Wednesday, June 11, 2008
field trip to androsia batik, chapter 2
on our first full day in andros, we visited androsia, a beautiful workshop that produces batiked fabric and clothing. george and i fell in love with the place and hope to figure out how to work with them on a project in the future. oh yes, did i mention the plan is to visit andros every year?
the first in a series of workrooms was the wax room, which had a lovely zen quality to it... the lighting is very dim, just some sunlight filtering through a few cloudy skylights. but then the only artificial light is placed under the tables, so the batikers can see the placement layout under the cloth. we were fascinated with the wall full of handcarved sponges that are used to print with the wax. i loved the absolute lack of color (even the women working were mainly in white) in contrast to the rest of the place, and how everything in the room was covered in layers or splashes of white wax.
in case you're not familiar with batik, it is a process where wax is printed or drawn onto cloth, then the cloth is dyed with the wax in it and the wax works as a resist, keeping the dye from penetrating those areas. then the wax is removed, leaving the print on a colored ground.
next came the dye room, where the cloth is submerged in vats of dye, and then gloriously hung out in the sun to dry. the indoor/outdoor quality of the work environment was very inspiring; i dream of having an outdoor dye studio myself someday soon!
last came the cutting and sewing rooms, where the riotous colors were all around.
and then of course there was the shop, where i bought 3 pieces of batiked cloth. it was hard to choose, but i restrained myself, since it was only our first day! (little did i know yet that there would be hardly anything else to buy the rest of the trip... whew.) the funny thing was that from that day on, we saw androsia batiks everywhere we went, as curtains, tablecloths, jellyfish tentacles... but wait, i'm getting ahead of myself!