I went to Indonesia because I was fascinated by so many aspects of the culture. I love batik, wayang kulit shadow puppets, the dances, especially the many masked dances. Another reason was to fulfill a prophesy. As a child I had been called the wild man of Borneo, and I wanted to make that so.

I went to Java to study at University Gadja Mada, called locally UGM. There I studied language, history, batik, gamelan and dance. I met so many great people over there and I have a longing to return.

I studied batik most by looking at fabric people had dyed. I went and visit an artist in Surakarta who created the most incredible batiks I think I have ever seen. Then in a class I made two batiks over a series of a few months. I got the fabrics. I drew my designs and I used paraffin and bees wax to mask the fabric. Bees wax is a very flexible wax and it doesn't crack when being dyed. It solidly masks the area. Paraffin on the other hand, cracks and allows dye to get through in the areas that crack.  The different types of wax when used together can create different textures in a batik even with a one color dye. 

After the fabric is dyed one color, more wax can be applied and it can be dyed another color, or the wax can be removed in hot water. The batik can then be considered finished or more wax can be applied and the fabric redyed. When fabrics are dyed in multiple colors, the results can be vary from rich hues to earthy browns.


This is my first Batik. I waxed and dyed it twice. first I dyed it light blue. I then masked the batik more and dyed it dark blue.


This Batik was based on a couple of photographs I took. you can see the marbled area that was masked with parafin and the white areas that were masked with beeswax.

Batik is a process that I would like to revisit. The technique has definitely influenced my painting. I am planning on creating more batiks and one day returning to Indonesia.

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