Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bali Batik Classes

Ubud, in the middle of the island of Bali, is known for its cultural events and art. The traditional bamboo flute and the gamelan instrument are featured in the Balinese dance performances. Traditional art forms include painting, mask making, puppets, woodcarving, basketry, and batik.  I was able to take two batik classes while we were in Bali. Ted decided to forgo any type of craft class this vacation after the bingata class in Okinawa last year, and went off on his own while I was in class.

The first class was held at the Museum Puri Lukisan. I had two class mates, Paris and his mother, who are from California but currently living in the Phillipines. First, the teacher had us draw our own designs on two pieces of white fabric with a pencil. I drew a flower and a fish. He said the first one was practice and I soon understood why.
We used hot beeswax dispensed with this little tool to outline the design.  It took me awhile to get the hang of the beeswax tool and as a result had several big blobs of wax. The teacher kept saying it was okay, we’ll fix it later.

My "practice" piece

Later we applied paraffin wax to the background and crunched it up to get a cracking look.

Included in the class fee of 450,000 rupiah was a cake and drink break in the morning at our class site, and lunch in the museum restaurant, which we ate after the wax application and before the dye.

After the wax, the next step was to wet the fabric, then put it in “primer” which made it look yellow.  The primer made the fabric absorb the dye.  We did the dye dip twice.

My camera battery was exhausted before the final step of boiling the fabric to get the wax out, but here’s what my two pieces looked like after I brought them back to the hotel. The fish’s eye should have had more wax because it is hard to see.

The second class was at the WS Art Studio.  The class fee of 400,000 rupiah included being picked up and returned to my hotel and a drink and Balinese cake during the class.  The cake turned out to be pineapple and banana covered in batter and deep fried. In this class the teacher had drawn designs ahead of time on the fabric.  I chose a hyacinth with a butterfly.  I was glad I chose this class second because we used three colors (orange, red, and blue) and it seemed like a more advanced class. The process was slightly different in that I painted the primer and the first two colors, then covered them with paraffin before dipping it in the blue.  I felt more confident with the beeswax tool and didn’t make the blobs that I had at the first class.  I had no classmates, but there were two woodcarving classes going on at the studio at the same time as my batik class.

Here are a few pieces of my teacher’s work.

I thoroughly enjoyed both classes.


Margaret said...

It sounds like you enjoyed the classes very much. Did Ted enjoy his 'free time' too?

Queeniepatch said...

What a great time you must have had! Batik is so beautiful and you now have some lovely pieces of your own work.

JomVacay said...

Lovely batik!!!. and nice try!


JomVacay said...

Lovely batik!!!. and nice try!


Jessie said...

Beautiful, Wow! The flower design from the second class is especially lovely. I took a wax-resist class last summer with Malka Dubrowski and it was tons of fun. A bunch of us from the class were raring to go and try it again at home but as of yet we haven't gotten the chance. Still tons of fun though!