Half Dome is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. The Merced River is in the foreground. This traditional batik captures the essence of this beautiful landscape during the winter in Yosemite National Park. The original batik was featured in the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley. It was presented as a tapestry and hung in the front window.
Traditional batik is a process where melted wax is applied to cloth before being dipped in dye. I use 100 percent beeswax. The coldness of the vats of dye causes the wax to crack, which is a characteristic of batik. Wherever the wax has seeped through the fabric, the dye will not penetrate. In this case, several colours were used, with a series of dyeing, drying and waxing steps.
The detail was made with a tjanting, a wooden handled tool with a tiny metal cup with a tiny spout, out of which the wax seeps. After the last dyeing, the fabric is hung up to dry. Then it was ironed between newsprint to absorb the wax and reveal the deep rich colors and the fine crinkle lines that give batik its character.
June 25th, 2012
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