Saturday 1 October 2011

Indian Batik – Technique used in Printing

I my previous post,’ Indian Batik – Another Ancient Art of Printing on Textiles’, I talked a bit about introduction to its history, methods, equipment and stages.  Taking it further, I’ll talk in details the stages and technique used in Batik printing here.
Batik painting in Black and Red

The creation of batik involves three main stages- process of waxing, dyeing and dewaxing.

The ideal mixture for batik wax is 30 per cent beeswax and 70 per cent paraffin wax. Cotton and pure silk are the best fabrics for Batik as these are strong enough to bear the heat and wax.  The weave of the cloth should not be too close, and the fabric should be translucent when held in front of a light. Fabrics are first washed thoroughly to rid of starch before the dying begins.  In general, the final design must be conceived before the picture is begun. The design is traced and then the fabric is stretched on wood frame. The parts of the design to be white, for example must be waxed at the same time before any subsequent dyeing. Molten wax is either applied with thin brush or tjanting pen is used to achieve very fine lines.  Wax is filled in the ‘bowl’ of the pen and it flows via the small hole in the spout to the cloth.
Using Tjanting Pen to apply wax
After the first waxing the fabric is dipped into a dye bath whose color is the lightest tone of those to be used. Only cold dyes are used, so wax remains intact on the design. When the piece has dried, we see an area of white and an area of cloth that is the color of the first dyeing. Wax is now applied to those parts in which we wish to retain the first color, and the entire fabric is immersed in the second dye bath whose color is darker in tone than the first. This process is repeated until the darkest tone required in the final design has been achieved. While applying wax, care must be taken that it doesn’t get over heated or it’ll catch fire.
Applying wax on the fabric 
In batik the correction of mistakes, in most cases, is impossible. The Painter is not limited in any way in the variety of colors he uses and juxtaposes. In case of batik, however, each color used is significantly changed by the proceeding color; or at least it is certainly affected by the color "underneath". The only pure color is the first one, so all other colors used are mixtures, determined largely by the first color, or the first strong color. Therefore, it is very important to have a complete understanding about color mixing.

After the final dying, the fabric is boiled in water to remove the wax. Then it is washed with soap and water. When the fabric has dried it is placed between sheets of absorbent paper and a hot iron applied, to completely melt away any remaining wax.  As the sheets of paper absorb the wax they are replaced by fresh sheets until the wax is completely removed. At this point the final design is seen clearly for the first time.
Batik Saree Border in Graduating hues
The dyes used for this are natural and derived from barks of trees, leaves, flowers and minerals. The indigo blue was one of the earliest dyes to be used. Blue for example, was obtained from indigo, while orange and red were from henna. Yellow was from turmeric and lilac and mauve from logwood. Black was created by burning iron in molasses and cochineal from insects.

The colors in Batik are much more resistant to wear than those of painted or printed fabrics because the cloth is completely immersed in dye and the areas not protected by resist are allowed to absorb hues to the extent that the colors do not easily fade.

Because of the tedious process of dyeing and waxing this art is declining and giving way to machine printed textiles

Beautiful "Horses' painting with Batik

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Indian Batik – Another Ancient Art of Printing on Textiles

The word batik actually means 'wax writing'. Batik, is the way of decorating fabric by using a manual wax resist dyeing process.  Traditional Batik process is known to be used in many countries like Indonesia, Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and India. The process varies slightly depending on the country. Here I am going to talk about the Indian Batik.
Indian Folk Scene in Batik

Traditional Indian Elephant

The history of Indian batik can be traced as far back as 2000 years.  Infact, this art of printing on fabrics originated in India.  Indians are known to use resist method of printing designs on cotton fabrics long before any other nation had even tried it.  Initially wax and even rice starch were used for printing on fabrics.
Indian Batik Art

Batik involves decorating cloth by covering a part of it with a coat of wax and then dyeing the cloth. The waxed areas keep their original color and when the wax is removed the contrast between the dyed and un-dyed areas makes thepattern. There are four basic stages she uses to produce a finished Batik painting: Waxing, Dyeing, Scraping, & Ironing.  It is a simple process but a demanding one.

Tjanting Pens

Until recently batik was made for dresses and tailored garments only but modern batik is livelier and brighter in the form of murals, wall hangings, paintings, household linen, and scarves. Batik is created in several ways. In splash method the wax is splashed or poured onto the cloth. The screen-printing method involves a stencil.  And the traditional hand painting one in which wax is applied with a very thin brush or tjanting pen. Tjanting pens or Canting pens are used where very fine lines are required in the pattern. The beauty of batik lies in its simplicity and  some of the best effects in batik are often achieved by chance.

Monday 26 September 2011

Color of the Year- HONEYSUCKLE!

Pantone LLC, the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, announced  Honeysuckle (PANTONE 18-2120), as the color of the year for 2011.

This  vibrant, energetic hue is also a dominant color in Fall Winter 2011 Fashions. I am so glad Honeysuckle is back in vogue....its always been one of my favorite color. In between red and pink, this hue possesses the qualities of both :  the 'femininity' &  softness of pink and vigor & energy of Red. 
This uplifting and dynamic reddish pink is perfect color to ward off those blues! Its nostalgic yet encouraging  & uplifting; sweet an& Delicious yet strong & powerful! 

It will surely produce a healthy glow when worn by men or women. This 'Alive' color is striking & eye catching, perfect for both day & night. It works great in womens' apparel, accessories and cosmetics as well as  men's shirts, ties and sports wear. Its not just restricted to fashion wear but also interior spaces.  Use of honeysuckle patterned cushions, bed spreads, throws, table top accessories, or small appliances would add a lively flair to any room. Or you can paint a wall or a section in any room to create a dynamic burst of energy. An entire room painted in Honeysuckle though,  would make it over whelming and over powering. 
So, go ahead and experiment with this vigorous, engaging hue. 

Here's a lovely collection of Honeysuckle items that I've curated. To read more about the featured items or to shop, follow this link:

Sunday 25 September 2011

'In the Fall'

I had casually entered one of my Necklace sets for a monthly challenge last month on Shannon's blog : and completely forgot about it, until I received an e-mail from her saying that I was the winner for that challenge. Yippee!! I was very thrilled. Inspired and bubbling with motivation I decided to enter her next challenge: A project featuring the fall colors: amber, burnt orange or fierce orange and red. Since this is not limited to jewelry, I decided to create an Artwork. I've known as a tight painter, so this time I decided to loosen up a bit and create something different. And this is what I came up with:

I had so much fun painting this. I have used varied things to create this mixed media artwork, 'In the Fall' like clay, plaster of Paris, my hand carved wood block stamps from India (that have been shoved away for years), rubber stamps, and fabric (I tore off my husband's T-shirt for!  and the best part is that he doesn't know about it just yet! I hope he'll be happy to see his clothing transformed into an artwork :)

Oh and this is my Necklace set that came out a winner from last month's challenge:

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Trendy, Tantalizing Teals

TEAL, one of my favorites and a prominent color for Fall/Winter 2011 fashions. Deep Teal, a strong, blue-toned green, suggests ocean depths and the color of the sky as daylight descends into darkness. Inspired by this rich color, I have created a Collection of lovely teal items ranging from softer, subtle tones to deeper shades of teal. Enjoy!!

To view this collection on the Artfire website or purchase any of the items featured, follow this link:

Monday 12 September 2011

Process Used in Traditional Indian Textile Block Printing

I talked about the Indian hand carved wood blocks in my previous post. Today, I am going to share with you the process that is, traditionally used to print lovely patterns on the textiles.

Block printing is an ancient Indian art that dates as far back as 12th century. Traditionally, hand carved wood block stamps were used to print on textiles. The art of block printing is very unique and labor intensive process, as it makes every piece of cloth one of a kind and different from others, which cannot be achieved with modern printing techniques using automated machinery. What makes this technique exquisite is the fact that the design has to be first carved onto the wooden block by hand, and then executed on the fabric.

Traditional block printing was done using environment friendly dyes, derived from vegetables,plants, minerals etc. These pigments were mixed with kerosene oil and binder which helps in fixing the colors to the fabric.

First of all, the fabric to be printed is thoroughly washed to make is free of any starch. Then it is dyed to the desired color, if required. Once completely dry, fabric is stretched onto the printing table and secured to it with the help of pins. Care should be taken that there are no ripples in the fabric.

The dyes to be used are placed in trays. These are kept on the uppermost shelf on wooden trolleys while the blocks are put on the lower shelf. Printer drags the trolley along as he works.

If the design requires the use of three, four or more colors in the pattern, the outline block is used first, usually in the darkest color. The block is dipped in the color and pressed hard on the fabric to get a good impression. Then rest of the blocks are carefully placed on the first impression to fill in the other colors, one by one . A point on the block serves as a guide for the repeat impressions.

After the printing is complete, the fabric is dried in sun to fix the colors. Fabric is then rolled in wads of newspapers to prevent the fabric layers from adhering to each other and steamed in boilers constructed for the purpose. After steaming, the material is washed thoroughly in large quantities of water and dried in the sun, after which it is finished by ironing out single layers, which fix the color permanently.
India has been renowned for its hand block printed and dyed textiles in cotton and silk. It is the essence of India and the crafts that make India stand out in the world and skill passed through many generations and should be preserved. Block Printing is one of the numerous arts and crafts that are slowly dyeing and need to be renewed and brought back to life.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Found The Lost Treasure-Indian Hand Carved Wood Block Stamps

Yay! I made one big discovery yesterday, while unpacking the moving boxes that were shoved off in garage since a couple of years. I found my old wood stamp blocks that I had purchased during my stay in India. Ever since I decided to convert my jewelry making hobby into profession, I had not even looked at these, forget about using them. But now I can't wait to use these and create interesting projects. The intricately hand carved designs and patterns on them are extremely beautiful. OMG! My mind is overflowing with the ideas. Okay! Before I go on and on about this, let me tell you more about these functional pieces of art.

Indian Hand carved wood blocks were traditionally used to print on textiles using natural dyes derived from plants, and other organic sources. But the possibilities for their use are endless. You can also use these wooden stamps for stamping or printing on paper, fabrics, wallpaper, doing temporary henna tattoos, scrapbooking, and impressing clay, tiles, ceramics, handmade soaps etc. They can be used practically anywhere; just use your imagination! I have used them in one of my Mixed Media Artwork and fabrics. I'll share the pictures of these with you in my next post.

These are carved out from various seasoned woods, including teak wood but a majority are carved of sustainably harvested brown hard Indian sheesham wood (also known as Indian Rosewood - a member of the Teak family). These stamps are carved by skilled craftsmem. Design is etched on the underside of the block. Two to three cylindrical holes are drilled into the block for free air passage and also to allow release of excess printing paste/dye. The newly carved blocks are soaked in oil, usually mustard oil for 10-15 days to soften the grains in the timber.

Block Printing is an ancient Indian art of printing, especially on fabrics & textiles, dating as far back as the 12th century. Now nearly a lost art, this handcraft work will soon be lost to modern printing techniques like automated web presses and silk screening that is replacing handmade, hand carved wood print blocks.

In an effort to promote and preserve this form of art, I came up with this post and also added some of my unused blocks for sale in my etsy shop. In my future posts I'll tell you more about this ancient art and how these blocks were used to print on textiles. Till then, have fun and Enjoy the weekend!!

Friday 2 September 2011

I Miss the Ocean Breeze

Here I am, after a long break. There's been a lot going on. Now that the thing have settled down a bit, I am back. How much I missed you all. Anyways, Summer is over(well, nearly), Fall is here, and as the winter is approaching, I am clinging on to the sweet memories of summer, those days at the beach, the cool ocean breeze and the treasures of the ocean. To cherish these I created a Treasury of lovely ocean themed items from crafty etsians.

I love the cool blues in this nostalgic collection. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Here's the link to my Curated Treasury for today:

Friday 8 July 2011

Recently Sold Artwork

There's been a lot going on lately. I was preparing for a craft fair on Canada day.....which went on pretty well. And I've also been busy packing up my house(practically) and preparing to move. Its a BIG task....especially with two kids(and a hubby whose no better than!) and I haven't moved yet. I have to leave in mid-July.....and there's soooooo much still left to be packed.
So far, I've been posting about handcrafted jewelry and related topics. This time I thought I would share two of my recently sold artworks with you. 'Gossip' is an Oil on Canvas while the other(Tiger face) is fabric paint on Pure Silk.

I'll post more later.......when things settle down a bit(Hopefully soon!). Till then Enjoy Summertime everyone!

Thursday 2 June 2011

Jewelry Trends 2011

A glance at 2011 Jewelry Trends
(Hope its not too late to post about the latest trends:)

Fashion jewelry trends 2011 forecasts that jewelry will be bigger and bolder. If you really think about it, the right jewelry is like a piece of expensive art. It has the ability to make you look sleek and sophisticated. This season "less is not more", but "more is more". Statement jewelry is very trendy this year. In the case of oversized jewelry, this characteristic becomes even more powerful since it can be a complete fashion statement on its own. From complex, structural geometric patterns to more colorful and summery designs oversized jewelry will take a variety of different forms in the following season. One of the most important things that you should remember is to wear only one trend at a time. Do not wear stacked bangles with a statement necklace. Only one single piece of jewelry is sufficient to make you look fashionable.

Statement necklaces just got bigger and bolder this season with huge stones and funky designs. Wear a statement necklace that just sits on your collar bone as anything longer than that is so last season. A bib necklace with a mix of stones is just right for this season. Wearing unique mixed media multi layered chain necklace or layered chains is one of the biggest jewelry trends this season which is quite hard to miss.

Jewelry trends 2011 forecasts the return of chandelier earrings. Earrings this season are long, almost shoulder grazers. Large hoop earrings will also be popular jewelry trends spring summer 2011.

A cocktail ring is a must have in any fashionistas wardrobe. Chunky cocktail rings that are big enough to graze your knuckles are what we are talking about.

Materials: A mix of metals like bronze, silver, gold, dull gold and rose finish will be the highlight this season. Metals like gold and silver are popular, but you can also try bronze and copper as a cheaper option. Unlike only precious stones of last season, semi precious stones ranging from amethyst, coral, garnet peridot, coral, aquamarine and tourmaline are in this season. Natural products, leather, wood, bone, enamel, Feathers, ribbons, lace, tassels, Swarovski crystals, glass and pearls are also popular.

Colors: Vivid colors like red tomatoes, plum, aubergine, bright yellow, indigo, blue, khaki, and chocolate brown for ethnic/folk inspired styles. Turquoise, coral and green & blue colors in various shades are the hues for floral/fauna inspired jewelry. For Military/Urban/Futuristic style jewelry, smoke and metallic colors, gray, black, white, army green and acid yellow are in. Soft tones like pink powder, skin colors, lavender, beige and gray green for the more romantic Vintage & Retro styles. While any color scheme or materials can be used in recycled jewelery.

Motifs: Animals, flowers, butterflies and clover , designs inspired by African tribes and folklore, power symbols such as snakes, cats and panthers, sea creatures and starfish.

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Yay!! I won the contest!

A big warm 'Thank You' to all my friends, fans and supporters who voted for me me help in win the 'Artisan Challenge' for May. This was the first time ever that I had entered my jewelry creations in a contest. And won!! This month's theme was 'Beach'. I created this piece using golden brown lip shell discs and natural white pearls. Actually, I think this is a very nice way to keep your creative spirits alive and get some exposure too. Can't wait to know the next month's challenge and start working on it....Results of the contest can be viewed here:

Saturday 7 May 2011

New Looks!

I've made few more changes to the blog; changed the background and managed to center align the header image. It's so much fun playing around, provided you have the time to(which is a bit tough for me to find with two online stores, facebook fanpage, my website, home, hubby and two cute daughters). Well, back to the topic now! The other day I came across this rustic, sort of vintage background and I knew I had to get it on my blog(somehow). I just love it(till I find something even better). Hope you'll like it too!

Oh! I almost's this lovely treasury, featuring varied items from the members of 'Lost in the Crowd' Team on etsy. Its called 'Beautiful Lost Treasures'. And my 'Purple Jade and Aventurine Hoop Earrings - Mystic Wheel' are included too! Do check it out. Here's the link:

Ops! I went off the topic again; As I said its fun to play around! I sometimes deliberately take the wrong turns(time-permitted), you may never know what you'll find/discover............
Have Fun!!

Wednesday 4 May 2011

National is the world!!! Various Tribal Style Staffs

I wish to thank 'lxz2009' for featuring my Turquoise, Shell Spikes and Pearl Necklace - Tribal Earth in a wonderful treasury, 'National is the world!!! Various Tribal Style Staffs'. It is a wonderful collection of tribal themed items from etsy shops. Come check it out and  become enchanted with the ancient, tribal, symbolic, cryptic and the eclectic creations in there. Click this link to view this treasury & others items by lxz2009:

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Yay! I Did It!!

I started this blog recently and wanted to make some changes (as per the appearance is concerned). I've been trying for days together to figure out ways to do so. I wanted to create a horizontal navigation bar with buttons; some of which directed to my other online shops/sites/pages, besides the pages about me, home etc and a different background(for a change). All this required changes to the html code. And I've been searching, searching and searching; it was getting very frustrating. And Voila! It came in a flash today. Yippee! I am so happy with the change and this has opened doors for endless possibilities. I can't wait to experiment some more. Hope you'll like the looks of my blog. Your views are valuable to me, so feel free to leave your comments. :)

Thursday 28 April 2011

Time to Waltz

A big warm Thank you to 'Dressholic' for creating an awesome collection of  fabulous items,' Time to Waltz' , published today and including my Red Pearls Necklace with Ribbon Ties' in it. Click the following link to view this collection and other items. Don't forget to check out the studio 'Dressholic' and view her lovely items as well:

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Flowers for Mothers Day

Many thanks to 'dianesdangles ' for featuring my,' Vintage Inspired Pink Flower Two Strand Pearl Necklace' in her lovely Collection, 'Flowers for Mothers day'.  Click the link below to view this fabulous collection:

Monday 25 April 2011

Creativity at it's Best

Here's a big warm Thank you to 'SeeingIsBelieving' , the curator of this wonderful treasury,'Creativity at it's Best'. Its beyond doubt a beautiful collection of items in refreshing, spring/summery colors. A great combination of yellows, lime and turquoise. And my 'Turquoise Wire-wrapped Hoop Earrings- PENELOPE' are included too!

Click this link to check out this treasury on etsy and view other treasuries & items from SeeingIsBelieving.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

I am Featured :)

Yay!! My ,'Garnet Glass and Natural Pearl Earrings' are featured in a Lovely treasury,'Cherry love', curtated by archsehgal on etsy. View it here:
Garnet Glass and Natural Pearl Earrings

Father Sun Smiled After a Long Wait

Spring is here so to say. But I guess wintertime in still not ready to go off-duty. I've been waiting, waiting, waiting to take pictures of my new Jewelry collection in sunlight since days together. And then, one fine day, Father Sun showed up! I was out with a friend, having lunch. I rushed home to bring out my camera for taking pictures. Didn't want to loose the precious time when Sun was smiling. Fortunately, I managed to get snaps of some of my jewelry before Sun decided to say 'Good-Bye'. Here are the few pictures that I took. Pretty good, aren't they?? :)

Some of these are already up for sale at my online stores. Here are the links, if you wish to see more views of these pieces:

Join me on facebook to stay updated and view the latest from my shop:

Sunday 27 March 2011

Spring is Finally Here!!!

'Springtime', the season of rebirth, renewel and regrowth; the season of bright and bold colors!! Celebrate this spring with these bold, statement earrings......newely listed on

Watch out for more 'spring jewelry'.............coming very soon!!!