Saturday, August 13, 2011

Everyone's asking, "What is Batik?"

Well, I've sparked many a conversation given the last challenge on Design Star when I made a last minute decision to try and give my pale green wall a different textural feel by doing a Batik technique on it...  I only had 2 colors to work with, the pale green and a greyish white, so the differences were very subtle.  I tried to accentuate the pattern by rubbing some brown and black pastel pigments into the lines...  Not necessarily the traditional technique or colors you'd use, but it was some quick thinking to try and differentiate ourselves from the other kitchens...

Photo from

So now you're still asking, "What is Batik?"  Well Wikipedia defines it as, 

"Batik (Javanese pronunciation: [ˈbateʔ]; Indonesian: [ˈbatɪʔ]; English: /ˈbætɪk/ or /bəˈtiːk/) is a cloth that traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. Batik or fabrics with the traditional batik patterns are found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, Azerbaijan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, and Singapore.
Javanese traditional batik, especially from Yogyakarta and Surakarta, has notable meanings rooted to the Javanese conceptualization of the universe. Traditional colours include indigo, dark brown, and white, which represent the three major Hindu Gods (Brahmā, Visnu, and Śiva). This is related to the fact that natural dyes are most commonly available in indigo and brown. Certain patterns can only be worn by nobility; traditionally, wider stripes or wavy lines of greater width indicated higher rank. Consequently, during Javanese ceremonies, one could determine the royal lineage of a person by the cloth he or she was wearing."

Batik comes in an infinite number of colors and patterns nowadays, from as subtle as my wall, to quite loud and outlandish...  Here are just a few images of Batik patterns and the actual process used in Indonesia to create individual bits of heaven...

It is such an amazing artform that I thought would be such a compliment to our "Global" kitchen, instead I was told that it was "botched"...  I hope you give it a try on a wall you find just a bit too plain, but remember to use colors that read well on camera, just in case Vern pops in to see what's for dinner... :)

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