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Before you arrive at the coast in Rye, New Hampshire, you travel through fresh and salt water marshes. In these coastal lowlands, one can find grasses growing along side tide pools. New Hampshire Geography.

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Sketch in oil pastels and charcoal.

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Sketch in turpentine wash on acrylic primed cotton canvas.

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White, yellow and red wax added.

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Yellow and Sap Green oils and some removing of wax.

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Orange oil pastels in back ground and Sap Green Oils added.

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The scraping away of wax and thread sewn.

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More Lemon Yellow and Burnt Sienna added.

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Final piece.

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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.

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Yellow and Red paint dye was brushed onto the fabric.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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Making sure to agitate it.

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Taking the fabric out after about 30 minutes.

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I pinned it up to dry completely.

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

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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.

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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.

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All the same steps are done with each dye bath.

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

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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.

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Checking all the colors so far through the light.

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Adding dots to the fish’s body.

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

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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.

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Letting it drip dry.

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

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

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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.

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The final piece in front of a window.

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

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Final piece photographed outside, showing colors in blue light.

Visit my Gold fish in the Sea, Batik Style

And, Batik Gallery

Thanks!

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roomofyou0roomofyou1roomofyou2roomofyou3roomofyou4roomofyou5roomofyou_6roomofyou7roomofyou8roomofyou9roomofyou10roomofyoufinal1roomofyououtsidefinalroomofyououtsidefinaliroomofyoudetail1

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A film still found of striped fish was the inspiration to the following piece of art, dyed in complementary and analogous colors.

goldfishI mixed yellow and red Jacquard’s paint dye and painted the fish onto a cotton, linen remnant.

goldfish1I then painted over the fish with melted wax and where ever I wanted it left white.

goldfish2The dye bath was a light mixture of Caribbean Blue.

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goldfish7I let it dry and placed it in the window to see the image clearly.

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goldfish10I brushed on the melted wax where I wanted the light blue to remain.

goldfish11Then, dyed it in a darker shade of Caribbean Blue.

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goldfish13Hung it up to dry. Here the light and darker blue show well.

goldfish16The next dye bath was an even deeper shade of blue.

goldfish15In the window all the colors can be seen.

goldfish16The last dye bath was Black and Golden Yellow.

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goldfish18When dyed over the Caribbean Blues, it turned the cloth into a deep green hue.

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goldfish19I painted over the fish with more orange dye after boiling out all the wax, to brighten it up a bit.

goldfishfinalFinal piece back lit from afternoon light in window.

goldfishfinal2This was a challenging piece because of the amount of wax applied and with the final dye, I didn’t know what color would emerge. One can do test pieces, but I like the surprise. I did crumple up the piece before the final dye quite a bit which let in more darkness than wanted, so I ended up adding another layer of orange to the fish.

Here is a link to a more instructional way of doing batik. Fish in the big blue ocean, batik style

To see batik gallery visit this site Batik as Contemporary Art