"Batik" is an Indonesian word derived from "titik" or "tik" meaning a little bit or a drop. This refers to the tiny drops of molten wax used on the design to resist the dye.
Batik is a rare art. Very few people practise this art as it requires great patience and continuous effort to master it. Yet the final result gives great joy and excitement to the artist.
As Books on Batik are not easily available in the market, I was thinking of writing one for the last three or four years; and I am very happy that my efforts have finally borne fruit. My son Shirish, who is a graphic artist, helped me a great deal in giving this book concrete shape.
There may be various methods of doing batik; but I have given in this book the two methods which I have practised for the last ten years.
The first method is easier for the beginners and the dyes required for it are easily available in the market. The eager and curious artists who wish to acquire this rare art can easily follow the first method and experience the thrill of creating variety of Batik designs.
In second method, acids are used. Acids make batik more attractive and brighter. AS acids are harmful, care should be taken when one handles them, that they do not touch the hands or their vapours do not enter the eyes or nose.
It is believed that this very old technique of Batik originated in Indonesia long back during 1st and 2nd century A.D., and the artists were Hindu who had settled there, developed this art. But Batik flourished mainly under the rule of the East Java Kings between the 13th and 16th centuries. Now the Javanese have made Batik very much their own.
In India, batik was first introduced in Shantiniketan in West Bengal; especially Calcutta is famous for Batik work. Many art institutions have now included this at in their syllabus.
The Student and art lovers may follow the simple, easy first method of Batik in the beginning for which the ready colours are available in the market.
I hope this book will certainly help the curious, eager artists to do Batik on their own. I with them every success.
"Batik for the beginners" is very helpful for the artists who are interested in learning the technique of Batik art but have no access to a simple "teach yourself" kind of a book to encourage them to take the plunge. Even those who have tried their hand at this art form will be inspired to experiment further.
The book gives detailed step by step process of Batik in simple language along with different colour combination and simple design for practice. A Marathi version of the book in also available.
Shanta Deshpande, aged seventy-one years, still keeps herself busy doing variety of Batik pieces, greeting card. Wall hangings etc. in various sizes and in different colour combinations and exhibits them in group art exhibitions.
Since her childhood she is fond of creative arts like drawing, painting, embroidery, knitting, crochet work and stitching.
She is a graduate of S.N.D.T. College, Pune (1954) with drawing and painting as her voluntary subject. She is B.Ed. of Karnataka University (1971), and has done Advanced Drawing & Painting in 1971. Around 1970, when fabric paints were just introduced in the market, she conducted classes of fabric painting in Belgaum.
Being a subject teacher a Girl' High School for nineteen Years and a housewife, she got very little chance to practise her art. But during this period she often visited art exhibitions whenever she got a chance. She came across batik art in some exhibitions which kindled in her, a great curiosity about this rare art. She collected information about this art from various sources and started experimenting on her own. It was only after her retirement that she had the freedom to take it up seriously and whole heartedly.
In the year 1993, she held her first individual exhibition of Batik, Oil paintings (Portraits) and fabric paintings in Milieu Art Gallery, Pune, flowed by one at Balgandharva Art Gallery in 1996 and another at Ravindra Kala Kunj in 1998, under her brand name "Mother 's Choice". Then in July 2000, she had the previlege to display her Batik Art at the Shyam Ahuja Showroom, Pune under the auspices of the Nag Foundation, Pune.
The visitors greatly appreciated her Batik art pieces and expressed the desire to know more about Batik. She often felt the scarcity of books Batik and thought of writing one which would be helpful to the curious art lovers who are eager to learn this exciting, rare art, and would like to experiment at home. The thought developed in her the urge to write this book. Recently a video CD of her batik demonstration is published in Marathi by Chhanda kala Vardhini of Pune.
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