I first experienced batik when living in Cambodia. A holiday in Malaysia led to participating in workshops, learning the joy of watching the dyes spread across the cloth while the applied wax formed a barrier. The conditions in the workshops certainly would not meet our health and safety regulations and for years I used fixing chemicals which have long been ban in the west! The oranges and greens of Cambodia and the Buddhist culture inspired me to create wall hangings on silk.
Returning to the UK I attended a few workshops from the expert in the Batik Guild and was accepted as a member. Setting up home in beautiful North Devon has enabled my art practice to develop.
My studio has a wonderful view of the sea on a good day and the wildlife in the garden fires me with enthusiasm. I take photographs of the wildlife and countryside which are used as references, then working mainly on fine cotton using traditional tjantings and a mixture of waxes the picture develops colour with proton dyes or natural dyes such as indigo. A layer of wax blocks out areas which will be white before the first layer of dye is added, once the cotton is dried wax is applied to block out the next colour. Gradually the painting is created but it is not until the wax is ironed out that the true picture is revealed - magic! A crack in the wax can lead to the dye bleeding and the design changing or the piece used for scrap.
I also practise dyeing in the shibori technique using indigo and plan to explore mixing shibori and batik techniques in the future. It’s all about the resist. I also have an interest in natural dyes but have yet to explore how these could be used to create my batiks.
I have an HND in Art in the Community from the University of the West of England and have a passion for sharing my art skills with community groups. I also have a City and Guilds qualification in teach adults.
I exhibit locally and run workshops from my studio. I am a member of the Batik Guild http://batikguild.org.uk
Please visit my website https://www.artsmajic.co.uk for details of workshops and how to purchase my art.