Elementary Batik


Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I spent my morning at Artspace observing a friend teaching 5th graders the art of Batik. She’s been doing this for some years now, but the idea of teaching this with hot beeswax especially to such young students seemed daunting. It can be done, though, and Emily showed me how she does it.

She had a room with a lot of space, tables spread out so that each activity took place at a different station. Safety was top priority and the students took their activity seriously and followed through, as expected, with no mishaps. She took them through each clearly defined step in a carefully orchestrated sequence, giving the students ample time to work as needed. The students didn’t seem at all daunted by the medium and did their work with care. They were engaged in their drawing and painting and in one hour’s time, each student produced on piece measuring roughly 12 x 12 inches square.

The morning passed quickly and when I finally returned home, I realized I wasn’t tired, but refreshed. I’m sure there were many reasons for it, but mostly, I think it was the children and their creativity.

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