Parlow China Trip travel blog

Contemplating a masterpiece

Hard at work

Inviting shop

Preparing batik design


There is a very cool gallery in the village called Time and Tide, the name taken from the saying "Time and tide wait for no man". It's a gorgeous collection of fountains, driftwood, old rope and beautiful pieces of batik and other artwork. The owner, a British artist named Ioanna, offers batik courses to adults and children.

After looking at the photos of the work that other children have done, both Robin and Adrian were keen to try it out. We arrived at the gallery armed with sketches and ideas.

The boys immediately began sketching their pictures onto white cotton stretched over wooden frames and tacked down with wax. There was much consideration over the designs as well as much erasing of errors until finally, both boys were pleased with their results.

Adrian was shown how to use the wax instrument that provides a thin drizzle line of melted wax when it is drawn over the cloth. He used the instrument to cover all of the lines of his design with a thin bead of wax. Since this step is a bit too hard for someone of Robin's age, Ioanna applied the wax to Robin's design for him.

Next, the boys sat down with pots of paint and paintbrushes and applied an incredible amount of paint to their designs. The wax creates a barrier that inhibits the paint from spreading beyond the wax line, creating fairly crisp borders. Adrian painted a space craft blasting off into orbit around earth, while Robin painted an undersea scene complete with fish he had seen snorkelling.

The batiks were then handed over to Ioanna who removed the wax after the cloth had dried and set the dye. The finished results are fabulous -- bright and colourful and fun.

The boys liked it so much that they opted to return the next day and do a second batik (with the gift-giving season so close at hand) which turned out equally as well.

My project was based on the beautiful seashells we have been collecting and stringing into mobiles to decorate the plumeria tree in front of our bungalow. I chose a few that I particularly liked and used them as inspiration for the batik painting I did. Next time you visit, you can have a look at it.

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