Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Creative Batik Experiences

Okay...first of all, I promise to blog more about my adventures in Senegal and include pictures this time. But I want to start my US postings with a classroom activity inspired by my trip. (Yes, I started a sentence with a conjunction, but I did it for effect.)

In Senegal, I had a chance to do make a piece of authentic batik using hot wax and fabric dye. I "drew" on the fabric with hot wax and then the people at the hotel dyed the fabric. I waxed over the white cloth first and then had it dyed pink. Next, I "drew" over some of the pink with the hot wax and had the fabric dyed dark blue. I don't have a picture of the finished product yet and my camera battery is dead, but here is my piece after the pink dye.

(I'll try to get a finished product picture up soon.)

I loved this experience so much that I wanted my students to be able to experience it too. However, hot wax and fabric dye aren't really exactly safe to use with large groups of students. The possible accidents and messes were scary to think about. Luckily, the Internet helped me find The Artist Woman who does glue batik with her students. You can check out her directions at here.

I decided to do my practice one using a motif from my awesome friend Beth Revis's two novels Across the Universe and A Million Suns.

First, I drew what I wanted to do. Please remember, I'm not an artist.

Then, I took a pillow case and put waxed paper inside it and slide
my drawing under the waxed paper. That way it didn't stick to
the pillow case later. Then I "drew" over the areas I wanted
to stay white with blue gel glue.

Then I painted over the glue with acrylic paint. You can buy it at Walmart.

Finally, I soaked the cloth in hot water for 30 minutes and rubbed. The areas with glue came off and here is the finished product.

It was so much fun and so easy! I really want to try this with my students this school year.

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