originally would be carved out of wood but the introduction of metal stamps meant the size of the prints could be much larger. This meant men would more likely be the printers. Each stamp had a small dot mark which was used to line up the stamps to produce repeat patterns.The other method is the ‘Tulis’ method which is a hand method using a tjanting/chanting.
A variety of wax is used from a more traditional tree wax and bees wax to paraffin, micro and animal wax. Each type has its only characteristics and usually a mixture of two or more waxes would be used.
Once the wax had been applied the fabric was dyed. Again traditional dyes of blue and brown from natural sources are used, although brighter colours are used in other areas. The depth of colour is achieved by dyeing, removing the fabric and dyeing again.
Sometimes dyes are made into a paste so the colour could be painted onto the fabric in specific areas.
To finish Victoria gave us the opportunity to study close up the beautiful selection of batik fabrics she had brought with her.
Thank you to Victoria for a very interesting opportunity to learn much more about the Indonesian technique of batik.