Batik on the Elementary level

Final Result

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Tomorrow begins a few days of teaching Batik at Artspace to 5th graders – filling in for a friend. I’ve had a day of on-the-job practice or training a couple of weeks ago and found that it’s a little different from my usual. I’m still finding my own language and approach, but I think I’m coming around. I like and enjoy the medium, I just don’t use it in my work, at this point. Although, it’s something I’ve been considering.


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4 Responses to “Batik on the Elementary level”

  1. jude Says:

    i have always loved this technique but never tried. considering is always a good thing

    • Susan Says:

      It’s enjoyable and there are so many aspects to explore with it – can’t wait until it warms up a bit more. It’ll be easier to work. Some of the kids I’m working with comment on the difficulty of it, but I think if they could do more than just the one piece we have time for, they’d think differently. They like it though.

  2. Martha Wolfe Says:

    I remember teaching batik to K-12 kids at a summer camp back in the early 70’s and had a lot of fun with it. For the younger ones, I melted crayons in a mini-muffin type pan and let them paint with a more colorful palette, then followed it with a single dying. The finished product was bright and not the muddy brown it sometimes got with multiple dyings. I don’t know if it would work with today “washable” crayons, but back then, there was enough pigment to color the fabric.

    • Susan Says:

      I’ll have to play with that idea (when it gets warmer!). I don’t know about today’s crayons either. It would be good to know. There are a number of approaches I’d like to play with including soy wax.

      In my current situation we are limited to doing the whole process in an hour, including introduction (culture, historical & curricular context), instruction/safety rules, drawing, wax, dyeing and then adding a couple of additional colors and quickly ironing to remove the excess moisture. By the time that’s accomplished it’s time for them to catch their bus. It goes so quickly.

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