Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Waxing Eloquent

I started in with soy wax batik yesterday. It has been on my list of surface design processes to get into, and finally I had enough other projects out of the way and all the materials at hand. All of these fabrics started life a few months back, as samples for other processes (gelatin plate printing, fold-and-dip dyeing, discharging), and if you look closely you can see earlier layers underneath the latest wax and dye job.

For those unfamiliar with batik, it is the process of applying wax to fabric to create areas of resist, then overpainting or dyeing the fabric. Where the wax is, the dye is not absorbed. So you can see clearly where the wax had been when the piece is finished. Soy wax is a fairly new product that is far easier to work with than the previous parafin (dangerous to use) or beeswax, or a combo of the two. The joys of soy wax are that is easy to come by, it washes up with soap and hot water, and you iron/steam/wash it out of fabric. Meaning, it does not have to be dry cleaned, which earlier generations of batik wax had to be.

So here are yesterday's finished pieces...

The last one is my personal favorite. The colors, the wax design really work for me.

I waxed up more fabric than I finished -- I didn't have room to let the overdyed fabric sit around drying yesterday, so I hope to finish those off during the week.

In other projects, I'm hoping to get the loom warped later this week -- or maybe next. I've been on holiday from weaving and I'm starting to miss it, especially that plain fabric I've been weaving lately. Don't know what it is, but I'm finding plain fabric to be much more interesting to weave than patterned fabric. Weird, huh?


Bonnie said...

You are certainly on a roll! I love the new work.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Isn't soy wax fabulous? I rejected batik as a technique back in the 60's 'cause I couldn't get the wax out! Soy wax is a dream to work with, and obviously by looking at your pictures, I think you agree!
Happy waxing,


Cate Rose said...

Thanks for your comments, Bonnie and Judy!