Friday, 11 February 2011


A break from TRANSFER PRINTING....  Last night was our BOAT meeting, lead by Janis.  We decided to explore the properties of SOY WAX, as opposed to Beeswax or Parafin wax or a combination between the two.  This is what I usually use when making or teaching Batik along with a Batik kettle.
This is my findings, just based on this one trial.
The wax was heated in a microwave.  I was a bit jumpy about this as Soy has a lower melting point than the other waxes & of course there are no controls over the heating.  I am NOT going to give times etc as I was unhappy when mine, in a plastic container became a bit smoky & the container very wobbly.  We had 2 microwaves both with different wattage.  The container was VERY HOT
The container was then put into a bowl containing boiling water.
I found all of this very shaky, as a teacher I am always aware of health & safety & could not & would not let my students do this in a classroom situation, no matter their age!!
I used a tjanting & a small & large brush & found that the wax was hot enough to penetrate the fibres of the cotton fabric, which was stretched in a frame.  I used a large embroidery hoop as I could not find my silk frames in the time I allotted to get the 'stuff' ready for the workshop.
We used silk paints to colour
Usually I use silk paints in class for quickness, Procion works just as well as do fabric paints, watered down & stirred very well.
Now with traditional batik (immersion technique) colouring takes a long time but works fantastically & once the dye has had time to cure (Procion) then the piece can be washed & dried with a hairdryer.
Not so with Soy.
The silk paint needs setting with heat at each stage.  I used my hairdryer to find that the wax just ran off!!!!!.  I didnt try an iron but I guess it would be the same
So for using lots of colours this technique does not really work
This is the piece whilst still wet, looking a lot like a close up of Monets Waterlillies.  Completely fabulous.
When I arrived home, I popped it in the freezer in the hopes that the wax would firm up a bit, & thought that I might leave it like this already framed as a piece of art.
When the piece came out of the freezer about an hour later, some of the wax began to fall off, so that scuppered my previous idea
I grabbed an old credit card & scrapped off all the wax (saved in another container but highly coloured with silk paint)
I then washed it by hand in hot water & ALL of the wax just vanished along with alot of the unfixed colour
In hindsight after scrapping off the wax I should have ironed it between paper to retain the colour, but didnt think of that
Now I would have experimentedon my OTHER piece that I did.  A little piece.  BUT when I arrived home I could not find it!!!! Yep it had vanished.
I walked a fair way to my car carrying the pieces in a plastic bag & guess that my little piece just up & flew away!!  So today there is a sadd little piece in a gutter somewhere getting all dirty.  Tomorrow when I am back in the area, I MAY go and look for it, who knows.  So I had no trial piece
I wish I had set the colours as this morning when the piece was dry, it looks quite sorry for itself, colour wise.  However, it will be fab to stitch on.

See how it has lost its intensity & the Monet daubs have disappeared.
The fabric was a white cracked ice, which had not been washed
I still love the piece & I am glad that I photographed it, the first photo was with my phone & this one taken with my DSLR
If any of you have experience with Soy wax for Batik, not for Journalling, please leave a comment & help us all out with 'cracking' (heehee) this 'newish' medium
Tomorrow I am posting more about the TRANSFIX from Colourcraft.
Dont forget the TAKING IT FURTHER WITH TRANSFERS WORKSHOP, on special rate here until 16th February 2011
See you tomorrow

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Thank you for your comment, regards Shelagh



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