Anna Rail

Dieppe, NB (Canada)


The word BATIK is Javanese in origin and comes from the  word "titik" meaning “dot”. The technique is as old as the world… almost. As a matter of fact, many countries believe they invented this technique; however, according to history, it would seem that Indonesia with its Javanese batik was best known for the quality of this traditional painting technique. To support this fact, UNESCO inscribed Indonesian Batik on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


The techniques, symbolism and culture surrounding hand-dyed cotton and silk garments  permeate the lives of Indonesians from birth to weddings, cultural events and funerals.


Some say that Batik is a form of art, others, a form of craft. While traditional Batik is associated to the textile industry, we now have a more contemporary use for this technique, on specialized paper. To put it simply, the technique consists of alternate layers of watercolor and hot wax. Personally, I prefer using Japanese paper such as kinwashi, ginwashi and unryu. The technique requires a substantial amount of planning as well as flexibility as the wax resists paint until the very end of the process. One must also be prepared to any eventuality as the painting (design) comes to life when the wax is removed at the very end.  The “unveiling” is always a surprise: wax will have created a design of its own on top of your design! I personnally have deviated substantially from the traditional approach to Batik as I wished to express myself freely. Although I use permanent ink to "frame" my design,  my style  is mostly free hand to guarantee  a whimsical twist to the final painting. 


Batik is an art of patience without any doubt!


Sources : Wikipedia and The Batik Guild