6 weeks to go until construction starts on the Humanist Garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show.
As part of the ethos of the garden is the celebration of creativity, there will be many elements of artisan art and crafts included in the garden. For example, pottery, basketry, weaving, textiles, art glass and sculpture.
One aspect of textile will be batik. This is the technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to cloth. Hot liquid wax is applied to the cloth using a tjanting tool, a small copper reservoir with a spout and a wooden handle. The areas of applied wax then resist the dye. Repeated layers can be built up to create colourful patterns.
Batik is an ancient art form dating back to the 4th century BC, where the fabric was used to wrap Egyptian mummies. The technique is widely practised in China, India, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and sub Saharan Africa. However, Indonesian Batik is probably the best know.
The following images show the build up of wax layers and colour. The final image shows the completed fabric, but before the wax has been removed by ironing between sheets of paper – it’s just been too hot to iron!
The different areas practising batik developed their own recognisable styles and patterns – many with symbolic meanings. For this reason I have incorporated the Happy Human motif into my designs.
The fabric will be made into cushions for the seating area of the garden and should provide a vibrant splash of colour against all the green of the vegetables.
Enjoy the week ahead.