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I have left this feedback page as it was the first workshop that I offered in Bath in 2013.

It is there to remind me how far I have come in the last 5 years, offering numerous workshop in and around Bath and now across the Somer Valley south of Bath.

Feedback from the Batik Explorations Workshop 19th January at The new Oriel Hall Larkhall, Bath:

(also see gallery photos below)

“I learned to be confident that my design would work and to be patient when using the wax.  Thanks, felt that I learned a lot.”

“Learning to use Procion dyes has really encouraged me to use colour more in the future. Huge thanks. Fab day”

“ Learned about possibilities of dyes and the use of blending colour. A huge thank you”

“Go with the flow... enjoyed it all and feel that I could expand using Batik. Thanks”

Colour blending, preparation, use of tools- need to do more creative stuff! Thanks, was a great day!”

“ I really enjoyed the freeflowness of being creative with Batik and seeing what came out. Your supportive encouragement was very enabling and helped me to be less self conscious about just having a go”.


Despite the snow which last weekend rendered Bath to a rather belated Christmas card postcard scene, all the participants of the Batik Explorations course at the delightful New Oriel Hall in Larkhall Bath decided to brave the weather and walk or taxi.

We had a mixture of those who had tried Batik in the past and also those for whom it was their first time, wanting a stress free and therapeutic day where they could try something new in a nurturing and comfortable space. We also had an embroiderer who wanted to learn how to decorate fabric to embellish her needlework.

We began by closely observing the traditional Batik craft from a wide range of displayed Indonesian fabric and also some contemporary fine art pieces, which take the drawing with wax to new heights, using fine lines to draw detailed images (see gallery on home page).

There was inspiration from these pieces as participants decided that they wanted to use fine lines and small scale pattern for their pieces.

Each person quickly found their own way with the tjantings (wax drawing tools) and rehearse the marks that they wanted to make on small sample pieces.  The designs were transferred to large cotton pieces and the wax drawings soon emerged.

Each participant became lost in the absorbing therapeutic process of ‘going with the flow’.  Each was reluctant to stop for our shared Ploughmans lunch.  It happens on every course- the midway time is engrossing and the magic of Batik takes over.

The next stage, painting and dying the cloth is always a time of excitement and revelation.  This workshop was no exception as having been introduced to the range of possibilities of using Procion dyes, the designs took shape, patterns and images became vivid and vibrant pieces began to emerge.

There is nothing quite like seeing the barrier that the walls of wax lines, both broad and fine creates, as the dye flows into the cloth but stops abruptly at that wall and the drawing in wax becomes defined by the lines which suddenly gain significance.

This process allows colours to bleed into each other, seeing chrome yellow tinged with bright green, turning to dark green and edged with blue or crimson tinged with purple where blue has seeped.  This is where the unpredictability of  creating Batik provides delight and wonder that something that has been our own construction, seems to have a mind of it’s own and develops in front of our eyes as a unique creation.

The final stage is to remove the wax and it is at this point, as the day is drawing to a close that each person sees th fruits of their labour.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment, I love the process and judging by requests for more courses, others had a great time too.

See dates of further courses if you are interested in coming along.

Shelagh Hetreed 23rd January 2013  


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