Monday, January 28, 2008

E.F. Harper, Batik Artist Extraordinaire



Nashville artist E.F. Harper (Emily Frances) has put together a beautiful show at the Nashville Ballet on 3630 Redmon Street. The work is all batik, done on a fairly large scale. I don't actually know any other batik artists, so this is a very unique collection for Nashville. Harper uses some particularly vibrant reds, blues, and greens, that I just love; and I think you will too (particularly when everything outside is dark & gray)! The show hangs through March 20th, and the balllet is open Monday - Friday from 9-5:00.
Here is an article E.F has posted describing her artmaking process:

so...what exactly is ’batik’???

The word batik is thought to be derived from the word 'ambatik' which translated means 'a cloth with little dots'.

Samples of dye resistance patterns on cloth can be traced back 1,500 years ago from Egypt to the Middle East, India, China, and West Africa from past centuries. However, none have developed batik to its present day art form as the highly developed intricate batik found on the island of Java in Indonesia.

Melted wax is applied to cloth before being dipped in dye. Wherever the wax has seeped through the fabric, the dye will not penetrate. Sometimes several colors are used, with a series of dyeing, drying and waxing steps. Methods of applying the wax to the fabric include pouring the liquid wax, painting the wax on with a brush, using a tjanting and applying the hot wax to a precarved wooden or metal wire block and stamping the fabric. One indication of the level of craftmanship in a piece of batik cloth is whether the pattern is equally visible on both sides of the cloth. This indicates the application of wax on both sides, either with the canting or with mirror-image design blocks.

After the last dyeing, the fabric is hung up to dry. Then it is dipped in a solvent to dissolve the wax, or ironed between paper towels or newspapers to absorb the wax and reveal the deep rich colors and the fine crinkle lines that give batik its character.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you for the beautiful plug here on your blog...may i be ever as supportive of you and your endeavors as you have been of mine. it has been a treasure getting to know you better. i look forward to all things to come for both of us. love. 'e' to the 'f' harper

SarahShearer said...

oh, but THANK YOU :)