How did you get started working with the medium of wax batik?
It was actually a candle making project that led me to batik. I made beeswax candles as Christmas presents one year, and we had some left over wax. I found the wax medium so satisfying to work with, I decided to explore what else could be done with it. I was already working with fabric dyeing and painting around that time so it just made sense to experiment by incorporating the leftover wax into my process.
What kind of designs inspire you the most?
I’m inspired by textile designs from other mediums, like traditional quilting patterns, for example. I start thinking about how they could be put through the lens of batik. The batik adds so much organic texture, it is exciting to see how even very simple patterns can be transformed.
How do you create all of your designs?
Once you have penciled in a design on white fabric, you can begin applying hot melted wax to the surface. (We'll explore several application tools and techniques in the class.) Next, the entire waxed piece is submerged into a dye bath. The areas that have wax will remain white and everything else will be dyed- this is when you start to see the design come to life. The most exciting stage comes at the very end; it isn't until the wax is completely removed from the fabric that you can see the final effect and appreciate all the sparkling details.
What are the most fun applications for batik? Once you know the basics, what can you do with it?
So many possibilities, but I’ll just list a few: Batik is a great way to breath life back into old clothing or fabrics. The residual wax left in the fabric creates beautiful glow when used as a window or lamp treatment. It can be a fun project to share with children as the tactile process is a fun way to learn the concept of working in resist. Finally, as a fine-art medium- batik has a lot of possibilities- for example you can choose to leave some wax in the cloth to create a malleable material for sculpture.
What exciting discoveries have you seen unfold during your batik workshops?
The wax medium is very responsive to an individual's hand and the application can be manipulated in countless ways. Because of these unique properties, I have never seen two people's batiks look the same, even though we are all using the same set of tools! It is exciting to see how many different results and styles are revealed at the end of class.
I hope you enjoyed this brief interview with Lindsey. I can't wait to learn new wax resist techniques from her in just a few short weeks, maybe even up-cycle a few pieces of clothing with that new knowledge. I have been very into, creating a custom wardrobe these days, and workshops like this, only serve to further inspire me. You can follow more of her work @lastchancetextiles. Be sure to stay in the loop about workshops and other textile related info my signing up to receive monthly updates below!
Indigo, avocado and Marigold Dyes
That's a wrap on our Natural Dye and Embroidery workshop, marking the end of our Summer Workshop Season. Throughout the course of the summer, I met many people and together we explored many things, from Botanical prints, Aromatherapy, Artisanal Bandhani, to Natural Dye and embroidery. It was fun to step outside of my Indigo Shibori routine, while still mixing in a few techniques in this last workshop.
We started out in the dye garden by applying various Shibori techniques to 11" pieces of natural fiber, i.e. vintage cotton, linen, canvas, and muslin. Everyone picked something that inspired them. Some even chose to use 2 different types of fabric. Each guest received 2 pre-cut fabric squares to dip into a dye bath of their choosing! We used 3 of my all time favorite natural dye colors: indigo, avocado and marigold and a collection of my accumulated Shibori tools and materials.
Keep on reading to see the stunning from our super creative group of participants, see the demo by fiber artist, Lori Zimmerman, who co-instructed this workshop.
WORKING AS: A BLOCK PRINTER AND TEXTILE DESIGNER
This month, I made a cool new artist friend, Danielle Broder. When I came across her work, I new that she would be a perfect fit for my working as series, where we dive deep into the world of artist careers. Today, she shares her artistic experience and journey with us. You will learn all about block printing, and how you can get started creating unique textiles of your very own! Read the interview to see all of her trendsetting patterns and score a freebie from Danielle!
Danielle, can you please share a little bit about yourself?
I’ve always been creative, but never considered it as a career until college. I was lucky enough to have an artsy grandma, mom and dad putting me in painting, drawing, jewelry, and crafting classes all the time as a kid. When I got to college, I decided to study illustration even though I didn’t know how that would eventually turn into a job. A year after graduating, I went back for a second degree in interior design and worked for a few designers and architects in L.A.
While in college, I had all kinds of random art jobs, working for a home staging company, as an art teacher for kids (kill me), an art director at a summer camp, and doing graphic and web design for a few years. After I graduated the second time, I needed to get the heck out of L.A. So I moved to San Francisco and started my business shortly after.
I started printing fabric and making wall prints, selling them online and at craft shows. After a few years it was going ok but it was growing painfully slow. I decided to quit doing craft shows cold turkey and worked more on my online presence. Soon I received a random email from a small company, asking me to create a class to teach my printing process.
A few months later, I was teaching block printing from my kitchen table in SF through Groupon. Now 5 years later, that class has become my signature offer as I’ve tweaked it to accommodate up to 40 people in larger settings as well as a 1:1 class.
I also started doing custom work for interior designers which I really love (even though some projects are SUCH a challenge!)
The Block Printing Process
Tell us a little bit about your process:
I sketch designs in pencil and work them over in Illustrator until I get them perfect. Then I transfer those images to rubber, carve them out, and stamp them with inks onto giant pieces of fabric. I try and stay out of the sewing part...I really don't enjoy that part!!
What kind of wood or material you use for your block?
There are a bunch of materials you can carve to create a block print, but I use rubber blocks for all of my designs. I find that rubber in combination with the inks I use have the best effects on fabric, while still being really quick and easy to use.
How long does it take you to carve it out?
It depends on how intricate the design is. Most simple blocks I can carve up in less than an hour. More delicate and complex larger scale blocks can take up to a few days to carve. If it’s that detailed, I usually space it out over a week, so I can rest my eyes in between!
How did you get started?
I spent 8 years in art school learning every medium under the sun, but somehow missed printmaking. Part of the senior project in my interior design degree was to take a part of my design project and construct a piece of it at full scale.
I chose to make a fabric wall hanging because I was super stressed and that seemed really easy. I bought a piece of $4 burlap, and googled how to print my designs onto fabric. After a quick search, I came across a block printing tutorial and that was it. I got the supplies, carved my first block, and my project was a hit.
What is your favorite pattern that you have ever created?
I don’t really have a favorite (can’t choose!), but my favorite group of patterns were all designed when I took my second solo trip to France and Spain in 2017. I was really inspired by the D’Orsay Museum and spent hours in cafés sipping wine and sketching. Those patterns remind me of that incredible trip!
What type of inks do you use?
I use screen-printing inks for all my projects. I prefer them over oil inks because they are less toxic and much easier to clean up.
What projects are you most excited about right now?
I’m finishing up some custom fabric for a woman who makes super cute pillows for interior design projects. I designed totally new patterns that stray from my usual style, so it was fun to break that boundary and do something new.
I’m also updating my online course which is a video workshop where you can learn my entire process from start to finish.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
That seems so far away! In 5 years I want to be teaching primarily online, while doing more large scale custom projects for interior designers. Oh, and I want to be hosting a rad art retreat!
Thank you Danielle for sharing your expertise and inspiring us!
You can find out more about Danielle here, and click below to grab her free list of supplies to get started.
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a hand-crafted lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of contemporary California design. I love dreaming up products for a sustainable art filled home. I offer workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my current craft workshops for creatives like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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