Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Exeter-Milligan Update: Art Update


Art Update at Exeter-Milligan

by Lisa Kanode, E-M Art Instructor


Batik is an ancient fabric wax-resist and dye tradition of Java, Indonesia. The origin of dye resistance patterns on cloth can be traced back 1,500 years ago to Egypt and the Middle East. Samples of batik have also been found in Turkey, India, China, Japan and West Africa from past centuries. Batiks are made using a canting tool. The canting, believed to be a purely Javanese invention, is a small thin wall spouted copper container (sometimes called a wax pen) that is connected to a short bamboo handle.


EM High school art students spent most of November trying their hand at batik making by using a canting tool and melted paraffin and beeswax. We melt the wax in a crockpot and use the drawing tool to follow the lines we have drawn on a posterboard. The lines can be seen through the fabric. Once the resist lines are put on the fabric, we paint in the shapes with colored dye. Another coat of wax is then paintbrushed on the fabric and it is all ironed out into newspaper to leave the rich beautiful color design on the fabric. Some of the students chose to soak their batik into a darker color after the wax is painted on. This technique is called crackling.


The Second grade class has also been working hard to make a batik. They have drawn fish on their fabric and are now painting in the shapes. You can see the student’s artwork on our Artsonia online art gallery at:




Pictures of 2nd grade students Anton Classen and Kora Havel using the canting tool to draw their lines.

As well as finished high school art by Blake Meyer- the crackled green and blue abstract eye, Natalie Staskal- pumpkins in the fall and Jasmine Turrubiates- representing her love for basketball.


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