Batik talk by Rosi Robinson

Thank you to Maria who wrote this description of the talk given by Rosi Robinson at our March meeting.

On Tuesday 14th March Rosi gave us a very comprehensive talk about her work as a batik artist, teacher, lecturer and author. She retired from teaching in 2013 and now lectures and teaches batik workshops throughout the world. Rosi is a member of the Sussex Guild, the Batik Guild and Craft Nova Scotia Canada. In 2022 Rosi was filmed in her studio for a feature on Bargain Hunt when they were filming at the Ardingly Antiques Fair. They filmed for two and a half hours for a four minute slot. Following the exposure on National TV Rosi was inundated with over 60 orders for her work.

Rosi told us that batik is a traditional resist technique of decorating fabric where wax is applied to white fabric to resist colourful dyes. She uses this technique to produce pictures that are often mistaken for watercolour paintings. Rosi started her talk by showing various batiks collected from around the world and explaining the various techniques used. As these were then passed around the room there was a “buzz” as everyone touched and discussed the various fabrics.

Rosi then demonstrated the technique by applying hot wax to fabric which works as a resist. She demonstrated different waxing tools such as cantings (tjantings), brushes and caps (tjaps). She then painted on the dyes. The waxed areas resist the dye and remain the original colour. Only unwaxed areas take up the dye.  Start with the lightest colours, gradually building up the tones to the darker colours. The fabric has to dry before the next layer of wax is added. Once completed a hot iron is used to remove most of the wax and the item is then boiled or dry cleaned.

Work in progress

Rosi then shared a slide show of lots of stunning examples of her own work.

Several members have already attended a workshop with Rosi and others have expressed an interest in attending one. We will be looking at options for 2024.

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