|Wooden design stamps warmed in hot wax cookers at each table.|
On Saturday, October 27th - some curious Guild members and friends attended our Guild-Sponsored wax resist dyeing workshop, dubbed "A Day to Dye For...," taught by our own amazing batik artist, Arianne King-Comer!!!
I, myself, had been waiting for this day since I attended a monthly guild meeting (a couple years ago, I think!) where Arianne spoke so poetically about her journey with her craft that the inspiration and love just oozed out of her friendly smile!
When the attendees first arrived, layers of newspapers were laid down as working spaces, and we began to melt our resist wax in the cookers. Arianne took us into the other room for some show and tell...
The batik in her right hand is the result of a process of applying a wax design to white fabric; dyeing the fabric in the lightest color to be used (here it's yellow); thoroughly drying the yellow-dyed fabric; applying wax to all areas the artist wishes to remain yellow; dipping the fabric in the next color; and so on until the artist reaches the darkest dye, after which the wax is ironed or boiled out of the fabric and the gorgeous design revealed!
The piece behind Arianne, with the blocks of design, was dyed with indigo after painstakingly applying cassava paste as the resist. Cassava is a root vegetable, and amazing intricacy can be achieved by painting its paste on fabric using items such as broom straws and chicken feathers! Later in the day, we viewed an amazing video about the long, long process of creating the cassava paste that dye artists use in Nigeria - where Arianne studied in 1992.
We got to try our hand on some cotton muslin squares - learning how to apply wax stamps to the areas we wanted to remain white. It takes some practice to get just the right amount of wax loaded on the stamps! Then we ventured to the dyeing vats located outside where it was unfortunately very windy and rainy -
After struggling with the wind, Arianne moved our pieces indoors to hang on a rack where they'd hopefully dry a little quicker!
Other projects included hemmed cotton napkins, silk scarves, and t-shirts (Arianne showed us how to turn the tees into textile-necklace/scarves). Very pretty and comfy, too (you'll have to take my word for it, tho, because I don't have any photos of that)! I also snuck in a few light colored tank tops I'd been saving for this very reason. I shall sneak in another blog post soon - highlighting some of our works which have had the wax removed; so that you can see some finished products!
Busy, Happy Dyers:
Thank you, Arianne!!! We love you!