At the end of January we enjoyed Steve McCarthy’s beautiful studio space for our beginner’s Batik courses. Batik is a form of resist dyeing using hot wax to control the spread of colour, creating a design on fabric. Both sessions were very relaxed, happy and friendly and the time flew by all too quickly. I think we all left feeling that we had known each other far longer than the actual few hours of the course. The following comments from participants really sum up the mood of the day:
“As a first-timer at Batik I found Jane an excellent tutor, plus the venue and company both good. I learnt a lot and came home with sample works having learnt that, at beginner level, paint colours can ‘do their own thing’ on the material with fascinating results. Enjoyable, instructive and would recommend it to others. Thank you, Jane.”
“I have seen Batik many times on fabrics and have even seen how to do it but never actually been brave enough to have a go myself! When I had the opportunity to attend a workshop run by Jane Young, I was really excited to get stuck in! Four intrepid ladies attended the afternoon session, in the wonderful studio belonging to Steve McCarthy, and Jane put us to work straightaway showing us how to print with altered metal stamps, which ranged from forks, dismembered paintbrushes and even a whisk! Note to self, if in the unlikely event I’m invited to Jane’s for dinner, always check the cutlery for wax! Once we had completed our ‘play’ piece of fabric, we were able to colour it in with dyes and then iron off the wax resist, which revealed amazing patterns. The next step involved using a Tjanting (pronounced ‘chanting’) which is essentially a pen full of hot wax and which we all found a little difficult to handle. However, I had brought my electric Tjanting set, which to my shame I have had in a drawer for several years, and some of us had a play with that. Personally, I found this much easier to create lines and lots and lots of dots. This time we coloured in only small sections, dried it and then put more wax on the fabric to build up a design. Again, once we had the finished piece, we were able to iron off the wax to reveal our masterpieces!
What a fabulous way to spend an afternoon in such great company, thank you ladies for being so welcoming, and with such a delightful and inspiring teacher, thank you Jane. I’d love to develop this further, but first I must do something with my wonderfully colourful projects.”
Thank you to all the participants for making the course so much fun. I am really looking forward to offering a follow-on course, not least to meet again and to see what everyone has done with their batik fabrics! Plans included framing, patchworking and quilting….. and Jill, if I ever eat at your house watch the cutlery is not turned into wax printing tools!
The photographs are from both courses – I am sorry that space did not permit me to include everyone’s work as they were all so beautiful. Jane