Back in the day, I did a batik demo at Bedlam Farm at their Fall Open House. People often ask me if I give classes, and I usually groan and say no, please, go to my website and look at my tutorials. I have so much on there. Maybe I have too much information and it gets complicated, but I also have batik made easy as well, and if you take the tutorials one at a time, you will find answers to your questions. However, several years back, I did do a demo at the Bedlam Farm Open House.

First, I loaded up my car with the necessary utensils. I had my electric frying pan with the paraffin and beeswax melted in it, in its hardened form.

large dragon batik stretched showing both frying pans and tools
large dragon batik stretched showing both frying pans and tools

I had lots of newspaper to protect the tables. I had plain newsprint to iron the wax out with. My ancient iron came along with me, and I had my dyes.

My dyes that I did not want to try and mix at the Open House because it is a very detailed process. It takes a lot of time, and it’s not very interesting to watch me do it. So I mixed my dyes up ahead and I had many buckets of dyes: Yellow, blue, green, and red.

I drove to Bedlam Farm over the back hills of Hebron, winding, hilly, and I safely got my dye buckets there… Except for one.

The bucket of red had tipped in the car on one of the steeper hills and I had the back of my car sloshing with red dye. It looked like someone had been murdered and I had put the body back in my car, or murdered them in my car, and some of the dye remains to this day in my poor old Subaru Impreza.

It took a good amount of time getting unloaded and Maria and Jon were a big help in getting me set up. I had a little tent to demonstrate my batik in, in case of rain, and it sprinkled a tiny bit that day but not enough to bother me. The wind was blowing, and a good number of people came to watch. They were very patient, and I did okay painting the wax on my fabric and then putting different batik in the dye buckets.

I am sitting with poet Jackie Thorne.

I had plain fabric that I waxed for the first time, and I had several pieces that had gone through dye baths that I painted wax on and they went through later stages of dyeing after the earlier stages. I did iron out several batik when I was there, and people politely enjoyed my demonstration and laughed, but after my whole experience, I decided that demonstrating and giving classes was not for me! So time consuming, so many materials, and the accident in my car – yikes!

The other thing about giving classes is that I tend to make things more complicated than is helpful for people to learn… Just ask my husband. But the other factor is that once anyone applies the wax and puts their fabric in to the dye bath, they cannot proceed with anything else until it is dry. The batik drying process cannot be sped up by adding heat, as it would likely destroy the image of the wax.

So I kind of put classes on hold and hope that interested people will go to my website and look at my tutorials.

Please feel free to ask me questions. I have had all kinds of questions, and I do answer my mail, though it may take me a few days to get back to you. I hope you understand.

Attaching fabric to stretching bars

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