Batik is an ancient art and a complex one. Batik, defined by the use of wax as a resist, was developed in many places around the world. A wax resist acts as a barrier preventing the uncontrolled spread of color. A resist is like a line in a coloring book. The Russians in Czarist times used wax as resist to produce their spectacular Easter eggs, the West Africans and Japanese used indigo dye and wax resist to create elegant fabrics. But nowhere was the batik art more developed than in Java, the largest of the Indonesian islands.
Making Traditional Batik in Java
Traditional batik in Java was made with a copper stamp or drawn on cloth by hand using a tool called a chanting. A chanting is a little copper bowl with a spout attached to a wood or bamboo handle. The chanting is dipped into hot wax. The artist draws with the chanting by using the law of gravity. The wax pours out of the spout and penetrates the fabric.
Modern Batik Painting in Ubud, Bali
About Batik, an Ancient Art
The chanting, a tool for waxing
Joanie paints batik with Barbara
Ketut Sujana with Baby Ketut
Making a copper batik stamp in Solo, Java
IBaeik sarongs laid out to dry in a soccor field in Solo, Java