First step is to draw out a design. Here’s a video still I got from YouTube of a Queen Angelfish. spotted-fish-copy
The fish was marked out in pencil on a piece of off white linen.

fish1

Yellow and Red paint dye was brushed onto the fabric.

fish2

Clear melted wax was brushed over the dried paint dye and areas where I wanted the image left white. I used Batik wax which is a 50/50 blend paraffin and micro crystalline waxes. It’s heated up to about 235 degrees Fahrenheit.

fish3

Turquoise dye was mixed with some warm water, making a thick paste.

fish5

More water is added to the concentrated dye paste and poured into about 4 quarts of warm water.

fish6

I eyeball about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt to the dye bath and mix.

fish7

Then I add the wet fabric that has soaked in cool water for a few minutes.

fish8

Let the fabric sit for about ten minutes and then take it out. Add a teaspoon of soda ash to the dye bath. Stir the soda ash particles until they melt.

fish9

Return the fabric and let it bathe in the dye for thirty minutes or so, agitating it here and there.

fish10

Take out fabric and pin it up to dry. I let the fabric dry completely.

fish11

After the fabric dried, I melted the wax and brushed it on the places where I wanted it to be this light turquoise.

fish12

Also, I added yellow and red dye paint to the image to make some green details in the background. Then, letting it dry to set.

fish17

The next dye color I mixed up was Caribbean Blue and followed the same steps as above with the salt and the soda ash.

fish13

Making sure to agitate it.

fish14

fish16

Taking the fabric out after about 30 minutes.

fish18

I pinned it up to dry completely.

fish25

After letting it dry, I brushed the wax over the greenish dye and all the places I wanted the Caribbean Blue to be.

fish19

Next, I soaked the fabric in warm water with just a drop of Synthrapol solution, which is a heavy duty cleaning fluid. It makes a sudsy bath, releasing all the excess dye particles and helping to clean the fibers for the next dye bath.

fish20

After rinsing the fabric out in cool water, I make another dye batch of Wisteria, Black and Robin’s Egg Blue to create a deeper shade of blue.

fish21

All the same steps are done with each dye bath.

fish22

fish23

fish24

Here, I check to see what each shade of color looks like in front of a window.

fish25

I added more wax at this point to cover the all the different colors and where I wanted to keep the last color of dark blue.

fish34

fish26

Checking all the colors so far through the light.

fish27

Adding dots to the fish’s body.

fish28

Filling in any gaps where I don’t want the dye to penetrate.

fish29

Agitating the fabric in it’s last dye bath of New Black. I use less water for this final dye to make it more concentrated.

fish30

Letting it drip dry.

fish31

The next day, I give the fabric a good soak in Synthrapol.

fish35

Then, after rinsing the fabric, I place it into a large pot of water to boil for a couple of hours.

fish33

The boiling takes out most of the wax. Rinsing it in cold water lets you feel where there may be some embedded wax. Usually ironing between two pieces of thick paper, like a brown paper bag, will gets this excess wax out.

fish36

The final piece in front of a window.

fish37

fish38

I did have to add black dye with a fabric pen to the eyeball and a few other places to create particular details.

fish40i

fish39

fish40

Final piece photographed outside, showing colors in blue light.

Visit my Gold fish in the Sea, Batik Style

And, Batik Gallery

Thanks!

Advertisements