Art of Batik

Origin And Overview

Batik is the art of decorating fabrics using wax and dye using a resist process. The psychedelic shades, patterns, and the smell of these fabrics is an absolute delight to the senses. It is one of the most highly evolved art forms that is truly unique to Indonesia. But every time this ancient technique came into contact with foreign traders during colonization, it only developed to appeal to these cultures. The word Batik is said to have been derived from the words ‘amba’, meaning cloth, and, ‘batik’, meaning little dot. A darling of the textile realm, it is one of the few handmade materials in a world filled with machine-made ones. It is widely used in dresses, home decor, and furnishings.

Types

The two main types of Batik are,

Hand Drawn: In this type, the outlines are hand-drawn with hot liquid wax using tjanting needles. Fabrics with very intricate details and multiple shades or hues are produced using this Batik technique.

Block Printed: A copper block or wooden stamp replaces the tjanting needles in this type of batik, to apply wax on the cloth. Similar patterns or motifs are repeated on a given fabric with this technique.

The hand-drawn batik is time-consuming and expensive compared to its block printed counterpart. Hence block printed batiks are preferred for mass production needs and the hand-drawn ones for exclusive pieces.

Material Needed

A piece of cloth, fabric dye, wax, dye tub, tjanting needles and/or copper blocks and/or wooden stamp, pot or pan to melt wax, large paintbrush to apply wax, pencil, latex free rubber gloves, newspapers, and clothes iron. Vibrant and intense colors bring out the best of this art.

Process

There are 4 parts to this process namely drawing, waxing, dying, and finishing. It is important to have 4 separate spaces, one for each of these parts, to avoid any mess. Cotton or muslin cloth is picked out and designs are sketched directly on it using a pencil. Tjanting needles are used to draw with hot wax on the cloth over the pencil lines. The size of the needles varies depending upon the details. The wax will resist any dye from penetrating the fabric. After this first layer of wax is complete, the cloth is placed in a dye tub. Once the dye is dry, the second layer of wax is applied over the entire dyed piece of cloth with a thick brush. This is done to seal the entire piece. Upon drying, selected areas are cracked to allow further layers of dye to penetrate.

The fabric is placed again in the dye tub to color the cracked areas. The steps of waxing and dying are repeated until desired colors and motifs of desire are achieved. Finally, the piece of cloth is placed between two sheets of newspaper and ironed. Numerous repeats of iron are required to remove all the wax completely. The piece is a finished batik novelty once all the wax is removed. Replacing the tjanting needles with the copper blocks or stamps will let one create block printed Batik materials. It takes a lot of work but nonetheless is a unique and enjoyable experience.

Getting Started

Starting with a small cotton cloth and some easy motifs will be the most ideal way to familiarise oneself with the process. Create your first piece of this aesthetic marvel and reward yourself with a new wardrobe piece or a home decoration item.

Origami

Origin And Overview

Origami is the art of transforming a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture. It is said to have originated from Japan. Regardless of its origin, it is a process of creating a two or three-dimensional figure using a set of folding and sculpting techniques. While traditional origami is a bit less strict about rules on usage of non-square paper and paper cutting. Its modern counterpart is not so lenient about the same. A handful of simple and basic folds can be employed to create varied detailed designs.  It is for everyone, from kids to adults and, from beginners to experts. It could be more than a fun activity or hobby for kids, as it acts as a great tool in teaching them math skills.

Common Origami Folds and Bases

Any given model in origami is made up of folds and bases. The number of folds and bases are very limited that one gets to see them being repeated in many models. The nine types of folds include mountain or valley, pleats, inside and outside reverse, rabbit ear, petal, swivel, sink, and squash. Many a time one can observe that as a time- saving mechanism, origami instructions would call to start with a particular base. Some of the more prevalently seen bases are the square or preliminary, water bomb, kite, bird, fish, and frog.

Types of Origami

The types of origami are inclusive of but not limited to the following,

Traditional: Modules are constructed by folding a flat square piece of paper. Usage of cutting or adhesives is discouraged. The type was developed for beginners and for those who have limited motor skills.

Modular: Modular origami is one of the types of multi-piece origami. In this, a very large and complex structure can be built by repeating multiple identical units. Kusudama and Senbazuru are known to be precursors to this type of origami.

Wet-Folding: This is a slightly advanced type that requires the use of an adhesive allowing the user to preserve a curved shape more easily. Masks and figurines of animals and people can be produced using this type of origami.

Fabric: Involves folding a fabric like a washcloth or bath-towel into beautiful shapes. Towel animals seen in cruise-lines or hotel suits are a classic example of fabric origami.

Animation: Used to build action toys or models. They are built to perform an action. For instance, the paper fortune teller. The person operating the model moves it based on the choice made by the audience and reveals a message or the next steps in the game.

Materials

All you really need is a flat piece of paper that can hold the creases well. To begin with, a square sheet of any color, print or pattern could be used. Other adornments, embellishments etc could be used at later stages based on the individual’s imagination and dexterity.

Folding your first model

The origami boat is a good place to start with. Pick up folding instructions and materials required to create this model, and start folding away. The next best model to try would be the crane or the Tzuru.

Per popular belief, fold and string together a thousand of these cranes, and be blessed with eternal good luck.

Warli Art

Origin and Overview :

The Warli is an enthralling, earthy and soothing art form from the south-western part of India. Its origin dates back to 3000 B.C. The paintings depict the social life of the Warli tribe. The central theme of all the paintings is about the harmony between nature and man. The unassuming Warli figures tell us myriads of vivid stories. While ancient Warli art was created on the inside walls of village huts, modern Warli painting has moved onto paper, canvas, earthenware, wood, metal and more.

Characteristic Elements :

This art form uses basic graphic elements such as a circle, triangle, and square to represent the lofty principles of life in this universe. Forms of men, women, sun, moon, houses, trees, animals, birds, carts, ladders, pottery and musical instruments are built out of these very simple geometric shapes.

       Basic Shapes :

 Circle – Representation of sun and moon.

Triangle – Representation of trees and mountains.

Square – Representation of human possessions.

       Borders :

Find commonly used border patterns in the following illustration.

 Motifs :

Find commonly used motifs in the following illustration.

Getting Started :

Choose a medium such as paper, canvas or earthenware to paint on. Traditionally, Warli art was painted over clay walls using a white pigment made from rice paste and gum. To retain the rustic charm, use a background color of red ochre, indigo, terracotta, brown or black. And paint or draw on it in white. Pick a border and set the frame. Within this frame, create a scene using a combination of these soulful motifs.

Paint on paper using watercolors and watercolor brushes. Paint on canvas or earthenware using acrylic colors and acrylic brushes. Use a big flat brush for the background and a small round brush for the motifs. Make your designs with pencil first and paint over it with a brush.

To draw a Warli man, draw an X and connect the free ends. Finish with head, hands, and legs. To make a Warli woman, add a bun to the head. Similar drawing technique can be employed to create figures of animals and birds as well. Repeat the same to create intricate patterns.

In the modern day, Warli art can be adapted to adorn walls, lamp shades, pots, coasters, mugs, bookmarks, bags, cell phone covers, tablet sleeves, clocks, cards, and envelopes. This form of art reflects environmental consciousness and minimalism, reminding us of the simple joys of life. Enjoy creating this classic two-tone painting and let them pull at your heartstring.

Why it’s Important to Frame your Art

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, framing your drawing, painting, or artwork is as important as the piece of art itself. The face that this comes last after finishing your masterpiece doesn’t in any case mean it’s less important. The framing you use on your art can either make or break your finished drawing or painting. You should choose a framing and matting that compliments your masterpiece and never tries to draw the attention of viewers away from the art itself. Learn more about the importance of framing your art with this helpful post!

Enhance your Art

As mentioned, a good frame shouldn’t get your viewers’ attention away from the masterpiece but rather complement your work. The idea is to make sure the frame and artwork work together “as one.” You can enhance the shapes and specific colors in your artwork and make it stand out by using custom framing and matting. With matting and mat boards, you can custom fit your masterpiece with unique dimensions that make it more of an extension within the frame.

Protect your Masterpiece

Drawing, coloring, and painting are interesting arts and crafts activities that enhance a person’s creativity. Whether or not you think of yourself as an artist you want to care for that painting, drawing, or piece of art properly. And the best way to preserve your artwork is to frame it. Remember all types and forms or artwork, regardless of the medium used, are bound to experience adverse changes and damage if exposed to extreme weather conditions or elements.

Framing provides protection against dirt, fumes, moisture, humidity, harmful UV rays, pollutants, chemicals, fluctuating temperatures, pests and insects, heat, and more. Consider framing using acid-free materials so your artwork can be preserved in a stable environment. Avoid hanging your works over sources of heat and placing them too close to direct sunlight and directly lights. Consider not hanging them on recently plastered and damp walls as well. Framing is a great way to protect your memories, artwork, and memorabilia.

Make your Thoughtful Gift Stand out More

Well, it’s not a bad idea to create a DIY holiday gift in form of a drawing, painting, or any other artwork. After spending hours or even days thoughtfully creating that unique gift for your loved one, go ahead and frame your art so it can stand out even more. Not only will framing complement your masterpiece but also add an entirely new dynamic to it whether it’s a painting, drawing, coloring, print, or photo.

In conclusion, framing allows your artwork to show its full potential and helps your work stand out. When selecting a frame for your work be sure to choose one that suits and matches your style. You might want to consider a suitable color and composition as well. Take your time to try different framing options before making a final choice. Think about where you intend to display your piece of art, the decoration of the space, and how you want the frame to suit the setting.