Radford Mill Farm ( Nr Timsbury) One Day Workshop
9th February 2013
Batik Explorations in a country setting
Radford Mill Farm, near Timsbury February 9th 2013
I had sent prior warning to the participants of this Saturday workshop that The Piggery is a purpose built workshop on a large and sprawling organic farm! I suggested preparing for wet and muddy ground. I was not wrong! The ground was wet and the short journey from the car park to the studio was squelchy!
We had a beautiful view of a meadow and a line of trees (see photo) and were in no doubt that we were in the country as we trudged off to the compost loos! Total authenticity and actually very civilised.
Hot chocolate was the favourite all day as participants adjusted to the great outdoors feel of The Piggery in deepest winter!
All participants were absolute Batik beginners except one who had done Batik at school using a paintbrush. Some had come equipped with their ideas sketched out, ready to let the wonders of drawing with wax transform their ideas into something unique. One person waited until they arrived to look for inspiration found my photos of oriental poppies provided all the inspiration that she needed.
One person set herself the challenge of reproducing a medieval tile in 12 sections. This was quite a challenge for a day but you will see by the photos below that she triumphed!
Each person took the time they needed to learn how to draw with wax using a tjanting. This requires learning to keep the copper ‘well’ hot enough to keep the wax flowing, to use a drip tray effectively as the wax continues to flow and to draw with confidence, remembering that you are drawing the white areas of the design- the opposite of using a pencil when you draw the blacks.
There is always a breakthrough around lunchtime or a bit before when each person has that ‘Geronimo’ moment as they master their technique for effectively applying the wax.
Once the design is drawn on the cloth with the wax, the very satisfying part of applying the dye begins and as ever, there is a concentrated hush as the individual designs take shape. This is always the turning point where doubts about whether a design is ok fade away as the joy of applying the vibrant colours takes over.
Each person left with a cloth piece that was a triumph. Beginners are always welcome and I always enjoy seeing the process from inspiration to completion. It is a real buzz for me too!