Batik – what materials are needed?
The art of Batik can be practised ‘on a shoestring!’ So what materials do you need for creating a picture?
When I run a workshop I give a handout with a list of materials and equipment with costs so the activity can be continued at home. There’s nothing worse than getting enthusiastic about pursuing an art activity when the cost is prohibitive. Printmaking is an example – you need a small printing press for many types of printing. Having to travel to access one in an arts centre is really off-putting.
- Paper. A wet strength Tissutex, Abaca paper or lens tissue. Art Van Go are good for these and other materials too. Cost 2.85 for 3 large sheets.
- A wax pot. For many years I used an old saucepan with an attached jam thermometer, heating the wax on an electric ring to 120 degrees C. The pan needed watching but I usually managed to notice if the wax started smoking. I kept an old lid to hand in case of combustion! An electric skillet can be used but this too can overheat. A thermostatically controlled Tixor Malam pot costs 84.00 but to start with a pan is adequate. As I wax a lot I wear a face mask as the fumes can damage the lungs.
- Wax. Under 4.00 for a small bag that lasts quite a long time. A mix of paraffin and beeswax is ideal.
- A brush. The type used for oil painting. A fan brush is nice to use too. A canting costs 7.00 from Textile Traders.
- Procion dyes. Empress Mills do a starter kit for 10.50. Procion dyes are in powder form and you should wear a face mask as the fine particles can damage your lungs. You can also use high flow or fluid acrylics, preferably with a medium such as Golden GAC 900 but this is not essential on paper. Diluted acrylic inks could also be used but do experiment as I have not tried them. Watercolour can be a bit insipid but some artists like it for its subtlety.
- Paper towels. Useful for mopping up excess dye and holding under the canting to catch drips.
- A vinyl or plastic tablecloth to work on. The waxed paper can be peeled off easily. I stretch the paper on a frame but this is not an essential item. Also, with a frame you have to paint carefully as the paper can become saturated and break.