WAX PAINTING is an art form dating back 2,000 years. Wax Paintings
were found in the tombs of Pharaohs and called "mummy portraits".
They were created using the "ENCAUSTIC" method which is hot wax
painting. Colored pigment is mixed with beeswax and applied directly to
the surface. During the 6th century encaustic painting was used to
create religous paintings (icons). The Indonesian word "Batik" means
"wax writing". In our modern day society wax resist art is usually
referred to as "Batik". The wax resist process is also referred to as
"ROZOME" in Japan. The Japanese version of batik consists of direct
application of dyes and wax on silk. The Indonesian technique, Batik,
usually uses cotton or silk and the wax is melted and applied using
brushes or tjanting tools to the areas that are to remain that particular
color then cloth is immersed into dyes and only the unwaxed areas
accept the dye. This wax resist process of waxing out areas and dipping
is repeated numerous times. Tjanting tools are made of a wooden shaft
with a metal reservoir with a tiny metal tube that allows wax to flow onto
the fabric leaving lines or dots. The waxed areas get bent and the
cracks or fractures allow the dye to penetrate leaving fine lines of color
referred to as "crackle" or "ice". Janet refers to the crackle as the
thumbprint of batik. Janet combines the BATIK techniques with Painting
techniques to create her own original "Wax Paintings" which she refers
to as BATIK PAINTINGS.
The wax is removed through ironing the fabric between newsprint
which absorbs the wax. The finished batik is drymounted onto
foamcore, matted and framed.
The batik is stretched on wooden stretcher
bars so it does not touch the surface. The
wax mixture of paraffin and beeswax is
heated in an electric skillet.
The brown areas are waxed and the
batik is immersed into the last dye
bath of black.
Batik "Making Waves" immersed in
the last dye bath.
Drawing traced onto fabric and
areas to remain white are waxed.
Batik is immersed into a yellow dye bath
and the waxed areas resist the dye.
After the batik is rinsed and
allowed to dry, the yellow areas
are waxed and the batik
immersed into a green dye bath
The green areas are waxed and the
batik is immersed into the brown
Drawing done on newsprint.
Batik as fine art is a "Young Artform" in the western countries. In the Eastern regions, Batik is a highly spiritual artform
that accompanies people from birth to death and is passed on like hierlooms in the western world.
"Wind Break"( heron) in the last